Sunday, September 28, 2008

Cijevna Canyon

There is a road sign on our main path into town that points the direction to Cijevna Canyon. We figured it must be nearby, and rather impressive to have received such touting. So we asked about it, and were told it was probably two or three kilometers away. Yesterday, we decided to give it a try. We started walking in the direction the sign indicated. There was sidewalk at first, and so it was relatively easy going. Then the sidewalk ended. Soon after we came to a gas station and asked directions. We were told that the canyon was four kilometers farther down the road, about two mintutes driving. When we motioned that we were walking, along with funny looks, we received the information that it would be about 20 minutes by foot.

Eventually we crossed a bridge that went over a small canyon. We wondered if that was what we'd walked all this way for. We asked some people and they explaned that yes, it was the canyon, but it stretched in both directions for quite some ways. So we went back to the road above the canyon and turned left, following until we could actually find a path down into the canyon. There was no park like we were expecting, but maybe it was even better.

We were able to get right down in the canyon. We ate a picnic lunch on a rock that jutted out into the river. There were no other people, just a friendly flock of sheep nearby.

The water is so clear that you can seen the river bed quite easily.
So, you decide, was our 5 km walk worth it?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Yo Adrianne!

They have the funniest signs here in Montenegro. This Rocky sign is on the side of an apartment building which also houses a small store. We haven't yet figured out if the store's name is Rocky or something else.

Don't you think Steve really has the "eye of the tiger" though :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sports in Crne Gora

We enjoy sports. Steve likes to play some and watch some, Laura is really mostly a spectator. In the US, Steve routinely played ultimate frisbee on Sundays, and volleyball on Tuesdays, and Laura would tag along with book and chair and "watch." Here, other than a few rousing games of table tennis (they are very passionate about ping pong here), Steve's main exercise so far has been walking, and one day of volleyball at the beach. Laura gets a lot of walking in too, so that's a plus-it's hard to be a spectator at walking-especially when it is your only means of transportation.

On TV we can watch football (soccer), basketball, handball, water polo and futsal (or something like it). Steve uses the internet to keep us caught up on baseball and American football.

We have frequently seen the Sports Center Moraca (there should be an accent on the c, making it pronounced Moracha-Moraca is the river that runs through Podgorica), and know that basketball games are played there. We have been invited to attend one in the near future. I'm sure that this will be a wonderful cultural experience. I hope we don't learn the "wrong" Serbian words :o

PS. Kudos to anyone who guessed that Crne Gora (pronounced Tserneh Gora) is Serbian for Montenegro!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Our Parking Place

There is a small park near our apartment where we have gone several evenings to just sit and soak in the language and culture. One evening we also saw an auto accident at the intersection just before the park. Last evening we strolled to an unlit area and were about to go down stairs to a small gazebo area when we realized that there was a canoodling couple there, so we moved along, and I don't think we were noticed. This is the fountain at the entrance.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Rainy days

It has been rainy the past three days here. This is wonderful, because it hadn't rained for quite some time prior to that. Outside our window it looks like the beginnings of a small lake. Tomorrow we will start taking language training with a tutor. Since we've been here we have picked up several words from friends, songs, TV, signs, etc, but it will be good to be more intentional about it.
Maybe then I'll start posting in Serbian :) Just kidding.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Shopping in Montenegro

When it comes to buying fresh fruits and veggies, you can't beat the piatza! We have found every imaginable sort of produce, as well as dried figs and dates, fresh spices (mostly paprika and that dried tomato stuff you see at Italian restaurants), cheese, eggs and fish. We have a vendor who particularly seems to like us.

The prices are also amazing here. We bought a kilogram each of tomatoes and peppers, as well as four onions and three cucumbers and paid less than three Euro total!

Upstairs there are many vendors who each have their little booths which sell a variety of things. Some focus on one item such as shoes or clothes, others have pillows and curtains, and there are ones who concentrait on plastic goods, then there are ones who seem to have a little bit of everything.

I want to try and make something like chocolate chip cookies. This is more complicated than you would imagine. Here is everything but the flour, eggs and white sugar. We had to buy the baking soda and powder in individual packets. The vanilla is either a powder or a dried bean (I'm not sure what to do with that), they don't have brown sugar, so we got unrefined sugar, and no chocolate chips, but we can break chocolate bars for chips. (I know that you don't use baking powder in chocolate chip cookies, but I just wanted you to see what it looked like here-it's in the orange packets).

UPDATE: Okay, so it is a dried vanilla bean. I guess we're gonna have to get some vodka and make our own extract? What fun! I wonder just how important vanilla is to chocolate chip cookies. Do you think I could skip it and they would still taste okay?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Before We Came

A few days before we came to Montenegro, we had a family outing with Laura's parents and Grandma. We went to Lexington, VA and visited the drive through Safari Animal Park and Natural Bridge. Here are some fun pics of our time that day. Very observant people might recognize the waterfall behind us as the one from the top of the blog. The baby llama was making very sad mewing noises, I suspect it wanted its mommy.

Monday, September 8, 2008

More Pictures of Our New Home

Here are some more shots of our apartment. The study (complete with Steve-there's a balcony off this room and a clothes line, our "dryer"),the kitchen balcony, complete with table for dining on and another clothesline, our living room and the dining nook (with fridge behind the table).

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Our New Home

Here are some shots I took last night of our Montenegro abode. Our kitchen, bathroom and bedroom for now. I'll post the rest later. We want to go grocery shopping.

We're Here!

After what seems a long preliminary season, we have finally arrived at our destination-Podgorica, Montenegro. We are now renting a lovely furnished appartment complete with two balconies, TV, and refridgerator/freezer, as well as the needed table, chairs and bed.
After we recover from some unfortunately timed colds, I'll post some pictures of our home as well as the city as we get to know it by GPS and help from friends.