In August 2013, Mieke and Roland Straetmans hiked in Montenegro:
Thanks to the program Vlatko made for us, we discovered 4 different faces of beautiful, intriguing Montenegro.
Our journey started at Skadar Lake. We spent a day on the lake with Sasja and his fantastic wooden boat. At noon we had a fine lunch at Karuc, where we met the Macedonian ambassador in Paris and had a refreshing swim (the water of the lake is very surprising: warm on the surface, cool at the feet!).
Our next stop was the little village Ceklin, in the wine and honey region where we stayed three days in the holiday house of Balsa. Balsa is the perfect host: together we discovered the village and the region (even the nightlife!), he told us what to visit in the old capital Cetinje, we talked a lot about politics and the complicated history of Montenegro, had fun, and on top of that he’s a very good cook, he prepared several typical dishes.
With pain in the heart we said goodbye to Balsa and Ceklin, our next basecamp was Ivanova Korita, a mountain resort in the Lovcen national park. Here our hiking program started. After filling our water bottles at the thermal source of Ivanova, we discovered the Lovcen region. One of the walks was to the mausoleum of Njegos, high on a mountaintop. After a nice walk the view from the top on the Kotor Bay was amazing.
Kotor Bay was the last stop in our Montenegro trip. We had a very impressive walk along an old mule road from Krstac-pass to the city of Kotor, that we entered through a hole in the old city walls. Kotor is a busy city, with a nice traffic free center. After checking in in hotel Conte (fantastic, with airco!) in peaceful Perast, we admired the Venetian buildings, the view over the Kotor Bay and enjoyed the tasteful seafood.
It was very hot in Perast, so we left early in the morning for our hiking tours. We will always remember the Austro-Hungarian military footpaths (since 1880) through the wilderness and extraordinary karst formations, the most beautiful trail we ever walked! (And the hottest, afterwards they told us it was over 40 degrees)
Montenegro was a perfect experience: a fantastic tailormade program, very punctual transfers (we never had to wait a minute, on the contrary we made some drivers/boatmen wait for us), very nice and interesting people who like to talk about politics, history and nature just like we do, good food and drinks (niksicko, wine: white Krstac and red Vranac pro corde, Rakija and refreshning lemonade) and so on.
Once again many thanks to everyone we met and who made our stay unforgettable.