• Slovakia!

    Slovakia: Tatra Mountains. Go Now!

    Slovakia
    The Tatra Mountains (pictured) form the backdrop of this rural country, whose culture is rooted in this beautiful landscape. Go Now!

  • Bulgaria!

    Bulgaria: An old Turkish bridge. Go Now!

    Bulgaria
    The isolated mountains of Bulgaria hide cultural gems around every corner, including this old Turkish bridge in the Rhodopi Mountains. Explore Bulgaria!

  • Italy!

    Italy: Rome' historic buildings. Go Now!

    Italy
    Crumbling buildings in Rome (pictured) only add to the atmosphere in a country where old is redefined and western civilization begins. Explore Italy!

  • Portugal!

    Portugal: Palace of Pena. Go Now!

    Portugal
    Although next to the seas and made famous by trade, Portugal boasts dynamic landscapes and architecture, including the Palace of Pena (pictured) near the town of Sintra. Go to Portugal!

  • Denmark!

    Denmark: Landscape. Go Now!

    Denmark
    From cities like Copenhagen to islands, beaches, and vast fields (pictured), Denmark offers incredible history, architecture, scenery, and more. Begin Your Journey!

  • Armenia!

    Armenia: Noravank Monastery. Go Now!

    Armenia
    With a unique language, foods, architecture, and identity, Armenia is a fascinating country and culture unlike no other in the world. Begin Your Journey!

Montenegro

Kotor, Montenegro

Zabljak

March 12, 2005
Ten Feet of Snow

Zabljak was nice and the woman I rented from yesterday was very generous. I got a three-story place to myself for 11 Euros after I told her 21 Euros was out of my budget. I think she only accepted this price since it was late and she had no renters.

The town itself is great and the snow was insane: three meters deep. After getting in last night I quickly grabbed a bite to eat then went to sleep for an early morning today. The town seems to be run on generators and the power tends to go out often for seconds or even minutes at a time, which is not bad until you're walking a kilometer to your place and the street lights go out. Although the stars were incredible.

The streets were dug out of the 10 feet of snow and today I spent some time walking around the streets, not seeing much until I climbed atop different snow banks. All the buildings in the town appeared to be half missing in the snow that went up to the second floor of each place. It looked crazy, buildings were buried and the untouched snow went on for miles in every direction as the sun reflected off of it.

I walked down to Black Lake and the jutting mountain rising behind it in Durmitor National Park. The lake was great, but completely snow-covered and there was little to do other than take a few pictures and enjoy the scenery. After a few hours I headed off to the "bus station" which was nothing more than an area with less snow on the streets and two buses completely snowed in.

After getting on a third minibus, I was off to Podgorica, a trip that consisted of mountains, rusted out cars in mountain valleys and roads being renovated by the European Investment Bank.

Kotor

March 13, 2005
Pirate Town

Kotor is incredible! The streets are tiny and narrow and the entire city is made of white bricks, which sounds ugly and boring, but it quite the opposite. The city feels like "Pirates of the Caribbean" in Disney World, but so much more real, because it is. The feel is unlike anything else and is, in many ways, indescribable.

The city is littered with small Romanesque churches around every corner and narrow walkways they call streets. The streets are never straight but wind around the town in every direction. At one point I came across a building in the same white brick as the rest of the city, but with a gate in the front, also of white brick. The wall in front was tall and all you could see was the great door into the courtyard, the second floor porch with great arches, and a huge palm tree to the right. The house was every stereotype of a pirate palace and was in so many ways the most picturesque building I've ever seen, as if recreated by a Hollywood studio, but in fact hundreds of years old.

Behind the city is a hill that rises out of the town and topped with a great castle and church. These buildings weren't worth the trek up the mountain, but the views were. The harbor was surrounded by mountains, the town sitting on the only bit of flat ground just before the mountains begin. The water perfectly reflected the other side of the bay and was a dark green, almost like a jungle green, yet at the same time clear, allowing you to look ten feet into the water, while giving the objects beneath the surface a dark green hue. The city is also surrounded by a moat on two sides; only bridges cross into the town. The water comes right up to the walls of the town and palm trees surround this moat.

It's a perfect stereotype of a pirate village and I can picture the ships sailing into the harbor even today with chests of gold and plundered goods. The streets have sporadic stray dogs and cats, not a lot, but every ten minutes or so you'll see one, just adding to the aura.

Continue the above trip to: Croatia

Learn more about Montenegro Return to Justin's Travel Blog