Farming around Lake Skadar

In the Spring when water levels are high, the northern shores of Lake Skadar are huge areas of flooded field and woodland and difficult to explore.  To the north is the southern edge of the Podgorica plain and, together with the airport, a patchwork of towns, villages and farmland. The eastern shore is Albanian territory. I have spent most…

Rumija Rocks

The sweet chestnut woodland along the road from Livari is just below the small, hidden village of Gornja Briska. I walked up through the old, dark trees to avoid the village in the early morning. Only a yaffle then a flash of green woodpecker and ever noisy nuthatches proved there was any life in the cold…

Velika Plaza and Ada Bojana

At the south-eastern corner of Montenegro, the boundary with Albania is the river Bojana.  The river delta is at the eastern end of the 13km long Velika Plaza (Great Beach) that runs all the way from the old town of Ulcinj.  The large river splits neatly in two a few kilometres from the sea and the…

Buljarica Spring

A week later and the weather is balmy; cool first thing in the sharp breeze but soon warming into a cloudless and hot day. The back road that skirts the eastern end of the reed bed passes through small pastures and fallow fields divided by thorn shelter belts, untended olive groves and finally a few houses…

Buljarica Bora

Buljarica is a large wetland, predominantly reed bed, on the coast just east of Petrovac. On the late afternoon of March 7th there was bright sunlight coupled with a fierce, ice cold wind that came in gusts and ripped the water off the surface of the sea. This was the Bora or Bura at work;…

Rumija’s Chestnut Woodlands

Soon after the narrow road from Virpazar to Ostros passes the turn for the small village of Livari, the scraggy oak-hornbeam gives way to a woodland of huge, sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa) trees that straddles the road. These are ancient, venerable trees with thick, deeply riven trunks and decaying crowns. On walking around, some seem to be…

Žabljak Crnojevića

Today was the first warm and sunny weekend of the year with no icy wind to fend off and the day trippers from Podgorica were packing Virpazar and the mountain roads.  The old fortress, or to be exact fortified town, of Žabljak Crnojevića is not on the tourist trail; the road leading to it is off the new Golubovci by-pass,…

Rumija Mountain

The road from Virpazar runs along the southern shore of Lake Skader but this is no gentle drive but a twisting, edge of the hill, thread of a lane for 30km or more to Ostros. The dramatic drive gives dramatic views of the Lake and villages that find the few areas of flat fertile land…

Biogradska Gora

The tarmac path from the car park up to the small lake within Biogradska National Park is only a couple of kilometres but Spring had not started to dent the knee deep snow. The lake is 1,094m above sea level so the sign told me and a different world from the oak-clad hills filled with crocus…