Jennifer Carpenter
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Weekend of Windows.

January 28, 2010 @ 1:05 PM | Permalink

Britney, Jon and I travel with the undeniably useful Lonely Planet. Last week, we just chose a page and went for it. 

It was a weekend of windows – bound for the eastern reaches of Montenegro. We took a long car trip from Shkodër, Albania to Podgorica (?????????) thanks to a favor for a friend of a friend to another friend. We knotted our seat belts and smashed up against the doorframes – bouncing and twisting on this treacherous, one-lane road. Rocky, harsh terrain dotted in fuzzy white sheep and soft green Cyprus trees.

From the capital city, we jumped on a bus to Nikši? (??????) with blind faith we’d find a place to sleep that night. Rolling, blue mountains and brown, barren plains. A serene sort of coldness. In town, we stumbled into a gregarious high school student who took us on an impromptu tour of his hometown. He even convinced the one hotel (open only in summer) to unlock a room for us. From our chilly, drafty room we watched the town’s lights flicker on just as the first stars appeared in the vast, ominous black sky.

The next morning, we took a “cab” (driven by the hotel owner) for an hour trek up to Ostroška Greda. We groaned with every sharp turn and icy puddle – refusing to look out the windows – as our tires dipped down steep hills and flirted with cliff edges.

The Monastery of Ostrog (??????????????) was worth it. It’s the most famous Serb Orthodox Church in the Balkans. Whitewashed walls set against a sun-bleached rock face – 17th century frescoes in deep purples and greens – red candles and brass crosses. And I joined a line of pilgrims into the cave-church to kiss the bones of Saint Basil Vasilije (buried on 1671!).

Back at Podgorica, we took the coastal route to Ulcinj (?????). Tinted yellow windows couldn’t hide Montenegro’s breathtakingly blue sea. We jumped off the bus early in a spontaneous race to the beach – kicking off our hiking shoes in the fading orange light. We splashed in the freezing, welcoming Mediterranean. We just we went for it.  

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