Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Montenegro

Before I start I forgot to mention that in Bosnia, along with the war tourism thing and people running around taking pictures of blown up buildings, most of the souvenirs follow along these lines as well. It is amazing what you can do with bullet and artillery casings and shells after a war. Anything from turning them into pens to masterpieces of decorative art. They can't possibly still be the original ones any more. They must be getting them from somewhere else now.....

Montenegro is the youngest country in the world, having voted earlier this year (May 24th) to separate from Serbia. From Dubrovnik we took a bus along the coast to the walled town of Kotor. It sits at the head of the largest fjord in southern Europe. Having been to Norway before, I must admit that the fjord is still quite small, but the weather was much better and it is still very beautiful. As with everywhere else in the area, the homes are made of stone with red or orange tiled roofs. There are a lot of abandoned and broken buildings along the coast and like Bulgaria, there are tons of foreigners (Russians, Irish and Brits mostly) currently buying up all the land. The coast all along here so far has been very rocky but now we are into very steep vegetationless mountains going right down to the water, so villages tend to be very small and spread out along the main coastal road. There is no shoulder but just a dropoff of a foot or two right into the water and with a road barely two cars wide, I wonder how there aren't always cars falling in. At least, if they are, they are pretty quick in cleaning them out! There are lots of little stone harbours along the fjord, protecting 3-6 little rowboats from the waves. It's cute. It's definately cheaper here but they use the euro (the only non-EU country to do so) so it can't be super cheap. Transport is still brutal. To think that for the price we have to pay to put our backpacks under the bus, I could live a day in Calcutta..... That hurts, gotta stop thinking like that.
Kotor is a nice walled town, like a mini Dubrovnik but with a great fortress on the steep hill behind. It must've been huge in it's day and we had amazing views from the top of the ruins. People were nice, it wasn't nearly as busy and we went way out of our normal mode and stayed in some rooms let out by the family of a taxi driver of all people. Staying with a private family is the way to go out here and is what we did in Mostar, Dubrovnik and Kotor. Buses are privately owned and at the station we got the driver to commit to going farther than his normal route just for us and take us to a town further along. Business is slow in the off season. Perhaps most importantly, Montenegro has the best yoghurt we've tried in a very long time.

Sarah and Tyler, congrats on successfully creating your own ankle-biter :) Don't worry about Savannah, it's a good name, just name the next one after me eh? :)
Shean, politics!?!?! I might be getting a lot of practice being patient out here and having to deal with some very strange thinking but still, I don't think I could do it without strangling a few people (remember Varanasi? :) But then again, a job where you don't actually do any work is starting to appeal to me.......
Ammon

2 Comments:

At 9:05 AM , Blogger Sarah and Tyler said...

Thanks Ammon! I am glad to here that you guys are doing so well!
Sarah

 
At 7:32 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Watkins! Heather Davenport here--Hey Margaret aka Maggie!!!! Your Mom called me Tuesday and said you were visiting with my son, Ian, aka Elder Davenport on the weekend in Albania! I was sooo happy to hear from her and hear all about you guys! Talk about incredible! Can't imagine just a coincidence...took a bit of a look at your journey, and it seems quite incredible! What a great experience--wish I was there!
Would love to hear from you! Ammon, you are all grown up--I last saw you about 23 years ago! Great experience all of you, and wish you well!
Heather, Whitby, Ontario (1 hour east of Toronto)

 

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