‘The Monastery of Ostrog is a monastery of the Serbian Orthodox Church situated against an almost vertical background, high up in the large rock of Ostroška Greda... It is dedicated to Saint Basil of Ostrog (Sveti Vasilije Ostroški), who was buried here. From the monastery, a superb view of the Bjelopavlići plain can be seen...Ostrog monastery is the most popular pilgrimage place in Montenegro.
We queued up in a long line to enter the monastery, first entering the cave-church where we saw the enshrined body of Vasilije, the Metropolitan Bishop of Herzegovina who founded the monastery in the 17th century. He died there in 1671. A monk was presiding over his body. Michael and I quickly exited before we came face to face with the monk, as we noticed other people kissing the cross he was holding or kissing the enshrined body...I’m not too sure. It was certainly out of our comfort zone! We then climbed up some stairs to view the mosaic frescoes, as well as visiting another small cave church.
Hermann then purchased a candle which he lit and placed in the candle room — a small, hot room glowing with hundreds of candles.
The construction of a monastery so high up on the mountain side is really amazing. Apparently its more modern facade was build between 1923 and 1926 after a fire which destroyed the major part of the complex. The two little cave-churches were spared.
Our visit over, we walked down the steps through the forest area, regularly crossing over the zigzagging road.
At one stage, we noticed a young man driving rather erratically, doing his best to overtake anyone in front of him, even when it appeared unsafe to do so. We were commenting on his dangerous driving when he started overtaking a car ahead of us and came face to face with an oncoming truck. Lucky for him, there was space on the left hand side of the road for him to make a quick escape from almost certain death! We thought that the experience might teach him a lesson, but apparently not.
The drive down the mountains towards the coast gave us some spectacular glimpses of the Bay of Kotor — small towns at the foot of the mountains, right on the water’s edge. The traffic on the narrow coastal road around the bay was heavy and slow. We were hoping to park near the town of Perast, but the place was too crowded. And so we continued on to the small town of Prcanj and located the Lavender Apartments up the hill where we are staying for 3 nights. Hermann carefully manoeuvred the car into the driveway which isn’t easy to access from the narrow road and we phoned the landlady to alert her of our arrival. Within about a minute, she arrived and showed us into the lovely airy apartment on the second floor with a view to the bay and mountains.
The weather down here is a lot warmer than up in the mountains — in the low 30s during the day, but it cools down to a very comfortable temperature in the evening.