01 august Podgorica (MONTENEGRO)

[Stefy]: "After a long and arduous journey by bus, we leave Kosovo to enter Montenegro and we get to its capital Podgorica.
Marko, a local couchsurfer, will host us today. We have dinner in a restaurant run by the Orthodox Church, I try a local dish, a kind of mashed potatoes with pieces of cheese (kacamak).

Marko is very kind, we explore all together, on foot, this hot city (hot because the heat that comes from the Shkoder lake remains in this pit surrounded 360° from the mountains). We stroll around all night long, even if it’s 33° at 11pm ...

Before our curious eyes pass: the Clock Tower, the Mosque of Osmanac, Doganjiska one, the ruins of  Ribnica fortress, the statue of Nicholas I to the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ: everything wonderful!

We have gone through many parks and we got impressed seeing whole families, children playing carefree even at midnight, there is no crime here!
What a lovely evening! "

02 august Kotor (MONTENEGRO)

We arrive at Kotor bus station in a sultry August morning...
Along the pleasant journey from Podgorica to Kotor we cross many resorts and clubs, Budva, has immediately impressed us for its hectic life and its holiday chaos...

We climb along a road that runs along the majestic rocks, we go down on one side, a few corners and here we are among the welcoming arms of this charming town...

We stay at "Vicky’s", an old house constructed in the 1500 between the ageless cliffs of  Kotor and suddenly it seems us to be on the set of "Mamma Mia!"
Passing through the wrought iron gate along the gray wall formed by large stones, I would not have been surprised if I had met Meryl Streep...

Instead there is this tiny little Montenegrin woman: Vicky, who immediately makes us tenderness showing us our cozy room; she tells that she met Pertini and who regrets Tito... This regret, we have noted, is somewhat common to many... even Albanians described him as a great man, and when you asked how he managed to hold together a number of geographic areas so different in ethnicity, religion and politics, all shrug their shoulders and answer that this remains a mystery. What we know is that at his death Yugoslav empire crumbled hopelessly giving life to the civil war that we all got to know...

When there was Tito people lived much better!

We go through the "Gate of the Sea" directly to the main square, a huge clearing  paved one...

Within a thousand alleys branching off in all directions, very narrow and long, every time I walk along one I get fascinated by the discoveries you do, here is a Christian church, an Orthodox one, a romantic little square, a picturesque glimpse, a stone staircase that leads you to the castle on the top of the mountain, a view of the Bay of Kotor... wonderful!

The sun sets and we decide to walk along the small marina that hosts yachts from all over the world...

03 august Kotor (MONTENEGRO)

We spend the whole day in complete relax! After a hearty breakfast we go straight to the beach until late afternoon!

04 august Sveti Stefan (MONTENEGRO)

[Stefy]: "In a short time we reach Sveti Stefan... a little paradise perched on a hill, famous for the sand spit of gravel red that connects the mainland to an island, now converted into a luxury residence (a night can cost up to 3000 €).

We arrive at the destination: "Milutin Apartment", we meet this big Serbian man transplanted in Germany and we soon realize how nice and kind he is! He makes us laugh a lot when he says: "Katastrofen"! He does not speak Italian nor English, only Serbian and German but we enjoy a lot with him!

Here is Bernd, his German friend who is on holiday here too, and we soon create a good crew!

Time to go for a refreshing swim, the water is clear and clean... we can’t wait to dive!

Dinner in the living room of Milutin’s with a breathtaking view on the island of Sveti Stefan! "

05 august Sveti Stefan (MONTENEGRO)

[Stefy]: "We wake up late and after a relaxing breakfast overlooking the sea, we go diving until late afternoon!

 

Milutin, Bernd and Dagma invite us out with them at a restaurant in Budva: "Parma" where we have an excellent dinner enjoying many different local specialities."

06 august Sveti Stefan (MONTENEGRO)

[Stefy]: "I am sitting in this kitchen overlooking the sea, the view gets lost between sky and water. While sipping a glass of fine wine offered by Milutin...
Bernd invites us to have a boat ride with them... Cool! The air in your hair, the hot sun, the splashes on your face, all enriched by a magnificent view.
We reach creeks visible only from the boat, the water color is emerald green. We stop on  St. Nicholas Island  for a drink!

What a beautiful day, too bad for a small incident that occurred, at the very end, at Bernd headbutts to an iron gate... rush to the hospital in Budva and 4 points memory of Montenegro over his big smiling face!

Today I read about as a life experience (especially made the trip), the new people maybe very different from you, it enriched disproportionately, thus forming lasting memories that you bring back all his life.

Every time you remember that episode, in that moment I feel the same happiness ... "

07 august Ulcinj (MONTENEGRO)

It takes us almost two hours to reach our ultimate Montenegrin goal: Ulcinj.

We immediately notice that the background is completely changed and with it also the people... mosques begin to emerge everywhere and so the Albanian flags.
The beach is not very inviting so we take the opportunity to have a walk around the city...

The desire of "burek" pushes us in a very quaint little place that prepares only this Balkan specialties: excellent choice! We eat the best burek  of the whole trip!

We stroll through the cobblestone streets of the Stari Grad (Old Town); it is like stepping back in time in a very picturesque medieval village. Every street is a new discovery, romantic corners, delicious alleys and many view points over the beautiful bay...

Now, sitting at a table in the Dulcinea restaurant, we enjoy a romantic dinner of fish to celebrate the end of this unforgettable trip!

08 august Tirana (ALBANIA)

Today has been pretty tough! Wake up at 4:45 am, taxi at 5.15 am just as the city is beginning to wake up... The white houses of Ulcinj all perched on the hill as a small crib... some group of young or older women with white veil on their head and old suitcases in the hands are waiting for the bus that will take them back home, the holidays are finished for them too... what a tenderness!

The taxi leaves us at the bus station, there is only one bus to Shkoder and it leaves at 6 am, and the only one ticket window open is attacked by at least 50 messy persons... only the intervention of the controller tickets can let us buy our ticket, just in time not to miss our bus!

At six o'clock we leave. The border is not very far away, they take our passports and shortly after: we are back in Albania again!

At the border there are dozens of gypsies begging, many caravans scattered here and there...

It is 7.15 am when, in the distance, we see the Rozafa Castle, we're back in Shkoder and not even the time to get off the bus that we are again on another direction: Tirana!

 

Here is the great Skanderbeg Square while a huge Albanian flag is waving majestically!

We stroll along the streets that we know and have loved at the beginning of our journey...

Another great life experience...

 

 

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