From Ljubljana, Slovenia, to Podgorica, Montenegro

Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Podgorica, Podgorica Municipality, Montenegro
The breakfast display looked impressive, but turned out to be quite ordinary. I would like to have tried the caviar, but there were no spoons with which to serve it. The dessert spoons on our table were too large to fit into the small containers and I didn’t think it would be etiquette to use my fingers! The young waitresses were stationed down the corridor from the dining area, and so I didn’t bother asking them for some teaspoons. My decaffeinated coffee with oat milk (they didn’t have soy) was revolting.
After our mediocre breakfast, we walked up the steep steps to the castle that overlooks the city of Ljubljana. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky — it was a perfect morning. We had toured the castle last year, and so just wandered around the outside area taking photos of the city below. Our stroll took us through the market area again and then back to the hotel. We checked out and left our bags whilst we went for another walk — we had almost two hours left before we needed to head to the bus station. By now it was quite hot outside in the full sunshine.  
On our wander over to Tivoli Park, we checked out a gallery of old Roman relics, learning a little more about the history of those who once inhabited the area. We stopped at a few galleries, but the entrance fees were too high, given that we had such limited time available. 
Just before 2pm, we collected our bags and set off on the 20-minute walk to the bus station, arriving with 15 minutes to spare. (According to the digital sign on the bus, the outside temperature was now a hot 33C.) Everything went smoothly, and we were soon at the airport where we checked in and found our way to a small, basic lounge to which our Priority Passes give us complimentary access. We managed to entertain ourselves on our iPads for the 90-minute wait here, and then headed to the gate, passing through immigration on the way.
The one-hour flight took us over Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina and into Montenegro, landing at the capital, Podgorica at about 6:30pm. We collected our bags and proceeded outside to catch a taxi. Michael had done his homework and was adamant that we weren’t going to be ripped off by the taxi drivers at the airport who were all charging a fixed rate of 12 euros when he knew the metered rate should be between 6 and 7 euros. Despite being assured the taxi we were getting into was a metered one, once inside the driver informed us that he charged a fixed rate. He wasn’t impressed when we refused to go with him!
I wasn’t sure that it was such a good idea to be fussing over 5 euros, but Michael was adamant. We enquired from the young woman working at an information desk as to how we could get a metered taxi, but she was hesitant to provide us with any information, other than to say we would need to phone the company. (Michael had read that people working at the airport are reluctant to provide you with any information about alternatives to the taxi company that clearly has the main rights to operate in the airport area.) We had debated whether to pre-order one online before leaving Ljubljana, but had decided we’d wait until we arrived. Unfortunately, once we’d arrived, we couldn’t get the webpage to lodge our booking! Michael was convinced that if we left the airport area, we would easily be able to pick up a metered taxi. And so off we traipsed through the small airport carpark and on to the main road in, with me wondering whether this was such a good idea.
We had barely reached the main road when a taxi drove past, did a quick U-turn and pulled up next to us. Yes, he had a metered taxi and it would probably cost us between 6 and 7 euros! 
The drive into the city took us past some old, rundown buildings. The landscape looked quite dry, with many pencil pine trees being the most notable vegetation. 
With the fare being about 6.40, Michael rounded it up to 8 euros — so we’d made a saving of 4 euros (just over $6)! We checked in to the Centreville Hotel (the number 1 hotel in Podgorica which is costing us $120/night). It is a fairly new building with modern decor. We had dinner in the outside bar area — delicious hamburgers and chips for about $10 each. Wine was a little pricey, especially compared to prices in Ljubljana, and so we settled for some sparkling water. After a very short walk to the corner of our street (I declared that I was too tired to explore the city — it was 9pm!), we called it a day.
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Comments

Ian
2019-07-31

Today you have provided a wonderful selection of beautiful country and city scenes in your journey of discovery, flying from Croatia into Montenegro, landing at the capital, Podgorica. It continues being a most interesting tour. Glad you invited us to come on this holiday with you and through your eyes.

Ian
2019-07-31

I cannot locate the comments I have just entered on this report and set of photos of this day’s journey, but I have just read Michael’s entry on Facebook that Podgorica was voted to be the most uninteresting city in the whole of Europe. This view was in contrast to the above record in today’s blog.

Marcella
2019-07-31

Beautiful photos, looks like you’re having a great time. Will have to add this to my wish list. Are you going to Georgia as well? Currently have a friend in Tblisi on holidays, has spent 4 days there. Would the spoon handle have fitted in the caviar?

melandmic
2019-07-31

Hi Dad — All of your comments have been published successfully. Thank you! Most of the photos in this entry were taken in Ljubljana (the capital of Slovenia) — this is indeed one of the most picturesque capital cities in the world. Wait until you see my photos of Podgorica — just wait until I post today’s photos! Hi Marcella — I would definitely recommend Slovenia and Croatia (which we visited several years ago). We’ll have to let you know what we think of Montenegro once our adventure here is over. No, Georgia is not on our list this time. I’d be interested to hear what your friend thinks of it. And, yes — a spoon handle or even a knife would have done the trick with the caviar! I just didn’t think it was the appropriate thing to do — and, given that the caviar looked as though it had already been spooned out previously, I wondered just how fresh it was. (We were the first to arrive for breakfast, and so it must have been the same lot they served the morning before!)

Tom
2019-08-02

Gorgeous pics of Ljubljana. What an incredible part of the world, beautiful yet mired in so much conflict over such a long time. As for the taxi issue, I would expect that, like so many airports around the world, someone has the transport arrangements tied up in a neat bow, so officially or unofficially, the addirional fee is agreed or enforced among the drivers.. Makes for a good story, though. Well done Michael!

2022-10-03