Montenegro part II - the east and the south


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September 16th 2010
Published: September 18th 2010
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Crno JezeroCrno JezeroCrno Jezero

The name of the lake is Crno Jezero, or Black Lake. To us it looked green though.

Montenegro - in the mountains and along the coast



We continue our story from Montenegro where we left off in the previous blog entry, with Durmitor National Park.

By the way, doesn't the name "Durmitor" sound funny? It doesn't sound like the name of a national park, does it? It sounds like a lot of things but not like a national park. Allow us to give a few examples of what we mean.

"Durmitor" could be an evil character from a really bad action movie from 1989.
Durmitor the Evil says with a deep voice: "I am Durmitor, Master of the Universe. I hereby declare the Earth to be conquered."

"Durmitor" could be a place in Lord of the Rings:
Frodo: "We have to travel to Mount Doom in the middle of Durmitor because it is the only place where this ring can be destroyed."
Sam: "Oh no Frodo! I don't want to travel to Durmitor. It's dangerous there."

"Durmitor" could be a planet in Star Wars:
Obi-Wan Kenobi: "Luke, you have to travel to Planet Durmitor in the outer rim of the galaxy. There you must make contact with Yoda. He will teach you everything
View in Durmitor National ParkView in Durmitor National ParkView in Durmitor National Park

No photo can ever do justice to that view
there is to know about the Force"

"Durmitor" could be an illness:
You: "Sorry boss, I can't come to work today. I have this bad case of Durmitor and I am so sick I can hardly stand up."
Your boss: "Don't come in whatever you do. I had Durmitor last year. I thought I was going to die."

"Durmitor" could be a tool:
The son: "Dad, how do I get the wheel off the bicycle?"
The father: "You must use the Durmitor, my son."
(Now every feminist who reads this think "Ake and Emma write 'son' because they are narrow-minded and so blinded by the patriarchal society we live in that they can't see that girls too can repair bicycles. In Ake's and Emma's world only boys repair bicycles". We write "son" because only boys have to ask their father for advice when they repair a bicycle. Girls are more intelligent than boys so they already know that you have to use the Durmitor to get the wheel off the bicycle).

"Durmitor" could also be the name of a professional wrestler:
The Announcer: "As the grand final on the '56th Wrestlemania' we have Undertaker vs. Durmitor."
Tara BridgeTara BridgeTara Bridge

The canyon is spanned by an unusually picturesque bridge named Tara Bridge


But in Montenegro Durmitor is a national park with several high mountains covered with dense forests and in between them a few lakes. When we visited Durmitor NP we first went to one of the more popular lakes Crno Jezero, which means Black Lake. To us the lake didn't look so black, it looked green. We spent some time enjoying the view over the lake. We arrived late in the day and we didn't have time to take a walk around the lake.

After we had been by the lake for a while we went to a lookout on the way to one of the mountains in the park. From the lookout point we could see over a valley and the views were breathtaking.

Through Durmitor National Park there runs a river named Tara River. This river digs a deep canyon along its way and this canyon is also part of the national park. At one point the canyon is spanned by an unusually picturesque bridge named Tara Bridge. The bridge consists of five arches and it spans the Tara Canyon at a spot where there is well over 100 meters down from the rim of the canyon
Tara bridgeTara bridgeTara bridge

The bridge consists of five arches and it spans the Tara Canyon at a spot where there is well over 100 meters down from the rim of the canyon down to the river.
down to the river.

As we said before, when we visited Durmitor National Park we didn't have time to walk around the lake we visited. We made up for that when we the day after visited Biogradska Gora National Park, a national park a few hours drive south of Durmitor.

Biogradska, now that is a proper name for a national park. You could never have a villain in an action movie from 1989 named Biogradska and to have a planet in Star Wars named Biogradska would just be silly. Biogradska could never be a tool, never an illness and it could certainly never be the name of a pro wrester.

In Biogradska Gora National Park we went to Biogradska Jezero, a pretty lake set in the forest between the mountains. We took a walk around the lake seeing frogs, toads, fish, snails and birds along the way.

On the way down to the coast we passed Lake Skadar, this time slightly further to the east from when we were travelling through Rijeka Crnojevica a few days earlier. When we passed Lake Skadar we saw an island with a house on it far out in the lake. The guidebook told
Tara canyonTara canyonTara canyon

Through Durmitor National Park there runs a river named Tara River. This river digs a deep canyon along its way and this canyon is also part of the national park.
us that on this island there lives a hermit. We hope he likes fish because we don't think he can grow anything on the few rocks he was living on.

The last day we had our rental car we spent in a few different towns on the coast. First of these was Sveti Stefan. We went there mainly to have a swim, but the old town is also worth mentioning. It is situated on a small island, or actually the old town completely covers this island, connected to the mainland through a sandbar that provides a natural bridge. The old town was in the 1970-ies a popular luxury resort but in the early 90-ies the tourists stopped coming and the resort lost its former glory. Now the resort is closed and is undergoing heavy development with the aim of turning Sveti Stefan back to a luxury resort again.

Next town at the coast we stopped at was Perast. There they also have an old town. But we were by now so tired of old towns that we couldn't be bothered with exploring it. We went directly for the water and had a swim.

