The sun returns in Ulcinj,Montenegro


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Europe » Montenegro » Ulcinj
May 18th 2013
Published: May 21st 2013
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No gelato today but a local(yes they do make wine in Montenegro)charronday in a café overlooking the beach

We knew that it would happen eventually and this morning the sun returned from a cloudless sky making the view from the terrace outside our apartment of the Adriatic just that much more beautiful.While the sky here doesn't have the bright blue we experience at home the sea is a lovely blue colour.The large swell from last night and the storm of the previous day had died away completely and we could see just gentle waves lapping onto the small beach at the bottom of the town.

Our neighbours from the next door apartment who we had had a long chat to last night while enjoying a beer,had left for home in Paris early this morning.He was Welsh and living in Paris and she was a Parisian.Nice couple in their late 20's or early 30's who had done quite a lot of travel including a couple of weeks in NZ and remembered staying at the Mount.

It is Saturday,so what does that mean...grocery shopping of course(some thing remain the same even if you aren't at home).Not that we need much except some meat for the next couple of nights and fruit and veges as well as a resupply of chocolate.A good thing about Europe is the huge variety of chocolate brands and all priced cheaper than what we pay in NZ,even when good ole Cadburys is on special at Countdown.

While our location up the hillside has the benefit of lovely views over the beach and out to sea to does mean that when we go out walking we will have a hill to walk up to get home.

The way we drove up and also walked up from the restaurant last night was quite steep in parts so we opted for the other direction to walk down to the town and found that the incline was definitely less severe.We both agreed this would certainly be the preferred return option when we went out over the next couple of days.

We got what we needed at the supermarket sticking with chicken for meat as the red stuff looked like it had really had the chop from the butcher and it was difficult to decide what parts of the animal some of it had come from.We had passed the entry to the local open air market on the way to the supermarket so we thought it was time for some fresh veges rather than what the supermarket had to offer.

One of the problems in buying from a market where you can't speak the local lingo or where there are no prices displayed is that you might end up paying way too much for what you buy.So a little negotiation with hand signals has to be employed to achieve a result both the seller and we would be happy with.

It was late in the morning so we were almost the only people looking to buy and upon entering we were hounded by vendors all wanting us to try and buy.

Our theory was to avoid the vendors as we entered the market as we reckoned the best bargains would be had in the middle where most people had already made their purchases by the time they got there.Well it has worked for us before.

We managed to make our way towards the middle when a woman vendor starting thrusting carrots and potatoes into Gretchen’s hand for her to feel their freshness and jabbering away in the local lingo which of course she could not understand.Sometimes it is unwise to examine the product too closely as that can bring a greater effort to sell it to you from the vendor and so it was with each of the items we needed.

We only needed a small handful of strawberries for instance but the woman just laughed and heaped more into a bag she was clutching.The same could be said for the potatoes and carrots and it was only when it came to the eggs that we won out by showing 6 fingers and getting the point across that a half a dozen was all we needed.

The total amount due was added up in her head and it was the vendors turn to demonstrate with fingers how much we needed to pay for our purchases.Ten was the result.

I fished around in my pocket and produced €5 and we indicated that was all we had.She laughed again and jabbered away and her next offer was €8 which we decided was a fair price considering the large quantities we had ended up with.

So with everyone happy there was shaking of hands and an exchange of cash and we left to climb the hill back to the apartment.

With the day heating up we thought we would save a walk to the old town until late in the afternoon when we thought it would be cooler.So we relaxed reading and catching up on some administration.

By the time we headed down the steeper of the access roads it had cooled a little but it was a very pleasant temperature and with all the activity going on down on the beach we found ourselves a small bar on the side of the wall of the old city overlooking the beach and enjoyed a local chardonay.

The old town did not have a lot to see but we did have to try and avoid a restaurant owner who was determined to get us down to his restaurant on the seaward side of the town walls by offering a free drink.We thought otherwise as we knew this would lead to him wanting us to stay for dinner and we had a chicken salad lined up for tonight.We felt a bit mean as he was an earnest young man and we were sure he was quite genuine but it was better to make our escape rather than to have to tell lies if we entered up in the restaurant.Anyway the cheap Niksicko beer and rose wine we had at home almost negated the ‘free’ alcohol offered by the restaurant owner.

Our day ended with our chicken salad eaten at our small table on the terrace with the night arriving as it does in this part of the world on the eastern side of the time zone, not too long after 8pm.


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