A Visit To Montenegro
It was last month that I, along with my wife had a chance to visit Montenegro, a nation in the South-eastern Europe. I’d visited Montenegro with my parents when I was a kid. With some faint but beautiful memories of this country, I thought that it’ll be a good choice to spend our vacations there. And as they say, memories are immortal; and so is Montenegro’s magnificence. The beautiful country still shines with all its glory, being pretty as hell…prettier even!! Literally meaning “Black Mountain”, Montenegro is a country bordered by Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Kosovo and Albania. Famous for its scenic coasts and mountainous northern region, Montenegro is popular among tourists around the globe. Channels like the ‘National Geographic’ and ‘Travel and History’ & online surveys have marked Montenegro as one of the top 10 tourist Hot Spots.
To put the surveys’ founding’s to test, we planned a visit to Montenegro. Our journey started as our flight landed in Podgorica, the capital city of Montenegro. Bukumirsko Jezero was the first place we went to in Podgorica. This is a beautiful lake situated on a mountain, at an altitude of about 1520 meters. This lake is situated at a decent distance from the city, and hence untouched from much human interference. The only people you see around are the tourists. We had a good time here. The calmness of the water and the environs were perfectly in sync, overall a perfect place to spend some peaceful time with your loved ones. You could also swim in the lake. I refrained from this, however, my wife decided to not miss this opportunity and she made a dive. And she was happy to do this.
Next, we moved to the Ribnica Bridge, known locally as ‘Most na Ribnici’. This place is definitely one of the coolest places in Podgorica. Situated in the centre of the city, the Ribnica Bridge is below the city centre, hidden as if the gateway to the medieval Podgorica, amidst the city centre. At this junction, two Podgorican rivers, Ribnica and Moraca meet. The bridge is graceful, just like the new city of Podgorica, vivacious. Near the old bridge is the ‘Terrace of Beach Bar Skaline’. This point provides you with an awesome view of the whole city while enjoying your cup of coffee from one of the vendors around here. We had some excellent time here before moving on to our next destination.
Spellbound by the beauty of the Ribnica Bridge, we decided to visit a bank of the Moraca River, maintained as a tourist spot. This site is situated just outside the city of Podgorica, and popularly known as the Moraca Canyon. The canyon is just stunning, with high – standing green mountains and crystal clear waters…displaying the beauty of Podgorica at its best. I and my wife could not stop wondering about and appreciating the greatest architect of all, the Nature!! We drove through the scenic road between the canyons and took a lot of pictures. We were really enjoying being here. This was definitely one of the best vacations we ever had…
After having a wonderful time in Podgorica, we moved on to Budva. Budva is famous for Tara Canyon, the 2nd longest Canyon in the world, second only to the Grand Canyon, and the longest in Europe. We took a stroll over the bridge to have a nice view of the canyon. There, a bungee jumping contest was being held. We witnessed the contest for some time and then moved on. We opted for rafting, and we enjoyed this very much. The water is so clear that you could see the base of the river through it; and so clean that you could directly drink from it… It was one of the best rafting experiences we had in our lives. This place is simply amazing!!
Next, we headed to Altstadt, also known as Old Town, Budva. This town, packed with Romanesque buildings and cobbled streets looks like a mini Dubrovnik. You could have a breeze of fresh air..no street sellers, no singers, no stress. The walk along the walls provides great views of the Old Town. Loaded with history and exhibiting stunning views of architecture everywhere, Altstadt is a photographers’ dream location. To add to its magnificence, there are some really nice café’s, cool bars, restaurants and nightclubs in the town. We entered one such nightclub, and we had a party of a lifetime. I don’t remember much after that…just that my wife somehow managed to take me back to our hotel, where we had a nice nap after enjoying in the ambience of the nightclub.
We had heard a lot about the Budva Citadel, and so we decided to pay a visit. The Citadel of Budva is a medieval castle, dedicated to St. Mary. This is the most colossal architectural design within the town of Budva. Within the Citadel complex are fortified walls, buildings and plateaus of former barracks, and the remains of the ancient church of St. Mary. A collection of many unique books and some of the rarest of hand – painted historical maps are put on exhibition here. My wife is fond of history, and she was having a great time here. I’m not so interested in all this, but I can bet, even a person with 0% interest in history will love this place for sure. The Citadel was our last place of visit in Budva.
Kotor was the next town to follow. This is another small town in Montenegro, famous for its extensive tourism. It being the last day of our travel, we didn’t spend much time at any place, because we wanted to cover as many places as we could in this time. The first place we visited was Old Town Kotor. This was somewhat similar to what we had experienced in Budva; picturesque streets, marvelously engineered buildings, café’s made out in open skies…just about every delightful activity one can imagine. It was like a revision tour, similar to the one we had, back in Budva. There’s an incredible fortress. Hiking the 3000 steps of the old fortress walls was like hiking the Great Wall of China. The crystal clear water flowing in front of the city walls provide a view, probably similar to the one they must have gotten in the heaven. Boat excursions can be enjoyed at the bay. While strolling through the streets of Kotor, mild rainfall started, and we decided to hire a canoe, which, I must say, was a great decision.
By paying a few Euros, you can enjoy the scenic beauty of high rising mountains, turquoise waters, picturesque town with a maze of marble covered lanes and streets, dotting the horizon, mixed altogether. Again, Kotor is a dream place for photographers. We maneuvered our canoe towards the ‘Gospa od Skrpjela’. This is an artificial island at a 15 - minute ride from the Kotor Bay. There is a chapel on the island. Exhibiting marvelous icons and paintings make it very special. The chapel perfectly matches the stunning location, history and significance of this island. Being one of the most favorite places for proposals and marriages, the chapel, and consequently the island generally remain crowded by people. A local story says that everything in here started from the fishermen adding protruding rocks to as someone had a vision on the island. Ultimately, it grew and a later a church was established on it.
With this, came an end to our travel to Montenegro. With some priceless memories and many souvenirs, we started packing our bags to get back to the US. I have to say, the Montenegro travel was one of the best vacations we ever had. And very soon, when we’ll be the proud parents of our mischievous kids, we will be having another tour of this beautiful country with our children.