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View Full Version : Road trip '2007 or Dobro Došli v Crnu Goru



sashikas
08-26-2007, 03:50 PM
Yesterday I finally got a chance to use the internet and check all the events I have missed during couple past weeks. When I logged on to IBN, I got this message:

Hello sashikas it appears that you have not posted on our forums in several weeks, why not take a few moments to ask a question, help provide a solution or just engage in a conversation with another member in any one of our forums?
And I thought, what could I write? And nothing else came into my mind but the reasons of this break. And those are very simple - I was on vacation. There is such a saying, that you have to learn your enemy from inside, so I went to Adriatic coast of Montenegro spending a bunch of time on the Serbian roads.. I hope you got the joke.

Here's the first part of the story.

Driving to Montenegro.

The idea of getting off to somewhere in Europe was in my mind from the beginning of this summer. Only couple weeks before the start of my vacation I decided, that the main destination will be Montenegro, and only coulple days before the start of the trip I actually started to learn the information about the places of interest, places to stay and so on. So the trip was a bit adventuristic.

We put together our road legend basing on googlemaps and the tips of the ones, who took this trip earlier. The route went through these cities:
Vilnius - Kaunas - Marijampolė - Suwałki - Augustów - Białystok - Lublin - Rzeszów - Prešov - Košice - Miskolc - Budapest - Subotica - Novi Sad - Beograd - Čačak - Užice - Prijepolje - Bijelo Polje - Podgorica - Petrovac - Budva. So on Monday August 13th (lucky number) we packed our luggage, put it into mine ten year old Mitsubishi Carisma and headed away from Vilnius. Unlike most, we started our trip in the afternoon. The reason for this is during the upcomming night to pass through...

...Poland

It is a huge transit country with a very intense truck load on their roads. These make the driving in this country anything but pleasure. So our trick was to pass the woma's and Fillip's country during the night time - when all the truck drivers are snoring in the cabins of their trucks, parked in petrol stations. This trick payed off - we entered Poland something around 8 in the evening and crossed their border with Slovakia early in the morning. Up till this trip I had really bad memories about the roads in this country, but I must admit, that after this trip my opinion has changed quite dramatically. There was only one part of the road (as far as I remember it was between Międzyrzec Podlaski and Lublin), which was a bit rusty, but it didn't manage to ruin my improved opinion. Moreover, you can easily notice, that Poland is investing a lot in the safety on roads - lots of towns has a speed radar on the entrance, which reports to you, when you are over the speed limit, on the dangerous crossroads they even provide you with the statistics, how many people were killed or hurt on this particular place during the car accidents. Though the method is a bit scary, but it really works and makes you cautious.

Slovakia

Slovakia is another country, which was only passed through. There was only 100-120 kilometers of it. As you enter the country on Barwinek/Vyšny Komarnik bordercross point, the country meets you with the short exposition of World War II war machines - there was an air fighter and two tanks - a German and a Russian one. On the road you visit two administrative centers of the country - Prešov and Košice. Prešov, looking from the window of the car, did not impress me at all - maybe I was too tired from driving all night, or maybe I am too used to 9 store apartment buildings, which were all over the town, and I would find it very hard to find significant differences between two randomly chosen examples. Can't say much about Košice either, although I know, that it really has lots of places to visit, but we just didn't have those on our list this time.

Hungary

The main thing I will always remember from Hungary are their roads. They are just PERFECT for such travellers by car, as we were. First we got to Miskolc by a regular road, but starting from this city they have a highway/autobahn/magistral road, where the speed limit is... actually I don't even know what it is, as nobody cares. It is a paid road, but with all the equipment and clear road signs I find 7€ toll for four days for each highway road in the country as a very reasonable price. The highway vignette could be purchased in the petrol stations near the highway. Actually I didn't find any control system, that would seek, who has a right to use the road and who is cheating, maybe somebody will explain, how the controlling system is working.
In Hungary we had a couple hour break in Budapest - went to the main place of interest - Buda castle and enjoyed the views from there. We had some thoughts to stay for a night in Hungarian capital, but we we were too lazy to find some camping, so we decided to head further to ..

..Serbia ...

