Good night from Kotor. Susan and I will be departing for home in a few hours. I plan to maintain this blog as I continue to explore the food traditions of Montenegro.
We returned from our adventure to our four-legged grandchildren. The option of returning to the US with them has been nixed by the airlines. We are working with friends to keep the family safe until the kittens can be adopted.
After our adventure in the mountains, Susan and I headed down the 25 hairpin turns back to our home. Our time here is growing short. We will miss the people of Montenegro and long for a speedy return.
For a long time, I have yearned for foods cooked "under the bell." This is a style of cookery that involves meat, potatoes and vegetables cooked under a heavy metal bell on a hot hearth. I finally had my chance and I took he leap. Here is a plate of roasted lamb and potatoes cooked under the bell. I asked for hot peppers that you can see on the side. I also enjoyed a glass of mead, a wine made from honey.
Susan and I visited another konoba, in the village of Njegusi. It is Konoba Radonjick which is situated in a family home that was originally constructed in the late 18th century. This konoba, located in a community that is flooded with tourists part of the year, struggles to maintain an identity that reflects local and national heritage.
This village was another destination in our Lovcen odyssey. This is an image of what is called a Spomenik. These were monuments created in Yugoslavia to commemorate World War II. Once, they were popular tourist attractions. Today, thousands of these monuments have been largely forgotten. When Susan and I visited Virpazar, we saw another Spomenik and asked what it symbolized, but nobody could tell us. I have loaded an image of that Spomenik as a comparison to the one I saw in Njegusi.
Here is the monument from Virpazar.
Our primary reason for visiting Njegusi was that it is a center of cured meat and cheese production. The ham produced there has been compared with the greatest prosciutto from Italy. We also wanted to eat at a konoba and to learn more about that style of restaurant and its cultural importance in Montenegro.
One of the important aspects of this village is that it was the birthplace of Petar II Petrovic-Njegos, a famous leader of Montenegro. Here are several images of his family's home.
Susan and I and our friends were disappointed that we could not visit Lovcen. Here is an image from the Internet that shows the gumno at the top of Mt. Lovcen. The gumno is an important symbol of Montenegro.
We then traveled out of the park and on toward a small nearby village, Njegusi.
Yesterday, Susan and I traveled with our friends Sana and Peda up the 25 hairpin curves on the old road between Kotor to Lovcen. It was a beautiful day for such a scenic trip.
This building is located just a few miles from Kotor. It was once a border station between Montenegro and Austria's Dalmatian Coast.
Along side of the road, there is a restaurant near the top of the mountain.
We proceeded into the magnificent mountain-top national park that is home to a mausoleum for a famous Montenegrin leader, Peter II.
This was our destination, the second highest peak in Montenegro. We were told that on a clear day, one can see Albania, Croatia and Bosnia as well as the eastern border of Montenegro from this place. One person had said that we might be able to see Italy. We were eager.
We finally arrived near the point where we could ascend up to the mausoleum. SNOW! The road was blocked with ankle-deep snow.
Susan was braver than me.
Charles (Karlo) Baker-Clark
I am a university professor with interests in the relationship of food and culture. I am also a Fulbright Scholar and will deploy to Montenegro in September, 2014 where I will collaborate in teaching and learning about food and culture as well as food tourism. This blog is dedicated to sharing my experiences in Montenegro with you. It is also dedicated to my son Chad who mixes artistry and savvy in teaching people how to bake bread and make pizza.
This site, Zdravo (Hello) From Montenegro, is not an official Fulbright site. The views expressed on this site are entirely those of its author, Charles A. Baker-Clark, and do not represent the views of the Fulbright Program, the U.S. State Department or any of its partner organizations.