Friday, September 30, 2011


Montenegro, the small ecological state in the Balkan with Mediterranean climate, is a jewel in the south of the Adriatic sea. Contrasting and unique and of stunning beauty it possesses a great variety of landscapes. Shores of the open dark blue sea, high mostly forested mountains, deep river gorges, sleepy peaceful and clear lakes, a rich flora of wildflowers, the striking Kotor bay enclosed with high rocks, with its pebbled beaches, turquoise water and soft waves - all this makes that country a destination for unforgettable vacation time. Two thirds of the years days are sunny, half of the year is swimming time. The mountains are bedecked with snow in winter, perfect for recreational skiing holiday. Four magnificent national parks show you wonders who take your breath away.

Montenegro is bordered by five countries, its nowadays capital is Podgorica, the old royal capital was Cetinje, the official language is Serbo-Croatioan, it became an independent state in 2006 and has roughly 670 000 citizens. The currency is Euro.

There is a ton of information on Montenegro on the Internet, therefore I am content with short descriptions, but I have to use a lot of superlatives like dreamy, glorious, fantastic, wonderful, mystic, breathtaking, unique, marvelous, gorgeous, striking and so on, to tell the story, together with my husbands meaningful and and masterfully taken photos. In the end you cannot help but falling in love with Montenegro...

Kotor Bay

View of the bay from high up in the Lovcen lime stone mountains.
An artificial tiny island in Boka bay near Perast, with the church "Our Lady of the Rocks" the only structure on it. Unbelievable how the island was built - by sinking old ships and filling them up with rocks! It can be visited by boat - we didn't, which I regret now...
Kotor with the antic city part , the beach,
and the walls and the steps rising up to the fortress Sveti Ivan - 1300 steps.
Kotor attracts many tourists, due to the beauty of its coast and its medieval old city center.
The morning haze over the bay with the sight on Kotor.
Prcanj - features a stunning waterfront with many small pebbled beaches - often with stone jetties, which locally are called "puntas", they form enclosures for small boats and are very useful for sunbathing. It also has the largest church in the Kotor bay, named Zupna. People from all over the world sick  with asthma, come to seek healing in Prcanj because of the quality of the fresh clean dry air and mild weather.
Since it was autumn at our visit, the weather was sunny and warm, very pleasant, not hot. The nights cooled off to let us sleep by open windows and balcony doors, no air condition was needed at all during our stay..
Swimming in those soft waters was the greatest pleasure - view on Dobrota.
One of our own small strips of "private" beach - this one is in Kumbor.
2500 years old Budva with Venetian architecture - the beaches are sandy and if one is looking for nightlife of bars and music it can be found there. We had a lovely afternoon at one of Budva's beaches, the Jaz beach, which was quiet and tranquil at this out of season time, we saw almost no tourists but only local families with their children.
A stroll at the beach walk in Perast. Women sold handmade items all along the way. I bought a tablecloth with crochet around linen fabric.
Their handiwork is of great workmanship, perfectly executed - crochet and embroidery of napkins, tablecloth and curtains, and knitting of wool sweaters and jackets.
Where mount Orejo comes down and plunges into the entrance of Kotor bay there the enchanted town of Herceg Novi was built on the steep of the mountain. Therefore this is a city of stairs - flights of stairs have to be walked down to the sea, passing Stari grad, the old town with a heritage way back to the 15th and 16th century, and then up again to the parked car. The city is famous for its abundance of flowers and exotic plants, trees and shrubs lining the streets.
The fortress Kanli Kula above the old town, well preserved and very impressive.
View from the fortress over the town to the sea.
The spire of one of the churches in Herceg Novi- palm trees are everywhere, now in autumn loaded with fruit.

This is a first insight into this unique country full of natural wonders and lovely dwelling places - and there is more to come.

