Montenegro (09-11 August)

When we drove to Montenegro, the first impression was not too great, because right after the boarders there was a huge trash dump field which was on fire…. . So Montenegro greeted us with the smell of burning trash. Nevertheless, when the first impression is so bad, it can get only better… and it did.

We were still driving in the mountains, so the drive took us longer than we had expected and for the first time we needed to drive in the dark. This was quite a scary experience driving in the dark in mountains. Luckily, Jaanus had done great research and looked up a decent camping en-route. It was very small camping and we basically stayed over night in someone’s back yard. We arrived there when it was already dark so we could not see much the surrounding, but the sky was just soooo full of stars. We fell asleep immediately and the following morning, the host was so nice that she gave us some candy and cookies on the way. Since we stayed so short time there, the host charged us 5 euros instead of 6 :). The host and their two extra sweet kittens sent us again on the way around 7 in the morning.

We took the direction toward Lovcen National Park. The road to the national park was quite extreme and on the very narrow road. The entrance fee to the park was quite symbolic, 2 Euros per person. We were hoping to do a hike up to the top hill in the national park, but when we reached the final destination on our GPS, we discovered that we have reached the top already by car. So we missed the part on the road where the information center is, to give information about the hiking trail. The parking place on top was very tiny and there was no free space, had to turn our car around and we drove a couple of hundred meters back down and found some space there.  We started walking up the mountain from there. It was a good choice because we met a donkey on our way up and Jaanus, the animal lover, could do some petting again.

In the end, we were also a little bit happy, that we did not took a longer hiking trail, because the day was extremely hot. And by the time we got up from the stairs to the Njegoš Mausoleum, we were both quite exhausted. The mausoleum was built 1970 to 1974 and sits at the top of the Lovcen naturals park second-highest peak, Jezerski Vrh (1657m). You have to take the 461 steps up to the entry where two granite giantesses guard the tomb of Montenegro’s greatest hero. Inside under a golden mosaic canopy, a 28-ton Petar II Petrović Njegoš rests in the wings of an eagle, carved from a single block of black granite. The Mausoleum itself was quite small, but the view to the surrounding was spectacular. Just look at the pictures below and be amazed..

On the way back we saw also many people hiking on the paved road, so part of the hiking trails seemed to be following the same route you can drive with the car. So the hiking would have not been so authentic as we probably would have expected.. Nevertheless, we though the visit was still worth it, because the view from the top of the mountain was just as one of those that you are not able to put into words.

On the afternoon, we decided to take the direction toward Tivat. It is a small town by the sea. We took the direction toward the peninsula to drive from Tivat to Kotor. It was another breathtaking show of picturistic views. The road along the peninsula was tiny and it was a challenge for Jaanus to drive. We made some stops to take a look at the Ostrogoths or so called The Lady of the Rocks – an artificial island with a church. The road showed us beaches which we had never seen before. Beaches were just like little private piers from where you can just jump into the water. Children were playing there and seemed to have a blast. A lot of people were swimming quite far from the shore, but the sea was so quiet that this was no problem or did not even seem to be dangerous.

We found a really nice place near Kotor to camp over night. It was right by the beach. Actually it was a hotel beach, but there were other people also staying overnight so that seemed to be no problem for the hotel. We had also a long evening swim and afterword ate mussels at a local bar. The mussels certainly were local, because the sea was full of them. We saw a Russian family snorkeling around our camping area and they managed to find a bag full of mussels, so we assume thay had a local dinner as well 🙂

Since it was friday evening, there was some parties in town, and 3 o’clock in the morning some drunk company decided that they have to come and have some loud discussions in the beach, next to our car. 

In summary, Montenegro coastline and beaches certainly impressed us a lot. It was certainly much more expensive than Serbia and Bulgaria, but still – the beaches were like from another planet.

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