Friday, 4 November 2016

The power of Montenegro

Durmitor National Park, Montenegro
We're not tired of the gorgeous views yet

Having seen Casino Royale we were understandably very excited to be entering this country with its cosmopolitan mountain, lake and casino wonderland. The fact that those Balkan scenes were filmed entirely in Italy is by the by.

This wee country  is certainly mountainous and the speed restrictions appear somewhat drastic.... until you get an appreciation of the condition of the roads. No wonder Bond's Aston Martin rolled 11 times.
Unplanned offroading. Click for video and Jo's whimpers
Montenegro's currency is the euro although it has yet to join the EU, but it is at the top of the list now and things are looking good if it's a one-in, one-out policy.

If you like smoking, it's the place for you: inside, outside, cafes, restaurants, waiting rooms, shops, no-smoking carriages in trains. Whenever you want to light up, go right ahead.

The food is tasty, extremely affordable, and dominated by meat or pizza. Oh and they really like salt. One night we started to dehydrate.

Strong again
Lovely Montenegrins, hic
It also promised to be the location where we could get some welding done on our car, Nellie, to tide her chassis over for another year or two.

Vlatko, our genial Airbnb host knew of a few mechanics who could do the job and so Dave with a spring in his step and a hopeful disposition headed off with him to engage in a spot of car fixing.

Two hours later he returned rosy-cheeked and jolly from the three glasses of home-made Rajika that was "thrust into his hand" while Vlatko and he waited for the elusive mechanic to return.

Long story short, no work was done to Nellie... But Dave did return with a little bag of pears he was given, so not entirely a fruitless expedition.

Nellie's chassis Before and After. It will do.
However three days later, all the worst holes in Nellie were welded up with long slabs of steel. She is now a quarter Montenegrin. All-in for £130. Dave reckons the same work would have set us back around £1600 at home, and without three free shots of Rajika.

This saving has not as yet translated into a week at a five-star hotel but I'm working on it.

Apologies for the slow progress with the blog. We've had several adventure since and are currently in the former North Korea of Europe, Albania, which we are finding gorgeous, utterly safe and delightful. Updates to come.

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