It was only a couple of days ago that I had decided to visit Montenegro at all. I had been climbing in the Dolomites for a couple of weeks, with a friend. He had to go home, but I had plenty of time.
For many years, if I wasn't climbing in some faraway place, I had come to the Alps for my summer vacation. It's the best time of the year for many outdoor pursuits, and the Alps are so vast and so beautiful, I could spend the rest of my life there and never climb the same mountain twice. On the other hand, there are so many other places in Europe that I would like to visit, for hiking and climbing, and for many such places, summer is the best period too. Yet I never got around to it.
This year would be different. I made plans for Eastern Europe, more specifically starting with Croatia and then working my way north to Poland. I didn't do much research, I figured I would go with the flow.
I generally use public transport when I travel, and that's how I started this time as well. Getting from the Dolomites to half way down the Adriatic coast took the better part of two days. Next morning it was already getting hot, and the prospect of travelling by bus again didn't appeal to me.
I envisaged waiting for the next connection while the temperature rose even further. I thought about the time it always took to find out if there was a bus going to wherever I wanted to go. And last but not least there was this small thing that buses generally don't stop and wait for me whenever I happen to see something I want to explore or climb; no, I would have to get off, and afterwards wait an indeterminate time for the next bus. I wanted independence, the kind that only a car can bring. And so, after breakfast, I walked right past the bus station and into the office of one of the local rental car companies, and got a car for a week.
Montenegro countryside, north of the town of Nikšić
My newfound mobility meant I could visit a lot more places in the same time frame, and so I did. In the original plan Hungary was the next country after Croatia. Having my own wheels, I changed plans and added Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina (by the way, that's two countries, not three). I knew little about either of them, except that they had mountains, higher ones than Croatia in fact. And the only one I had heard of was Durmitor. So, after a couple of days in Croatia, I crossed the border: Durmitor, here I come!
The country highpoint?
I'm not really a highpointer, or so I kept telling myself for years. I finally admitted otherwise by the end of this summer, but that's a different story. Anyway, whenever I visit any mountain range, I'm drawn to the highest. As it turned out, Durmitor was not a mountain but a range, and the highest is Bobotov Kuk. In fact, at the time I thought that it was the country highpoint. Still, even if I had known better, as Bobotov Kuk is the highpoint of Durmitor, it would have drawn me like a magnet and I would have gone there anyway.
Country highpoint or not, it was a very scenic mountain, and the area was beautiful. Lots of other hikers thought so too, but that didn't bother me at all. I rather like it when I see others enjoying the mountains like I do.
Bobotov Kuk summit panorama
External LinksDurmitor National Park
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