Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Montenegro: Sveti Stefan, Skadar lake, Kotor, Herzig Novi

The border crossing from Kosovo to Montenegro was another super easy one. We drove several hours through the amazing country side of Montenegro... although hours of serpentines are quite exhausting^^ Still the view rewarded us. We enjoyed breakfast/lunch at a riverbed (we made quite diligent choices during the trip to have our meals in gorgeous surroundings :D ). Later we visited Cetinje. Our Kosovo-Albanian acquaintances already told us that Montenegrins are rather lazy. However, I have never met such boring and dull people. It's been like the whole place was on slow motion :S After slandering through the small city we went to Budva, Montenegro's major tourist hub. It was even more touristic than we imagined. The old fortified city is stunning, but streets packed with tourists ruined the flair. Rather expensive place which is not worth it. We skipped the idea of nightlife and after dinner we emptied some beer on the balcony of our apartment. The next morning we drove out to visit Sveti Stefan. Which appeared really gorgeous... but somehow someone managed to buy all of the former world heritage site and make it a hotel - access denied. Overall Montenegro mainly consists of mountainous settings... and the very few beaches are sold out to companies or private owners. Instead we continued our way to Skadar Lake. At this lush setting we enjoyed another of our typical breakfast/lunch combinations :P The lake offered great views. Next, we drove to Kotor, another fortified town. Unlike Budva or Sveti Stefan it appeared not overrun by tourists. And things seemed to be public property. We enjoyed slandering through the streets and then took the challenge to climb the castle 270m, >1500 steps at early afternoon. The arduous way was rewarded with the best view during our trip. Aftwards, we drove around the bay which offers more great views and ended in Herzig Novi, where we had dinner and strolled through the city. It was late, sunset was over since some hours and we were to drive to Dubrovnik this night. Unluckily we were kept at Montenegrin border for 3 hours. When the chief of customs saw our passports with entries "Cambodia", "Indonesia" and "Malaysia" and we mentioned Kosovo amongst the other countries of our trip he decided to have us thoroughly checked for drugs - marijuana in particular. The officers seemed quite depressed when they had to dig through all our equipment, including the dirty clothes of nearly 3 weeks :P And when they saw us having fun about that, they were even more pissed. However, 3 hours later they let us leave for Croatia, where the border check went without trouble. We then went to a camping spot near Dubrovnik.

serpentines through Montenegro's gorgeous Balkan mountains

up and down... fun for some time, exhausting later^^
lunch at a riverbed

Sveti Stefan - sold
Skadar lake - simply great views :)

the lake is on wide parts covered with plants
view on Kotor from the way up the castle

view from Kotor's castle down the bay - amazing!

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