Saturday, July 25, 2009
We have arrived safely back in America with only minor jetlag. We are however feeling very uprooted right now, still semi living out of our suitcases. We are staying with a Grandma but plan to move back in our soon-to-be-vacated house after we have made some important visits to friends and family around the country.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Back in January, we tried to reach the top of Mount Lovćen, were Petar II Petrović Njegoš, the most famous Montenegrin is buried. At the time, snow kept us from our goal. This time, we were able to get there. So after taking a taxi as far as we could, we climbed 300+ steep steps, with two pauses (there were outlooks with nice ledges to sit on, and Laura really needed to stop and sit).
Upon reaching the top, there is a small room with a large statue of Njegoš, as they call him, with an eagle behind him, and gold ceiling tiles. Below is the room where he is buried, then there is a place you can view most of Montenegro from (it's safe to say that Steve enjoyed that part much more than Laura).
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Steve opened our door yesterday to find this funny dog laying on our welcome mat. The dog got up and went over to the neighbor's mat, but when we returned from our shopping trip, the puppy was back on our mat again. This time doggy didn't move, so we just stepped around.
Monday, July 13, 2009
We went to a beach yesterday on the Adriatic. The name, "Plavi Horizant" translates to Blue Horizon. It was a beautiful beach, although rather crowded. Interestingly, not too far from the sand there is a small evergreen forest and then a stretch of grass. We stayed in the shade unless we were walking along the shoreline. Some of our friends played chess and drank coffee on the lawn.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Not too far from Podgorica there is a monastery built into the side of a mountain, Ostrog, which contains the body of Saint Vasili. Many Orthodox followers believe that his remains have special healing power. As you explore the monastery you can enter this tiny little room where his remains are "on display" although you can't actually see him (not that I'd want to see a century old dead body). There is a cloth over his body slippers on his feet and sock like mittens on his hands. There was also a priest in the room, for the purpose of prayers I suppose, and also to protect the corpse. Pilgrims walk up rather treacherous looking stairs (the last few on their knees) in the hopes that this dead saint will bring them healing. As we didn't have any desire to be healed, we drove up. In every conceivable space, coins and Orthodox bracelets and necklaces were deposited to be a further insurance that their prayers would be answered. And there was one small room full of lit, beeswax candles in various sizes that were also related to prayers.
We weren't allowed to take pictures inside the monastery, so we only have these two. Halfway down the mountain there are many little trinket vendors who sell icons, jewelry and Ostrog souvenirs to the pilgrims and tourists who flock there.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
At roughly six foot, I (Laura) wouldn't consider Steve short, especially as I am only 5'4". But Montenegro is a country of (very) tall people. Very often we are walking and see some people that the NBA (or WNBA for that matter) would just drool to get their hands on. Here Steve is standing with our friends Tanja and Ivan. You will notice that Ivan is not just tall, but stocky. We think the NFL would welcome him as a linebacker should he ever choose to give American football a try.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
We live in a first floor (in America we would say second floor, but here they have "ground floor" and then the next floor is "first") apartment, and there are trees right beside our balconies, so we really don't have much of a view. In the past week however, we were invited to two different apartments one on 5th floor and the other on 7th, where we were able to really see the city. And they are on opposite sides of the city so the view is unique to each one. In the first one, you can see the Millennium Bridge in the center.
Friday, July 3, 2009
Here is Montenegro, there is a wonderful food called priganica. It is basically fried dough, slightly lighter than a doughnut. They usually serve it "slane" -salty, with cheese or "slatka"-sweet, with honey or jam. Last night we were invited to a friend's house and her mother made us so many of these that we felt like we would bust.