Tuesday, June 25, 2013

MONTENEGRO (hazzah!)

Herceg Novi - Once again, the strange people find me.
The room i rented for 2 nights in Herceg was the lower floor of a family’s house operated by 2 sisters and their extended family living upstairs. The way this works is when i get off the bus in a city there are a few elderly ladies offering “Sobe” (or rooms for rent). They offer you some info in broken english and show you fotos from their albums. Smooth business. So i got a room with Maria who is quite a character straight out of a Lina Wertmüller film. She’s elegantly dressed, knows all the right things to say to a young tourist like me, and eats like a cow! Soooo Italian! Gusto in everything she does. Even her sister shakes her head in hopeless frustration when Maria is around and as soon as i paid for my room we sat down for tea and i offered them some figs and walnuts. Maria chomped on them and talked and gestured and laughed all at the same time without a pause. Then from her purse (or somewhere near) she pulled out a scallion and devoured that like dessert. Right down the the rooty bottom. It was an incredible sight and a funny contrast to her professional and presentable self.
ANywho, Mostar is nice. Coastal, very warm, with an old town to wander.

It was nice, but small and full two things, women’s cloth shops and cafe’s. So i kept up trucking over to the Bay of Kotor which is full of great sights like breathtaking Balkan terrain blanched with fjords of aquamarine water, islands where Venetian explorers found signs of the Virgin Mary and built churches just big enough to not slip off the lands edge, and castles . . . old, old walls and castles!

I stayed in Kotor for 2 nights at a family's house who was renting rooms to Serbian workmen that lived in a communal style like the Mexican/Guatemalans of California. (Good neighbours since they don’t stay up late to party and when they get up at 6am, as do I - and i get the most out of the day.)

The Mom-daughter-son Team was nice, after a thick Turkish coffee one morning they read the black dredges of sediment in the bottom of the cup: a future fortune of travel was near.

Met some familiar faces from a previous bus ride on my first day wandering so we ventured around the hillside and to certain vantage points where one can see 5 country boarders (serbia, bosnia, albania, montenegro, croatia, and sometimes Italy on a clear day) Wow.

Its very ideal here with the land and water balancing each other out - plus, its the best open market i’ve seen yet! Look at this fresh bounty of prosciutto, sausage, goat cheese, cheese cheese, butter,
 fruits, veggies, beer, and a Montenegrin distilled wine-honey liquor.

Overall there’s a lot of construction going on in these parts of the country. development commercially or for private purposes. . . but prevalent and permeating the landscape.

On my last day i hiked high up, then down into a valley where i found an old monastery and an old woman picking white & black mulberries. I helped her then took some for the remainder of my hike. Soooo damned good.

(check out the size of this Mulberry tree, ancient!)

Lastly in MOntenegro, i caught up with an old Cloverleaf friend, Dragan (a common name meaning “dear”) who showed me around a few areas and his home city, the capital Podgorica.

(After we visited this giant lake which was part of Europe's first National Park, Dragan's mom made a huge delicious meal)

 (After, she served us coffee and i had my fortune read again - this time it involved two people close to me who wanted to travel but got held up by obstacles, yet, soon the walls would come down and travel will be on their menu. . . wink wink to my water-locked Hawaiian family members!)


So once again, on a tuesday morning i caught a 6am bus and little did i know i’d be on the road for 12 more hours. Its was good and spontaneous, getting me to a location i had been thinking about a lot - Hvar.

      I’d only planned on going to Dubrovnik, Croatia. But then i caught another 6 hour bus to Split. And once there, i found a Ferry that was leaving in 10 minutes for the island Hvar. How could i say no. . . Croatia is very attractive.

This is it for now. Hvar. One of Croatia’s 1,246 islands! But a small and very inviting one for reasons you will soon find out . . .


  1. epic!! WOW G looks like a great trip! are you still out and about?

    1. you know it! I'm orbiting Europe till august 5th. Whats new Magoo?

  2. awesome, thanks for posting! From the coffee grounds it looks to me like you will be traveling on the back of a camelgaroo! Have fun! Miss you! xox