Impressions – A Tourist Haven in Montenegro

Tara Bridge. The bridge is amazing, it’s actually a WOODEN bridge… All of a sudden I’m in tourist country. Souvenir shops and the like. Yep, time to leave Montenegro, though I most definitively will come back.

The busride was fun, again, the hospitality and helpfulness of the people here is amazing. They helped me make sense of the bus system, for the second leg to Tara bridge (turned out I the bus I took from Kolasin actually went further in the right direction) I didn’t have to pay. Left the minibus with telephonenumbers of people who said I should please stay with them the next time, and should consider moving there. And the couple I stayed with in Kolasin not only brought me to the bus station, but they packed me a HUGE lunch with still warm, self-made sweet bread (sort of an “oliebol” for the dutchies) and home made plum mousse. I keep getting adopted….

Zablak/Durmitor Park used to be a popular holiday destination for eastern europe people. Therefore, there’s still a lot of abandoned hotels and the like around. For the “new” western (more spoiled?) tourists, they build new hotels and apartment buildings. Good thing I immediately started hiking, since the next day these mountains were hidden in the clouds. But it was VERY touristic… Did one day of hiking and decided to move on.

The mountains are extremely beautiful, but even after the tourist season is actually over, the place is still crawling with them. And the village looks like it gets a lot of them, unfortunately. So, no matter how beautiful it is, and again, the people here are so friendly it’s almost scary, I will leave for Bosnia on Friday. I sorta prefer the less busy tracks, such as Mrtvice canyon where I actually left a piece of my heart. A Serbian couple I met told me later Mrtvice means Little Dead Things.. Weird I always find the morbid things the most attractive 🙂

The internet connection here is not trustworthy, also the electricity doesn’t work 100% of the time (and the water switched off between 22 and 6). Here up in the mountains the people are preparing for winter, it’s almost zero degrees at night and the wooden furnace, which is used both for cooking and heating the house, is blazing hot.

It was a rainy day in Durmitor National Park. The bad side was the paths were slippery and the clouds hanging too low, so no beautiful views, & I had to cancel any ideas about hiking the high mountains. And well.. I was wet to my socks.

The good thing was, even though the village was crawling with tourists, only hardcore idiots like me were still doing the trails. Plus, my feet loved me for not doing elevations of over 1,000 meters. Plus, actually walking THROUGH the clouds has its own charm. So I only did three of the seven lakes.

Crno Jezero (Black Lake) was a beauty, even without a view on the huge mountain peaks around it (good thing I saw them yesterday), and the easiest accessible. The other two were actually a disappointment after that, though the hike through the misty forest was very beautiful (though…. yes.. WET).

The second Lake, Zmijinje Jezero, in Durmitor National Park is not as deep blue and beautiful as Crno Jezero, and a lot harder to find and reach (especially because the forest paths were slippery from the rain), still very beautiful.

The third lake was Barno Lake. Well, actually more a swamp. A very dutch lake imho. I was already pretty wet after 7 hours hiking in the rain. Trying to reach this one and sinking knee deep in the swamps soaked my socks.

Utterly btw. WHY do I tend to pick places with names with dark associations? Crna Gora (Black Mountain), Crna Glava (Black Peak), Mrtvice Canyon (the canyon of little dead things) and now Crno Jezero, Black Lake?

And last but not least :(. Sitting with my hosts in their living room I saw what the rain did to the refugees in Belgrade… I tried talking some german backpackers, who were still undecided where to go next, one of them wearing a “Refugees Welcome” shirt, into going there & volunteering. I still sorta feel bad about traveling on for my own leisure, & not staying in Belgrade or Budapest to try to support them.

But one of my plans when I go back home, is not only to try to find a way to get necessary stuff (of which we have more than plenty) on a structural basis to Belgrade, but maybe, if the situation continues, or worsens, to apply at my work for a 3-month “sabbatical” next spring/summer, and go there..

Leaving Zabljak by minibus. The roads were good in Montenegro, notably worse in Bosnia, where I had a good view from the window of the minibus HOW close we where to the edge sometimes. Crossing the border and getting a stamp in my passport without any trouble…