A new country to discover: Montenegro lies ahead of us. We cross the country parallel to the coast, but a little inland. We have read and heard that the coast is not very worth seeing, as it is heavily overbuilt with hotel complexes and the inland is much more worth seeing. Furthermore, our friends, who travelled a similar route a few months before us, gave us the tip to visit Lake Shkodër. Of course we take such trustworthy sources seriously.
We reach Montenegro via the border crossing directly at the sea and are soon confronted with the above-mentioned coast. Not quite as bad as expected, but not really beautiful either. Our destination for the day is the Bay of Kotor, and it is definitely worth seeing. A bay surrounded by steeply rising mountains and with pretty villages along the coast. As we also find a pleasant campsite, where we stay for two days, knowing that this will be followed by an exhausting day of cycling.
The pass at the southern end of the bay is calling. The road is described as one of the most beautiful in the country, and rightly so. We climb the steep hill over many hairpin bends, always with a view of the bay and the open sea. It is easier than we thought, as the gradient is not too steep due to the curves, so we get up there really quickly. Since it is so easy, we ride further than planned and are overwhelmed by the beautiful landscape of Montenegro. We discover pretty villages, among others Cetinje, the former capital or Rijeka Crnojevića, the royal town. This village has seen better days, but with the increasing tourism its charm might help it grow again. The day goes down as one of the most beautiful cycling days so far. Such days inspire and motivate us to continue cycling on the less exciting days. Because often a beautiful village appears unexpectedly, conversations with nice people arise or other surprises await.
We reach Lake Shkodër. The tributary meanders through untouched landscapes to the lake, it is a feast for the eyes (and a joy to let the drone fly). The panoramic road runs slightly above along the lake, so we continue to be spoilt with the most beautiful views and are treated to "jus" at a beautiful viewpoint. We learn that it is not a fruit juice, but a syrup. But homemade as it is, it's also a delight and whoever knows Sara aslo knows that she thoroughly enjoys syrup. We spend the night at a campsite with a farmer's family, and we are the only ones there. We stay there for two days, are fed all day with fresh fruit straight from the farm, even though they hardly speak a word of English. We are simply there, in the middle of the everyday life of the farming family, experiencing how the granny takes the goats to pasture, things are repaired and coffee is drunk. We say thank you and tackle the last section of Montenegro:up and down along the lake, through rural areas to the Albanian border.
We have not been in Montenegro for very long, but we are very enthusiastic about it and would return immediately. The nature is beautiful and varied, the people once again very friendly and helpful. With the bike, this was a super nice section, as we were able to ride continuously on a panoramic road with little traffic, what more could you wish for.