Escape to the country — Zabljak

Thursday, August 01, 2019
Žabljak, Žabljak Municipality, Montenegro
Our itinerary for the morning included, breakfast, checking out and storing luggage, and then strolling back into the new and old towns of Podgorica with Gitti and Hermann. The few main attractions visited, we headed back across one of the main bridges to our hotel where we waited for the rental car company to drop off our car. 
Unfortunately, the car they delivered to us was much smaller than the one we had booked. They claimed that the latter had been held up in Turkey and that, if we wished, they would swap the car over the next day. When they discovered that we would be in Zabljak (about 2 hours direct drive from Podgorica) for the next 4 nights, they weren’t so keen to organise the exchange, saying that if we really weren’t happy with the smaller car, they would drive the larger one to us when we are staying at the next destination, Kotor. We really should have withheld some of the payment (which was cash only) in order to hold them to their word, but we didn’t think quickly enough. Surprisingly, our 4 cases just managed to squeeze in the boot, and there was sufficient room inside for us and our smaller bags.
The drive to Zabljak took us through rugged mountain terrain and on to the Biogradska National Park where we stopped to circumnavigate the beautiful lake on foot, taking countless photos to try and capture its beauty. The temperature here was much more pleasant than down on the plains. Whilst the increasing cloud cover had threatened to spoil our walk, the sun magically reappeared for our visit to Lake Biograd. In the distance, the thunder rumbled, but the storm stayed well away.
Our next stop was to look at the impressive Tara Bridge over the Tara Canyon. Not for the faint-hearted are 3 ziplines that whizz people across the canyon — fortunately, or unfortunately, we are all faint-hearted, although Gitti said she would have liked to have had a go. 25 euros is perhaps a little too pricey for a ride that is over in less than a minute!
We arrived at our accommodation at around 7pm. I made a quick phone call to the proprietor who turned up with the keys within about 5 minutes. Each couple has a basic apartment with a small kitchen for approximately $80/night. 
Gitti and I walked 10 minutes into the small town of Zabljak — in winter, this is a busy ski resort town. It’s Montenegro’s equivalent of St Moritz in Switzerland, but of course a lot poorer. We bought a few supplies from the large supermarket and then returned ‘home’ for a delicious pasta dinner prepared by our resident chef, Michael. It was quite late when we finally called it a day.
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So much is happening each day in your tour, that I look forward each day to your reports in this blog and in Facebook. What a magnificent opportunity we have these days, compared to the times of our parents or grandparents in being able to explore places in the world by means of planes, cars and actually walking in cities and traversing such a variety of walking tracks in preserved national parks throughout the world. I give thanks every day in still being able to experience the joy you are sharing with us and our loved ones.


So good to travel with your personal chef but in the photo in the car he looked rather tired or was that a nap in preparation for dinner designs


I often reflect on my good fortune to be living at a time when it is relatively easy and affordable to travel and have so many wonderful experiences in so many different countries. I was only thinking today, as we walked around Haworth — the town in Yorkshire where we are now staying — how difficult it would have been for the Bronte sisters to even contemplate travelling to London (I don’t yet know if they ever did)! And here we are, driving in comfortable warm cars and flying almost anywhere we choose in relative luxury — possibilities they would not even have imagined. It is also wonderful to be able to share our experiences so easily and quickly with you, Dad...and all those who are interested in our adventures. P.S. Michael was definitely napping when I took that photo, Tracy! :-)