Long overdue post about another trip. Just more proof that I am working way too hard and having too much fun to take the time to post these updates. While it does seem like I play all the time, it’s truly not the reality. I’ve been staying very busy at work, it’s just not fun (or appropriate) to blog about. So trust me, it’s not ALL fun and games. About half and half.
One of the biggest perks about this part of the world is the proximity to nearby countries that I wouldn’t have necessarily visited otherwise. A good friend had served in Montenegro previously and offered to play tour guide, so a small group of us hopped in a couple cars (Poor Cami the Camry worked hard that weekend) and headed off for a weekend of relaxation and fun.
We headed down tiny, barely enough room for one car roads, and I clutched the handle of my door for dear life. This is in no way a statement about the drivers, the roads themselves were dirt, elevated, with no rails. I was petrified. We finally made it to our first stop of the trip: Žabljak, a small village at the base of MIGHTY DURMITOR, a mountain that may or may not have dragons inside. (No, I still can’t pronounce Žabljak)
We moved into a cozy cabin at Polar Star, made a fire, and took a trip out to a nearby restaurant for some awesome, hearty winter food. Kacamak now ranks very highly as one of my favorite things ever ever…what’s not to like about cheese-infused mashed potatoes?
The next day we headed to a gorgeous hike to a frozen lake.
After our hike, falling in the snow a few times in the process, we were off to our next stop: Bianca Resort & Spa in Kolasin.
We treated ourselves to fluffy robes, massages, pedicures, and in general a very relaxing evening including a visit to a local bar before heading out to the ski slopes the next day! I was with one expert skier and two ladies that had never been before….we decided to opt out of paying for lessons and I’d teach them the basics. (And I do mean basics, I’m no pro myself. Not even close.) We did a couple passes on the bunny slope with moderate success, then decided we would ultimately be much happier with sitting at the bar with mulled wine, sunshine and snacks.
Eventually my fellow skiier got me off my butt and coaxed me out onto the slopes. Ever since I took a nasty fall earlier in the season I’ve been a big chicken, so I am a little ashamed to say I only did one run the whole day. I hate getting old. I miss feeling fearless!
We caught a cab and headed back to the resort for more pampering, then headed to the best dinner of the trip at Restoran Vodencia. Truly one of the best meals I’ve ever had! Simple, rustic, flavorful food with some of my favorite people…what’s not to love? We slowly made our way back to the hotel on the ice-covered sidewalks, and enjoyed our last evening at the lovely hotel.
On the drive home the next day we took a couple detours to visit two Monasteries: Moraca and Ostrog. While Moraca was lovely, Ostrog knocked my socks off. We found ourselves at the base of a mountain, and we were instructed to look up…see that tiny speck of white built into the top of the mountain? Yeah. We’re going up there. And yes, we will take a tiny, not even truly one lane, switchback-filled road. That was not my favorite drive. One of my biggest regrets was not taking better pictures of this place, especially from the base so you could truly see how far up it was!
We decided to grab some lunch at a nearby restaurant, then we notice something is a bit…off. Well what do you know, the side of the mountain is on fire. We’re not sure if it was a controlled burn that went awry or something else entirely, but we found ourselves at a completely abandoned restaurant, with employees running outside every few minutes to check and see how close the fire was getting to their restaurant. We ate our delicious lunch in a bit of a tense environment, and when we finally finished and got back to our cars, the fire was just about ready to cross the road and block our path home. We rushed out of there and got to safety immediately!
We finished our drive home, and I was so thankful to have great friends and tour guides along for this adventure. This won’t be my last trip to Montenegro, I can assure you!