Thursday, May 29, 2008

First Afternoon of the Trip

We left Pristina in the morning headed for Peja and got there around noon. It was a hot and dusty trip, and kind of sad, too. There are the remains of a burned out Serbian village on the side of the road. My companion said it was done during the 2004 riots. Whatever and whyever it was done, it was a sad thing and the remains are still being pulled apart in time honored fashion to build new things. After turning north at Peja, we decided to stop for lunch. I have pictures of the food (really!) but won't be able to add them until I can download them from my phone, which means either I figure out how to download the Windows Mobile 6 for Vista package without corruption or I get to the States and email them to myself for free. Either way, they'll be up when I do. Edited to include food pictures:
Or my companion can loan me his micro SD card after reading this entry and let me upload the pictures that way. He had the trout; they keep several schools of them in the aqueducts at the restaurant. You can see them swimming as you come in and at the front of the reception hall across the road. When someone orders trout, the cook literally comes out and scoops one up. The sauce on the steak was very good and the bread underneath is typical of what you get in Kosovo; several shapes, same bread. It's got a chewy crust and a very white center. We also had salads (huge ones) with the meals.

To continue... the restaurant was a lovely little place on the river just past Novo Selo. Its name is Vala & Drinj's and is owned by a father and son. Lunch was delicious. My companion had a trout which he watched getting caught (how fresh is that?) and I had a beef and mushroom dish. The son/brother of the owners came over and talked to us. He was soooo happy to see Americans, especially one from New Jersey. It turns out that he now has American citizenship and lives in Somerville, NJ, where I used to teach high school. He works at a restaurant there called Ciao Bella. I'll have to go visit it and see him.

The food at the restaurant really was great and the view magnificent, but you can see the kind of road (track) we had to drive on to get there. This is typical of both Kosovo and Montenegro once you get off the main roads.

At the Kosovo checkpoint for the Montenegro border, we saw this friendly dog. Her mate and puppies were not too far away in the shade. Border checkpoint crossed, we went over a mountain before getting to the Montenegro checkpoint. A whole bunch of hairpin turns and beautiful views in between, of course. If you want to see more of the pictures of this part of the trip,go to my companion's flickr set. There are some awesome shots.

What should have been a six hour trip from Pristina to Podgorica turned into an eight plus hour trip due to scenes like this. There were multiple tunnels being enlarged and at every single one of them we were required to stop for up to half an hour to let traffic pass from the other direction. Gorgeous mountain views, at least, but still! Lots of time with the car turned off and just watching things. We get to do this on the way back, too. I'll talk about Budva later in the day and post some pictures from that.


Unknown said...

Great story. I'm glad you're enjoying yourself.

Stitchingranny said...

So enjoying hearing about your trip and looking at all the beautiful photos