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Saturday, 30 December 2017

Montenegro: Land of Adventure - Page 3

Written by Dale Fehringer
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That night we ate grilled calamari and tuna at an outdoor restaurant in Herceg Novi’s old town and listened to chanting from an Orthodox mass in a nearby chapel. After mass the priest strolled through the square in his black robes, visiting with parishioners and blessing children.

On day four we switched from bikes to a boat and accompanied Marko on a ride in the Bay of Kotor. We enjoyed views of the black mountains that surround the bay and small villages with stone houses along the shores. We docked at the tiny island of Mamula, and Marko showed us a stone fort built in 1853 by Austro-Hungarians. The fort, which originally guarded the entrance of the bay, was infamously used during World War II by Italian forces as a concentration camp, known for torture and cruelty to prisoners. We cruised across the bay to a large man-made cave built into the mountain to hide submarines during World War II, and to a series of beautiful “blue” caves, some of which can be entered by boat. Once inside, reflection of the sunlight on the water gives it a stunning azure color. We stripped to our swimsuits, jumped in the sea, and swam through and around a sea cave. The water was cold, clear, and refreshing!

Submarine Garage

Our final day in Montenegro began when Marko drove us past the beautiful medieval town of Stari Grad and the tourist towns of Budva and Bar to the village of Virpazar on Lake Skadar, the largest lake in southern Europe. We took kayaks out on the lake and paddled past blooming lilly pads and long-necked cranes, and then stopped for lunch near a small stone monastery. After lunch, we changed from kayak gear to cycling clothes and rode past wineries and farm houses, noting the presence of homemade stills cooking up traditional spirits.

Kayaking In Lake Skadar

That night, as we sat on our balcony and watched the sun sink into Kotor Bay, we reflected on the adventures we had enjoyed and people we had met. Montenegro is ideal for people who enjoy nature and outdoor activities, and we vowed to return. It is one of the remaining places in the world where adventure-seekers are welcome, folks are friendly, activities are affordable, and every day offers another rewarding experience. In our case, that was partially due to Marko, Danilo, and Janko, who showed us the best of their country. It was also because of the friendliness and help we received from Bozidar and his family, and from the warm reception of wait staff, shop owners, and locals. Because of them we re-discovered the miracle of travel -- opening your eyes to new places and people around the world.

©Dale Fehringer


(Page 3 of 3)
Last modified on Sunday, 31 December 2017

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