Back to the most boring city in Europe

Tuesday, August 13, 2019
Podgorica, Podgorica Municipality, Montenegro
It was time to move on again — back to Podgorica, Europe’s most boring city. We loaded up the car and then had a good look for a small strip of black plastic that had disappeared from the gear stick. We didn’t have a clue as to what had happened to it — it was a complete mystery. Having no luck, we set off, a little anxious about this additional issue with the car. At least the ‘vinegar workshops’ had almost removed all trace of the calcium stains from the water that dripped on to the car when we were in Prcanj!
Driving through one of the coastal towns, the traffic ground to a halt and took a long time to get moving again. There didn’t appear to be any real problem, other than a two-lane road merging into one lane. The rest of the drive was quite uneventful.
We arrived at the Hilton Hotel in Podgorica at about midday, unloaded the car, and had another thorough search in every nook and cranny of the car for the missing plastic strip. I later concluded that I must have knocked it off when pulling my backpack on to my left shoulder to get out of the car. It was probably on that occasion that I heard a sound like a plastic bottle top dropping on to the ground — I remember checking the ground, but not noticing anything, concluding that it was probably one of the dangling straps on my bag flicking against the car door. In retrospect, that may have been the sound of the plastic strip falling to the ground! In any event, I only recalled these vague details after we had phoned the car company to let them know that we had no idea what had happened to the plastic strip and to offer our apologies. We had to leave the car key with the hotel reception for the company to collect in their own good time. We were relieved that we heard no more from them. (Our main concern was that our American Express travel insurance may not have covered us, as the car company only accepted cash payments — AMEX usually require you to use its credit card to qualify for cover. Fortunately, we don’t need to find out for sure!)
I was delighted to discover that the hotel has an 18-metre indoor swimming pool — my first real swim in 3 weeks. It took me a while, but my swimming friends Felicity and Jill will be pleased to hear that I swam 100 laps (only 1800 metres, but better than nothing!). Hermann & Gitti joined us in the pool for a short while and then went out for lunch, leaving me to continue my laps.
Michael then went for a walk whilst I had a video chat with Dad. Before meeting up with Gitti & Hermann to go out for our last dinner, Michael and I paid two visits to the hotel’s executive lounge (Michael’s AMEX card gives him gold membership of the Hilton Honors club), first for a cold water and then later for pre-dinner drinks and nibbles. The view from the terrace gives one some great views over Podgorica.
For our last meal together on this trip, the four of us walked to a nearby road where a number of inexpensive restaurants are situated. We settled on one that periodically pumped cooling water vapour into the air as well as serving hamburgers (Michael’s desire for dinner). It was still very warm, having reached about 38C during the day. Gitti and I ordered salads that were supposed to include egg, but when I questioned the waiter about this, he appeared confused. After that, he seemed to ignore us, and so we’ll never know what happened to the eggs!
A few young children approached us during our meal begging for money. They turned up their noses when we offered them some bread from the basket on our table. I find the situation with beggars very confronting, but I have read that the most effective way of helping alleviate poverty is to donate to organisations that have specific programmes to assist struggling communities. It is still hard to walk past people in need when we are clearly so privileged.
Back at the hotel, we said our final farewells for this year, hoping to meet up again somewhere in Europe next year. Our Montenegro adventure had come to an end.
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I hope Michael’s hamburger was up to his expectations! Have really enjoyed this part of your journey, now looking forward to part 2! Let’s get this bus rolling again! xx


Michael said it was OK, but it didn’t meet his expectations — it had ham and bacon in it, rather than a burger. At other places, he was served a burger and nothing else. The bus is rolling again...but so are the rain clouds. It’s been drizzling all day here in Haworth, Yorkshire. :-(


Hopefully Michael will be able to find a decent burger somewhere in the UK. I also hope that the weather improves for you. xx


Yes, I can appreciate why Podgorica has had the reputation of being labeled the most boring city in Europe. I wonder if Adelaide has a low appeal when comparing it to other cities in Australia.