From the coast up to Cetinje

Thursday, August 08, 2019
Cetinje, Cetinje Municipality, Montenegro
Our departure was perfectly timed to avoid the buses coming from both directions along the coastal road. Alarmingly, when we moved the car from one side of the apartments to the other (to ensure that we would not be blocked by the Russian family that had just arrived), we noticed stains running down the side of one of the front doors! We worked out that we had parked underneath an air conditioner outlet that had slowly been dripping water on to the car the entire time it was parked there. Clearly, the water must have had a high level of calcium in it, and we were unable to remove the stains with soap and water. This issue added to a couple of nasty scrapes along the bottom of the car had us even more concerned. (As the rental company only accepted cash payments, we are not sure whether our American Express travel insurance will cover any insurance excess!)
Deferring the problem until later, we began the drive to Cetinje, choosing the slightly longer way so as to avoid the narrow winding road that has quite a reputation for being rather stressful. The traffic was quite heavy until we were well past the nearby airport. If you were planning to fly out from there, you’d certainly have to leave early to make your flight on time!
Along the way, we stopped at a lookout where we had a panoramic view of the coast The beach in one bay that we could see from the car was completely covered in beach umbrellas (and presumably beach chairs that one would have to pay to sit on) — so different to the Australian beach experience where you just pop your beach shelter up wherever you please!
Two hours later, we arrived in Cetinje, the town situated close to the Lovcen National Park which my research suggested was worth visiting. Many people choose to visit there in a day trip from Kotor, but in planning our itinerary, I wisely thought that it would be too tiring to drive there and back in one day. We located our accommodation, finding a park right out the front of #126. Michael knocked on the door and out came a gorgeous, young, blonde female. Hermann jumped out of the car, and cheekily waved us goodbye as he and Michael followed the young woman around the corner. Gitti and I had to laugh — we’d been abandoned for the young blonde beauty! When Hermann returned, we determined that Michael had won the contest! 
The young woman had instructed Hermann to park our car around the corner and to enter the property from the back lane. Our apartment is in a 3-storey building in the back garden — the living area is on level 2, with the bedrooms on the top floor. For the four of us, the rent is about AU$80/night, which is very reasonable. One just needs to take particular care on the outside balcony and stairs, as there are no balustrades — definitely not somewhere to stay with young children! One also has to take care going up and down the internal stairs, as they are designed for your left and right feet to be placed on specific steps. 
After settling in, I made a video call to Dad to catch up on his news and give him a guided tour of our apartment.
It was then time to explore the town of Cetinje, the old capital of Montenegro. Despite being up in the mountains, it was still quite hot which may account for the town being very quiet. There were hardly any shoppers in the long pedestrian mall, nor at the restaurants situated at the end of the mall. Our walking tour took us past some historic buildings with a brief stop to look inside the small church in the monastery, and then up the hill to a small mausoleum overlooking the town. Once down the bottom, we parted company with Gitti & Hermann, choosing to explore a little further afield before heading back to the apartment via the nearby supermarket where, among other things, we purchased some vinegar and plastic wrap, having researched on the internet how one can remove calcium stains from the ducco on a car. The vinegar helped to loosen the calcium which Michael and Hermann then gently worked on scratching off. The process has been repeated several times now and has made a significant difference.
I worked on my blog before freshening up to go out for dinner at a restaurant around the corner that had been highly recommended by our young blonde landlady. Gitti and Hermann delighted in ordering 3 different types of fish (a real treat for Austrians whose country is completely surrounded by land). Michael, who had been hankering for a good old-fashioned burger (after being disappointed by the huge meat patties we’d been served a few nights earlier), was again left disappointed. This time, he was served a burger in a plain bread roll (no one dared order butter!). Luckily, we had ordered some salad and French fries on the side. I decided to be adventurous and tried some squid stuffed with black rice and vegetables — not too bad once I added some garlic in olive oil. The tastiest part of the meal was the spinach and potato mix that accompanied my meal.
We went for another stroll through the town, remarking on how many young children were out and about at 9pm, riding bicycles and go-carts/toy cars and playing chasey with each other.
Back at the apartment, we flung open the bedroom windows for a while to let the heat out. Our bed was firmer than the one in Prcanj, but at least we didn’t roll into the middle this time. (As we were leaving the apartment in Prcanj, we noticed that the centre supporting legs under the bed were broken which explains why our sleep was not as comfortable as it should have been!) 
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Ian 2019-08-10 Damn, damn, damn. This is the seventh time that my little finger accidentally touched one of the keys on my keyboard, casing me to revert to your report of three or four days ago, just as I finished. Here goes my last attempt. I felt the day's activities were more relaxing with a very attractive drive along coastal road in the morning to our next accommodation, followed by a pleasant stroll down the mall in Cetinje before and after dinner.


The apartment despite the steep stairs looks very nice and the evening dinner venue a very lovely setting. The fish looks amazing - think that would have been my choice - so hard for Michael as when you can cook and the meal is disappointing tends to leave you wondering why offer on the menu in the first place


I’m so sorry, Dad, to learn of your frustrating experience trying to leave a comment on this entry of my blog! I hope you don’t have the same problem again...and I’m relieved that your 7th attempt was successful! :-) I tasted the fish, Tracy — it was OK, but nothing to write home about. :-)