What an incredible afternoon. I spent the morning working on my lesson plans, and around noon Isabelle and her husband, John, called and asked if I would like to join them in their attempt to climb Mount Lovcen. (Isabelle is another Fulbright Scholar spending the year in Montenegro, and she will be teaching a course tiled "American Short Story" at Universitet Crne Gore Niksic.) Of course I told them "Yes," and by 1:00pm we were on the road. We took a taxi to the farthest possible point up the mountain. The road to this point was filled with sharp turns, few guard rails, plummeting cliffs, the occasional crazy Montenegrin speeding driver, and captivating views.
The top of Mount Lovcen. Beauty at its finest!
The hike to the top is not extremely rigorous, but it does require one to climb 461 steps. The hike up is relaxing, and since tourist season is officially starting to end, the trail and overlook weren't crowded with people. Once we made it to the top, it wasn't long before we started making friends. We met three young students who are studying in Podgorica at Universitet Crne Gore. It was nice great to meet them and we were able to use their flag for a few great pictures.
Our new friends.
You might be wondering why in the heck we are all giving the loser sign,
but this gesture/non-verbal cue actually means "Independence" in Montenegro.
Mount Lovcen (5,738 feet) is nestled along the Adriatic cost and prominently stands out compared to its surrounding mountains. Rumor has it that on clear days one can see across the Adriatic Sea and spot Italy. It is one of the major historic sights and attractions located in Montenegro. At the top of Mount Lovcen one will find a beautiful brick path that leads to a mausoleum and terrace. Inside the mausoleum resides a large statute that honors Saint Peter the Second, a former Montenegrin king who died before the age of 40, and a vault that holds his remains. In his will, St. Peter the Second requested to be laid to rest at the top of Mount Lovcen.