Greetings from Montenegro!
Well its been a couple of days. I'll try to pick up where i left off....
we enjoyed one last night in serbia. stayed up pretty late chatting with the guys who run the hostel, talking about random stuff. One guy was telling us all about the NATO bombings in Belgrade in 1999. He was living in the city, and they had built all kinds of shelters underground in case bombing started. And so it did. apparantly a lot of the bridges in the country were destroyed and they figured those in belgrade were next. i think most survived, but they did start bombing certain buildings in teh city. he said you could see the missles coming up over the river then honing (is that really a word?) in on governmet buildings. the ground would be shaking, everyone was running underground, etc...
so glad i live in canada
they were also getting us to try some booze they had there. plum brandy is a national speciality that a lot of people make at home. it is powerful stuff, but not too bad. there was also this other stuff that tasted nasty, altho they seemed to like it. don't know what it was.
then off to bed to get up for our 1010 train from belgrade to Bar, Montenegro. Well the train ride was 10 hours long (well supposedly) and only covered like 500km. We found our car and seats pretty painlessly and settled in for the long ride. We were sharing a cabin with these 3 guys from Podgorica (capital of Montenegro) and Bar who were going home for vacation. One guy spoke pretty good English so we were chatting with him a bit. He also helped us out when we got to Bar by asking a taxi driver to take us to a hotel and not overcharge us. That was great!
So the train ride. Well, Jelena had warned me that it would be a pretty nasty ride. Lets just say I'm glad we decided not to do it in the nighttime. The train was soooooo slow, pretty noisy, smoky (you can smoke EVERYWHERE around here). the seats were relatively comfortable though, and the scenery.... well the first few hours were pretty flat and dull, not much to see, but then we cclimbed up throught the mountains and through dozens of tunnels, on the edge of cliffs, past rushing green rivers, snowcapped peaks, tiny towns clinging to the cliffs... it was beautiful. it was even getting better twoards the end (higher mountains, more snow) but then it got dark...
So overall the train ride was definately worth it, but the worst part was the bathroom. GROSS. its just a toilet, with a lever you press with your foot to open up the "drain" which just drops right onto the tracks. the toilet was covered in $h!t, stank worse than an outhouse, and you had to try to go with the train swaying and bucking. haha at least i just need a few #1's during the day, i pity any women, i don't even think i'd want to hold on the handle for a squat! hahaha
but enough about that. we arrived just an hour late, which apparantly is doing pretty good. so it was too late to do anything else so we headed right to the hotel, which was quite nice. it was 30 euros for a room. also quite reasonable. we had a hamburger and fries each on arrival since we had been eating candy and crackers all day. the bread came separate and the burger was just meat on the plate with fries. good though. a little pink, but we're not even sure what kind of meat it was. i was too hungry to care, and i'm not dead today (or stuck on the toilet) so it couldn't have been too bad.
got up this morning and headed straight for hte bus station to catch a bus to kotor which is a town on "the deepest fjord on southern europe". man what a beauty of a spot. small town at the base of huge mountains, with a quant walled off old town, with even older steps going up to these ruins perched on the side of the cliff. a hot, tired, sweaty hour later we made it to the top and had a SWEET view over the whole bay. definately worth the hike.
the decent was better. met a nice ?German lady halfway up, chatted for a minute. then back at the bottom wen t to the bakery and got some bread for lunch. jeff got burek, the local specialty of meat pie. looked greasy. i had a white bread, and also a bread filled with chocolate. YUM. while we were sitting on a bench eating this l;ittle boy was walking back and forth on the wall behind us, chatting away evne though we had no idea what he was saying. he nearly fell because his shoes were untied so i tied it up for him. then he kept leaning on me and walking around me. i was hoping he wasn't a robber or looking for food, but it worked out well!
then back on the bus to head up to herceg novi near the croatian border. thats where we are now. nice little town. Jelena's aunt lives here, but we didnt' arrive till pretty late and we are heading out again at 930 in the morning so there was really no chance to give her a ring.
this town is also beautiful. we're staying at the hotel alexander (well its really called the serbian name for alexander but i forget it)... sea view room, two single beds, nice bathroom and free breakfast. i think its 65 euros but i could be wrong. a bit expensive but in a resort town thats about all youy can do.
just had some deliciosu pizza for supper in the main square of town, mexicana pizza with sauce, cheese, spicy sausage and hot peppers. YUM. and i mean YUM. do i talk about food too much?
so now here we are, getting ready to head back to bed, and off to Dubrovnik, Croatia tomorrow, then off to Bosnia after that.
i would like to post pictures but its just too damned annoying. you'll just have to wait till we get home. also i'm afraid my camera batteries will die (its a battery pack that needs to be plugged in and i don't have an adapter) so i am trying to use it sparingly. only have 235 pics so far
ok time to be off, until next time! hvala for reading! (thanks)
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