Ramblers Walking Holidays

Magnificent Montenegro: Part One - Frank Vukovich

Blog post   •   Feb 24, 2011 16:26 GMT

Exploring Coastal Montenegro – September 11th – 18th


Inside Njegos’ Mausoleum

To begin to understand Montenegro you must come here high above the Bay of Kotor, to Jezerski Vrh, to the summit of Mount Lovcen.

It’s all here.

The history: prince, patriarch, poet, Petar Petrovic Njegos is buried here. He is a national hero whose 19th century reign forged the Montenegro clans into a nation. As for the geography well, the country is spread out at your feet.

The view is truly astonishing. George Bernard Shaw once stood here and wondered “Am I in paradise or on the moon.”

To the west, the blue of the Adriatic stretches to the horizon. On a clear day Italy is visible. To the south lays Lake Skadar the largest lake in the Balkans and a sometimes home to over 270 species of birds and nearly 40 varieties of fish. Beyond it, the dark mysterious cone shaped hills of Albania. To the north the turquoise waters of the Bay of Kotor twist and turn around Vrmac and past the towns of Tivat and Herceg-novi on a 29 km journey to the open sea. Described as Europe’s most southerly fjord the Bay of Kotor ( Boka Kotorska) is a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site; still further to the north lie the hills of Croatia. Finally to the east Podgorica, the nation’s capital sits on the edge of a cascading curtain of black mountains that touch the heavens and form the true heart of Europe’s newest country.

In September 2010 I decided to return to both Ramblers Worldwide Holidays as a leader, and to Montenegro after a 35 years’ absence, and I have regretted neither decision. Back in the late1960’s and early 1970’s I led Ramblers Worldwide Holidays Dalmatian Islands Cruises, first aboard the Maestral, then the Agena, and finally the Dalmatinac. I had just finished university and the experience proved idyllic. I was born and raised in Canada but both of my parents had come to Canada from what at that time was the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. When I returned to Yugoslavia it was very much like coming home and the love affair particularly with the Dalmatian Coast has continued ever since.