Snapshots of Montenegro.

After five-and-a-half months in Montenegro, my iPhone told me to stop. taking. pictures. He couldn’t handle it anymore…time for me to look back – whut, it has only been three weeks? – and pick my 5 favorite iPhone-shots to share. Whoever follows me on instagram, maybe you’ve seen some of these before… if not all of them.

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Sunset over Budva.

This is one of my favorite views of Budva. I was living in Bečići for the time being, which meant I had to walk along this beauty of a coastal promenade every single time I wanted to visit/party in the city. While the view is not less stunning in the daytime, the minutes before dusk sets in are simply beautiful. Normally I’m not a fan of posting pictures of sunsets – they’re way better when you’re present to enjoy them –, but here I couldn’t resist the urge to snap a picture. The lights and the pinkish glow over the water give the city an almost magical atmosphere, while swimmers enjoy the last rays of sunlight before the evening falls.

 

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Empty beaches.

Rafailovići in spring, before the beaches were packed with colourful umbrellas and barely clad bodies baking in the sun. One of my first strolls in my ‘new’ environment, when the beaches were still deliciously empty. No bright coloured souvenir stands along the promenade or tons of voices in foreign languages, just silence and emptiness. Wonderful.

 

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La la love Lovcen.

One of my all time favorites. – in Montenegro at least – How many times I’ve been hopping into my car, driving all the way up here to admire the view over mountains, lakes and cities? Somehow I always ended up here, the viewing point with the second-to-best panorama in the whole country. – the best is seen from the top of one of those mountains, overlooking the Bay of Kotor and you have to be careful not being hit by cars, sooo… give me Lovcen, please. – How I enjoyed the utter peace and silence on this mountain. When I wasn’t being attacked by flying ants or other bugs, of course.

 

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Black Lake.

Sunshine after rain. And a bunch of people crawling out of their hiding holes, like tiny little ants. I was quick enough to snap this picture, before the sunlight faded away again. Definitely one of my favorite pictures of Montenegro, which was taken at the border of one of my favorite lakes. I was there before on another bright and sunny day, but to me the memory of this specific picture stands, taken after a walk around Black Lake in the pouring rain, when the sun decided to shine after all.

 

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Lovcen, again.

Another picture of Lovcen, this time in the fog. First time visiting the National Park, driving on roads winding all the way up the mountain… to see absolutely nothing. Quite the experience and very creepy, because you can’t see how deep you can fall when you take a step in the wrong direction. Luckily, I made it back alive.

How to visit Skadar, the biggest lake of the Balkans.

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I’m on a boat.

When you land in the airport of Podgorica and you’re heading to the Montenegrin coast, you probably don’t realize you’re about to pass through the biggest National Park in Montenegro, a.k.a. the biggest lake on the whole Balkan peninsula. Bigger isn’t always better, but in this case, big also means covered in the prettiest waterlilies and home to more than 270 different species of birds. Oh yeah, the whole shebang is surrounded by mountains, as far as the eye can reach. – all the way into Albania in this case – Nothing beats the feeling of taking a leap and jumping into the cool waters of the lake on a lazy hot summer day, hereby escaping the hordes of sun lovers on the already packed beaches of the Adriatic coast. Continue reading

Rafting the Tara river.

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You could see black fish in the depths of the lake. Not on picture.

When I first started doing some research on Montenegro, one of the first things that popped up, was rafting the Tara river. Awesome. Even though in the past I haven’t always been crazy about fast currents, tiny boats and especially jumping off things – not that you’re able to jump off things with a boat, but you know, the boat splashes down pretty hardly from time to time –, I changed my mind after a rafting trip in Costa Rica. White water rafting is awesome. Paddling in the middle of nowhere, only surrounded by thick bushes and listening to monkey sounds in the distance. The gushes of adrenaline flashing through your stomach the moment you ‘survived’ another rapid. Getting soaking wet wave after wave after wave and still smile. Yes, you can say that after the first time white water rafting, I was hooked. Not that I have so many chances to raft in the peacefully gurgling Schelde river near my hometown, but the moment I read ‘rafting the Tara river’ in the top-10-things-to-do-in-Montenegro, I knew who would be sitting in a raft sooner or later. Continue reading

End of summer – 2016.

Pebble beaches in front of Rafailovici.

With the seasons come new ends and new beginnings. For me, the end of summer means also the end of my life and work in Montenegro. A country packed with all kinds of natural wonders, from mountaintops shredded in clouds offering stunning views on mediterranean lakes to sun-drenched pebble beaches soaked in Balkan beats. A country being my home-away-from-home for a little while. With one week of work left, time is there to say my goodbyes – always a heartbreaking experience for me – and sadly, I will leave a whole bunch of wonderful people behind. Continue reading

Why you shouldn’t miss Rijeka Crnojevica when traveling in Montenegro.

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Skadar lake.

Beaches packed with tiny stones and flocks of sweating people under red umbrellas, turning clockwise to catch a tan. Crystal clear turquoise blue waters, showing an abundance of tiny fish and snorkeling faces. When visiting Montenegro during high season, be prepared to sit among a lot of people packed on a small strip of land. – Imagine hairy red bellies, too tiny swimming trunks, naked saggy boobs and a bunch of kids peeing in the water – At least, when you’re the ‘I-prefer-to-be-cooked-alive-in-the-sun’ kind of type. According to the stream of pictures I’ve already posted on the blog, I’m more the ‘I-like-mountains-and-glacier-lakes-and-trees’ kid, variated with some ‘swimming-to-escape-the-scorching-heath’ days and a couple of ‘I’m-too-lazy-to-move-so-I-keep-laying-in-the-sun’ moments. In short, it means that I’m out exploring a lot in the mainland and prefer to leave the beaches behind when too crowded. Close to number one on my Escape-the-beaches-in-Montenegro-bucketlist, is the small town of Rijeka Crnojevića. Continue reading

A visit to Lovćen National Park in Montenegro.

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Viewpoint on the top of the mountain.

One of my absolute favorite hiding spots in Montenegro is Lovćen National Park. While flocks of tourists start to crowd the beaches on a Sunday morning, I prefer to grab my car keys and drive all the way up into the mountains. Temperatures are not reaching their scorching hotness high up as they do on the Montenegrin coast and a cool breeze makes you feel relieved after days of sweaty shirts and sticky hands. Even though the roads aren’t always for the faint of heart – think about driving backwards while one wrong movement could lead you over the edge of a cliff, this only to let another car driving in the opposite direction pass by –, the panoramic views are simply breathtaking. Continue reading

Budva, my temporary home away from home.

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Budva and Sveti Nikola – also called ‘Hawaii’.

I’ve been writing a lot about Montenegro and surrounding countries lately – well, not so lately, my last blogpost was more than 2 weeks ago… Oops! I really need to get back on the blogging train – but I never wrote about Budva. The city I’m living in for already a little bit more than 3 months already and I haven’t even written one single letter about it. Not that Budva isn’t known, it’s one of the biggest tourist destinations in the region, if not the biggest of the whole country. Continue reading