All photos by Uri Eshkar

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

SHANA TOVA - שנה טובה ומבורכת - HAPPY NEW YEAR

The pomegranate bushes and trees growing wild in abundance along the coastline of the beautiful Kotor bay in Montenegro are a wonderful symbol for Rosh HaShana!
 May you have a good sweet year, blessed with health and joy and peace!   Shana tova!
Of course I had to take some of those lovelies home!  They are very small and hard like stones - not the variety for eating. BUT - aren't they pretty?

Photographs by Uri Eshkar.

Monday, September 26, 2011


Montenegro - Crna Gora - where to begin? 

With the high wondrous in rich foliage covered mountains?  The turquoise rivers low on water at this season cutting through them? The ever present calm Adriatic sea? The endless beaches? The simple boats? The sky flowing from the mountains into the sea? The deep gorges? The magnificent trees, many hundreds of years old? The delicious well spiced food? The absolute unique and gorgeous Kotor bay? The small cities with their antic centers, and the picturesque little villages? The narrow streets along the sea and the even narrower scary roads clinging to the rocks and winding in tight curves through the mountains? The beautiful bridges with graceful arches spanning the river gorges? The thinly sliced yummy prosciutto from Njegusi?

The colors in hundreds of hues? The textures inviting to be touched? The smells? The fresh air calling for breathing consciously? The lights and shadows? The sound of the sea and the breezes and the wind? The evening sun making the water of the sea glitter and shimmer? The lovely sheep and the naughty goats? The sight of  fishermen standing quietly with their rods at dawn at the seaside? The many different wild flowers? The vast natural untouched healthy forests? The autumn colors? The thousands of pomegranate bushes along the sea shore with millions of little stone hard lovely crowned fruits on them? The still and peaceful lakes? 

The haze in the mornings? The rose hips surprising with blotches of red thrown into the blue of the sky? The fig trees every where, loaded with fruit? The palms bountiful with dates? The monasteries and churches? The cafes sitting on the pebbled beaches?  The soft splashing noise of the gentle waves onto the coast? The music from the bars on the shore? The pure clear clean transparent seawater with its many shades of blue and turquoise? Its salty taste? The swimming in it? The floating on it? The warm sunny days and cool nights? Niksicko, the light and good local beer? The strong heavenly rain we had for an afternoon, pounding on the boats and making the lake ripple? The tiny pretty islands? The big ships passing and causing waves? The lights mirroring and playing and corkscrewing on the water at night in thousand glimmering colors? The people of this land, who are not quick to smile at strangers? The views? - Oh those marvelous views!

Dobrodosli - Welcome!

Slowly I would like to unfold the beauty and splendor and loveliness of this small but great country in the Balkan we enjoyed for the last ten days.
Photographs by Uri Eshkar.


Some time ago six wool skeins flew over land and sea into my home. They came from Norway as a present from a dear friend. She had masterly dyed them with plant material into beautiful shades of pastel greens and yellows. I was so pleased with it! Since my hands can never be without something creative to do, I took the wool and a crochet hook with me on our vacation to Montenegro with a  bag in my mind.
We had hired a room at the beach in Kumbor, a sobe, for the last three days. Since I forgot to bring a button with me I dared to ask the woman of the villa if she might have one. She brought out a very old and tattered sewing basket and rummaged around. Then smiling she presented me with the most beautiful big brown wooden button! Hvala - thank you - Vesna!
Voila - I could finish the bag and I used it happily for the remaining days!
Photographed patiently (most of the time!) :-) by my husband Uri Eshkar.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


The cats at the many monasteries in Montenegro are very well cared for. Here we were greeted by three lovely pitch black ones, who of course reminded me of Goldie.

And then this other one - mhmmmm, melting my heart...
Outside the monastery yard I spotted cyclamen - I could not believe my eyes and called my husband. Cyclamen in September? Wow, got he excited - yes there is a variety of cyclamen which grows in autumn, but he never was lucky to see them before!
Cyclamen graecum is their botanical name. They have this typical little knots at the bottom of the pink flower petals, called auricles, they bloom in autumn, they have five petals with distinct thin magenta colored stripes on them, and they are darker at the bottom. What a pleasant special surprise gift of the day!
Photographs by Uri Eshkar.