The last little trip
Kiss me, I'm a princeKiss me, I'm a princeKiss me, I'm a prince

In Biogradska Gora National Park we saw a lot of wildlife such as this frog
we decided to go on before returning the car to the leasing company in Kotor was to a village named Lipci. We had been told that in Lipci there are some ancient cave drawings. We looked for quite a while for these drawings, and Ake got himself a few nasty cuts in the calf of the leg in the process, but never found them. But we found something else instead, a giant spider. It was easily 4 cm long.

After Lipci we went back to Kotor and returned the car. From there we took the bus to a town named Budva. Budva is a tourist resort. We stayed there for two days before going towards our next destination on this vacation, Albania. Near the Montenegrin/Albanian border is a town called Ulcinj. Ulcinj is also a tourist resort but we still found it to be a nice place to spend a day.


In summer Montenegro's beaches are absolutely packed with people. We mentioned in the previous blog entry that Montenegro is a "beautiful secret" and an "underestimated travel destination". This might seem contradictory when we here write that there are several tourist resorts along the coast and that
Biogradska JezeroBiogradska JezeroBiogradska Jezero

Biogradska Jezero, a pretty lake set in the forest between the mountains.
the beaches are packed with people. We have to admit that there are tourists in Montenegro but it seems that all of them go to the beaches and stay there. The rest of the country sees very few foreigners.

We noticed that the Montenegrins are building many new hotels along the coast, to be able to accommodate more tourists we assume. But what we can't understand is where these tourists are supposed to go. The beaches are not large enough for the number of visitors they have today.

For example, when we were in Ulcinj the beach was packed with people already early in the morning. It was amazing to see how people went to the beach at 8 o'clock in the morning only to get a good spot. When we wanted to go to the beach later in the day there were so many people there that we didn't feel like going down there at all.

In Budva we wanted to visit a local beach named Mogren Beach (as far as we know the name has nothing to do with the former Swedish skier) and again we had to turn back because the beach was packed with people
Roof for falling rocksRoof for falling rocksRoof for falling rocks

In the mountains they have problems with rocks falling down on the road. In some places they had roofs like this built over the roads to stop the falling rocks
when we arrived.

We are not disappointed that we didn't get to swim as much at the occasions we mentioned above, because we visited Montenegro mainly for other reasons than to fry on the beach. But if they try to get more tourists to come to Montenegro those tourists will probably go there primarily to barbeque themselves on a stretch of white sand. If they are forced to return back to the hotel because the beach is so jammed with people that sitting down is not possible they will be disappointed.

We noticed that a lot of people stayed in the sun much too long without using sunscreen. They looked like lobsters or in some cases even like a snake in the process of moulting its skin. We have an idea that would solve both the problem with the limited space on the beaches and with the people who don't have brains to get out of the sun when the shoulders start to smell like pried pork. Each and every sunbather could be forced to limit their sunbathing to only two hours a day. They enter the beach at 10 o'clock and if they haven't left the beach
Moraca MonasteryMoraca MonasteryMoraca Monastery

In Montenegro there are hundreds of monasteries. Moraca Monastery is one of them.
before 12 o'clock they get a fine. It is of course impossible to actually enforce such a regulation but if people had the brains to do this did this it would lessen the risk of future skin cancer and many people would end up getting a better holiday.


Additional photos below
Photos: 21, Displayed: 21


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Moraca MonasteryMoraca Monastery
Moraca Monastery

This painting was on the wall of Moraca Monastery
Hermit in Lake SkadarHermit in Lake Skadar
Hermit in Lake Skadar

On this island there lives a hermit. We hope he likes fish because we don't think he can grow anything on the few rocks he was living on.
Sveti StefanSveti Stefan
Sveti Stefan

The old town completely covers a small island connected to the mainland through a sandbar that provides a natural bridge.
PerastPerast
Perast

In Perast we had a swim. A photo of us swimming is not a pretty sight so instead we publish this photo of a sailboat just out of Perast
Monster spiderMonster spider
Monster spider

It was easily 4 cm long
Is it the left or the right door?Is it the left or the right door?
Is it the left or the right door?

Which door is it now? I can never remember... The left or the right? Oh man, this is so hard...
BudvaBudva
Budva

Ake loves these "tunnel" pictures. Sorry, but he just had to squeeze one in...
Church in UlcinjChurch in Ulcinj
Church in Ulcinj

This pretty little church in Ulcinj is called St Nicholas Church
Fried meat anyone?Fried meat anyone?
Fried meat anyone?

In summer Montenegro's beaches are absolutely packed with people
Swedish breakfastSwedish breakfast
Swedish breakfast

Why is the breakfast buffet called Swedish breakfast?
Old town UlcinjOld town Ulcinj
Old town Ulcinj

Ulcinj old town is on top of this hill. It looks very pretty in the morning sun


19th September 2010

Smörgåsbord
The Swedish thing comes from people not wanting to try and pronounce "smörgåsbord". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sm%C3%B6rg%C3%A5sbord K says hello and "what camera do you use?" since he appreciated the spider and frog pictures (amongst others).
20th September 2010

Camera and lenses
The lenses we use are just as important as the camera. Emma use Canon (350 D) and Ake Canon (EOS 40 D) and for close-ups Emma use a Sigma (70-300 mm) with Macro function and Ake use a Canon (55-250 mm), a really cheap but surprisingly good lens.

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