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
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
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 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