Hello fellow bloggers and welcome to my series on my recent adventure to Lake Skadar in Montenegro with a pit stop in Rome. It will be spread across a few blog posts over the next couple of weeks so I don’t bore you to tears with one big essay. Watch this space for upcoming posts on Kayaking – where I nearly kill the Mountain Snob with my paddle, Hiking – where I lose a toe nail and Mountain day – The plan that didn’t go to plan. I hope you enjoy…
Booked it, packed it, Fooked off
It was a random day about 6 months ago and me and the mountain snob (aka Kat, aka partner in crime, aka my twin sister) were deciding on a epic location for a random adventure. Being pirates and sailing the Bering Strait came a close second (oo arr) but we eventually decided that an activity trip to Lake Skadar National Park in Montenegro would be a more feasible option! We chose to fly with Alitalia as they flew to Podgorica airport which is very close to Lake Skadar. This meant we could also swing by Rome on the way home as a layover. The thought of having a layover always sounded a bit aggy to me but now iv’e done it it was a great option. Not only did we have a great week in Monts but we got to see the sights of Rome. It might not have been built in a day but you sure can see a lot of it in one! Armed with a travelling teddy bear and a travelling toy goat we booked it, packed it and fooked off…
So a bit about Monts – Montenegro, which means ‘Black Mountain’ is fast becoming a desirable location for tourists to visit. It has a lot to offer from lakes, mountains, beaches and woodland which make it an interesting and diverse place to visit. We were lured in by the promise of woodland hikes to undiscovered waterfalls and swimming spots, Kayaking on Lake Skadar and hikes through the mountains. All of which will be documented over the coming weeks!! The lake itself is a vast freshwater wetland which straddles the borders of Albania and Montenegro. Towering mountains overlook the lake and its mirrored waters, rocky shores and wetlands play host to a myriad of wildlife. There are more than 260 species of birds, traditional fishing villages and islet monasteries.
We stayed in a quaint little lakeside village called Virpazar which had a small supermarket and a handful of restaurants and bars. You can even buy your €5 knock off Ray Ban sunglasses from the small trade stands along with homemade plonk! Bonus. We booked the activity holiday with Undiscovered Montenegro through Responsible Travel website, so please check these out for the details. Ben and Emma run the tour and they offer shared accommodation in a villa (Villa Meila) and arrange all of the activities, so it’s great if you want to meet new people. You all have a tasty BBQ together on arrival night at Villa Miela and decide on the itinerary for the week. Our group was cursed by twins!! Me and the mountain snob – another set of twins joined us for the adventures and Ben and Emma also have twins! In the words of Austin Powers…Twins Basil, Twins!!
We booked quite late so the villa was already fully booked but they have access to overflow Lakeview apartments, which we stayed in. We loved it!! It was closer to the village than Villa Miela which is a mile or 2 up the road. Although we wasn’t staying with the other adventurers we were quite glad to be within walking distance of the shop and restaurants. The Mountain snob and I also gained another mamma – ‘Mama Montenegro’. She runs the Lakeview apartments and was just the most kind and lovely lady. With her lack of English and our non existent Montenegrin we got by with a mix of thumbs up and silly waving hand gestures. She would bring us homemade blueberry juice, red wine, platters of cheese, meat and watermelon!! Absolute Legend!
You will see in the picture above my fluffy travelling companion, Mocha the travelling teddy bear. She belongs to Julie who writes In The Wild LA (check out her blog it’s awesome!) and flew all the way from LA to join me on the trip. The mountain snob also bought her toy mountain goat, but more from them later!!