In Montenegro we spent the night in the lovely old city of Kotor surrounded by thick stone walls. The walls open up to a port filled with luxury yachts from around the world, some from as far away as Washington state, USA. We left the old city and wandered admiringly past the boats until we found this restaurant, where we ate one of the most delicious meals of the entire trip. Mussels and two kinds of soup for Elliott and me, and topped off with a local Montenegrin wine. Bon appetite!
The next morning Elliott took this picture of me doing the unthinkable: numbly strapping Lena into her car seat after our guide told us we had a TEN HOUR drive ahead of us to get to Kosovo. I stared at him, willing him to be joking. But he was not.
And he was not kidding the next day. Or the next day. Or the next day. Four days in a row of 10 hours of driving per day! Our poor frustrated little 9-month-old required almost constant entertainment, as she does not nap for more than 30 minutes at a time in a car. Ai yi yi. Due to the unreliability of public transportation in these countries, however, this really was the only way to see the highlights of these Balkan lands. I will simply say that am grateful that I have seen the Balkans, and I am grateful that we have all survived!
We spent a night in Kosovo and then visited this glorious monastery, which I mentioned before here. The monk who gave us the tour was so soft-spoken and so in love with the place that into our own hearts there came a sense of supreme peace, a sense that we were visiting a truly holy place. For me, this was a great highlight of our trip.
And then at last Macedonia! We spent the night in Skopje, the capital, which is supremely proud of two things: being the homeland of Alexander the Great (on the horse in the photo below) and being the birthplace of Mother Theresa.
Most of us will agree that another thing for which Macedonia will be remembered is the amazing molten lava cake several of us enjoyed for dessert. We smelled these hot chocolate cakes as soon as we walked into the restaurant and waited throughout our entire meal until we could order them. (Lest there be any doubt, these three shared one. I, meanwhile, ate one all by myself.)
And that was about it for Montenegro, Kosovo, and Macedonia. One more country to go: Albania!