As we drove down the windy, jagged, single car roads, we were welcomed into this little valley of heaven. Discovering Montenegro was a unique blend of the Norwegian fjords combined with the Swiss Alps and Turkish, Serbian culture. And we were calling it home for the next month 🙂
We reserved a beautiful little condo AirBnB up in the mountains with fast internet, reliable AC, and a fantastic balcony… all the necessities of modern living while still feeling like we were living in such a foreign land.
Kotor Bay, Montenegro is one of the most famous areas of Montenegro, happily situated at the base of 3 enormous fjords all housing a beautiful bay and a local community. From our window we could see the daily cruise ships shuttling eager tourists through the channels.
As we settled into our new home, we began craving a daily routine, and started doubling down on our self care and business work. We started every morning with coffee on the balcony overlooking the water, and took full advantage of the gym in the building. Teal used the time to meditate and do yoga as well. It was great to create some routine and stability where things had been in constant flux on our previous months on the road.
The food of Montenegro is different than what we had been enjoying in Italy, France, Germany or other parts of Europe, but it was the perfect excuse to really begin detoxing. For the next month straight, we resorted to nothing but chicken stir-fry, greek yogurt, and these amazing tuna salads popular all over Europe. It was the perfect time for us to get back to our healthy roots and get our bodies back to what they were used to.
On the evening that we arrived, we were shocked to find this incredibly adorable kitten waiting on our doorstep, meowing innocently for it’s mother, who was no where to be found. Teal instantly fell in love with it, and were so close to adopting it right there on the spot. Teal kissed it endearingly and our host gasped in disgust! “Those cats are trash cats! Why you kiss it?” Apparently most cats in Montenegro live in the wild, and survive outside homes. We left it to reconnect with its mother, and when we came back it looked like it had.
What really made this place magical were the mountains and the sunsets extending on for miles. It made for a great community of people to come out to the boat docks and socialize, grab a beer, and swim. After long hours working throughout the day, we loved to go catch the sunset and a beer with the locals.
Kotor is also home of the famous “Lady of the Rock” – a unique island church set in the middle of a man-made island in the bay of this UNESCO Heritage protected town.
Legend has it, as the locals share, that on 22nd July 1452 two brothers were fishing in front of Perast and found a painting of the Madonna and child stuck on a protruding rock. They took it home and seemingly overnight, one brother who had been ill for a long time, was healed. They took this as a sign and vowed to build a church on the spot. The town began the tradition of throwing a rock into the sea at this spot whenever they returned safely from a voyage. Old ships were filled with rocks and scuttled here to help build up the island.Records show that by 1484 there was a church here. Now millions of visitors come to pay respect to this beautiful little church and touch the original rock upon which the painting was found. It’s meant to bring good luck.
Not only does Kotor Bay provide a ton of beauty for exploring, but it is also home to it’s own national parks – and the only place of the Montenegro Pelican: Skadar Lakes. For day trips, we would explore the surrounding areas such as Rijeka and Skadar to see the more rural Montenegro populations.
Taking a boat ride through the channels of the protected bird reserve ❤
Exploring the rural village towns…
We’ve found our new home! First time home buyers for this fixer – upper! Just needs a bit of work… 😉
By the end, we both felt Montenegro was a great place to visit and we were happy and grateful for the experience. With one week left before going back into the Schengen Zone, we took a chance, and headed down to…. Albania! Goodbye Montenegro.
On to…. Albania!