1. Mountains. They climb up to 2500m, they pour down straight into the sea, they deliver spectacular views as you drive through them and even when you’re walking in town everytime you lift you’re eyes they’re there in front of you.
2. Hardly anybody speaks English. This gives such an authentic experience of a country. If you’re going to make the most of Montenegro you have to get stuck in, make some embarrassing mistakes (one Easter whilst tring to decline an egg I managed to say something along the lines of my balls don’t work!) but it really helps you understand the people and culture.
3. Sexism. I am prohibited from doing the washing up (due to gender).
4. Children run. I really think we don’t see enough children running around freely in the UK. Few things give me more enjoyment than seeing little children run just for fun. In Montenegro you come across a lot more kids playing in the street and they do a lot more training for competetive sports. Rada’s niece is only 10 years old and training four or five times a week for basketball. I went to watch a couple of days ago and some of the lads there can seriously shoot some hoops!
5. Rambo Amadeus. Check this out for a quality Eurovision entry from Rambo Amadeus this year! Come on UK lets get behind Montenegro when it’s time for the voting later in the year 🙂 The lyrics are in English you just have to listen carefully.
6. Wood smoke. Whenever I catch the aroma of wood smoke in England I can close my eyes and feel like I am taken straight back to Montenegro. Almost everyone burns wood for heating and cooking and I love the smell as you walk the streets.
7. Strong communities and families. I am sure there are other countries who have equally strong communities and families but I have never personally experienced it like I do in Montenegro. I love getting involved in and witnessing the little things – calling cousin to pick us up in his taxi, shovelling dung for the communal vegetable patch, helping Ujak (uncle from mother’s side) unload breeze blocks from the lorry for his house he’s building himself.
8. Food and drink. I am fed and watered ridiculously well in Montenegro. Every visit is accompanied with choice of drink (beer or rakija are the expected options for men) followed by a great spread or main meal. Montenegrins are so hospitable!
9. Soaps. The soap operas shown in Montenegro are hilarious. Usually courtesy of Turkey, Mexico or India each one is guaranteed to have someone in a coma, an over the top wedding, a kidnapping and emotive orchestra music. I don’t understand most of what goes on but that just makes them even funnier to watch.
10. Finally, a very personal reason – Montenegro is where I met my wife so all over the place I find great memories rekindled of those first weeks together and many memorable visits since then.