...which seemed to be nice road trip country from the first impressions - roads were OK (at least from Subotica to Novi Sad), not overloaded with cars and so on. When we got closer to Novi Sad, we learned, why it is so - they were paid - 400 Dinars (also about 7 euros) for a passthrough. Well, we paid in Hungary, so why to bother about payng in Serbia... But then the Novi Sad - Belgrade part started. Part of that is still under construction, and the road is not that good at all. And what do you know - you will have to pay for this part of the road separately. Also 400 dinars. After Hungary it seemed like a robery to us.. Angry and cursing the transportation ministry of Serbia we reached Belgrade. And it met us with a traffic jam and no road signs at all. If there were some road signs - they were painted over. So I had to depend on the map of the city I had. And it was very generalized. No wonder we felt a bit lost. Luckily we took the right direction, but we still were uncertain about our decisions, so we stopped at the first petrol station, bought a detailed map of Belgrade, and asked the station operator to help us get out of the city in the right direction. He was kind enough to explain, how to do that. I wonder, would he be that kind if I would have asked for that in English, not Russian, as I did..
The traffic between Belgrade and Čačak was a complete mess. It seemed, that each serbian citizen after sitting behind the wheel turns into a complete bastard and just can't drive as signs near the road suggest him to do. Moreover they just can't stand, if somebody is trying to keep those signs in mind and drive according to them. I knew, that southern europeans are very expressive people, but up till this trip I didn't meet their expressiveness. On the third or fourth waiving fist, shown by the driver of the car which was overcomming mine, I naturally started to nevermind that.
I didn't mention, that the road in Serbia up till Belgrade is situated in the plains, and all the way to Montenegro from the Serbian capital is in the hills. So, our speed dropped down to average 60-70 kilometers per hour and it got dark outside. As the night before we spent driving, we felt more than tired to drive this night too, moreover the road was way more complicated than in Poland. So we found a camping sign on the road map we had and decided, that we will sleep there. This camping had to be situated in a place named Partizanske Vode. But in the real world we couldn't find that town anywhere. There was just one, which wasn't on our map, named Zlatibor. Later we found out, that the town was renamed. Anyhow, this town is happened to be a mountain resort of Serbia, but there still was no camping there (at least we didn't find it in the midnight time, so we found the first camper truck, and built our tent near it without bothering about the rules. In the morning we went out early, so we could reach Montenegro as fast as we could.

Montenegro

On the map our destination - Budva - wasn't so far away from the place we spend the night. But the map cannot reflect the mountains, upon which the road is built and cannot predict, how long we will spend passing through them. It took us about 8 hours to travel the remaining 300 kilometers. And it's all because the mountains and the trucks cruising on the roads. Until this trip I haven't felt myself in "breathtaking" situation. Now I know what it means. The views are just untellable. But it is a real test for drivers nerves to drive through those mountains. The average speed drops to 30-40 kilometers per hour. And if there is a truck in front of you, then boy, you have a situation.. It moves very slowly.. and there's very few places you can overcome it. So you have to move in his speed, until you find that place. The right foot is always on the brake. And if you obsess it too much, the drum brakes might just heat up and stop function in the right way. That's what happened to us. Luckily, the troubles were temporary, and when the brake chilled down a bit, we could continue our trip.
We reached Podgorica about noon, and it was August 15th. In Lithuania we have a festival on this date, and people don't go to work. I think there was something similar there too, as the traffic to the seaside was crazy. One dude with old Yugo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yugo) almost hit me in the back, but luckily he turned his wheel to the right and finished his stoppage on the pavement.
The road to the seaside also featured a 4 km tunnel, which probably helps to avoid slow mountain roads. It was also paid, but after Serbian road blackmarketing 2,5 € looked as a fair price.

To be continued.

P.S. I will post the pictures as soon as I fix my laptop, which broke down during this trip.

elaj
08-28-2007, 09:25 AM
Seems like you had a great time. :cool:

Too bad you didn't go to Guča trumpet festival (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gu%C4%8Da_trumpet_festival), I heard it's quite an experience.

adebisi
08-31-2007, 11:12 PM
I am still waiting for an update :D

Zalgirinis
09-01-2007, 08:33 AM
Wow, what a flashback here for me. And Sashikas, how come you managed to copy my trip to Montenegro so precisely without asking me? :)

Two years ago I travelled the same roads, mountains, same 2,5 euros tunnel etc to Eurobasket05 in Podgorica. We stayed for 5 days in Petrovac then. And now you go the same way may I say 2 years too late :)

That mountain between Podgorica and Petrovac/Budva, oh my... we had to go back and forth every day there. What a pain... However we cared about heating up the brakes only for first 2 days, then we became serbian road maniacs too, just beep and overtake truck anytime you want to :)

Actually, we thought we became serbian road maniacs till one time... Me and friend decided to go to Podgorica earlier than all our crew (stayed in beach) with cars, so we decided to hitchhike. One car brought us till the tunnel, then we waited quite long for other, but young guys with VW Golf stopped. When they were going 180 km/h through tunnel, we thought "its ok, in tunnel the road is plain", but when they didnt slow down much when mountain started it was something of "experience" to us :)

Another time we missed our guys with cars after the game, so travelled with some other Lith fans, who we thought were staying also in Petrovac, but when we arrived... it was Budva. Luckily cops who were leading us were kind enough and took us to Petrovac way after the midnight.

And everything else is same in your story as would be in mine. Just we couldnt get out of Belgrad much longer and had to ask people like 5 times to finally get out of the city. After that some big road was closed, so we had to move through a small one, in which only two small cars could pass. The thing was Crvena Zvezda played some football game that day and buses full of people were going to Belgrad through that road, so it was so big jam there as bus and car couldnt pass each other, and Im not even talking about overtaking anybody... But it was ok in the end :)

stuart
09-12-2007, 10:41 PM
Wow, sounds pretty cool. Eastern Europe is definitely on my list, probably for 2009. Early wish list includes Slovenia, Lithuania, Hungry, and Estonia. I want to hit India next year.

Stuart

sashikas
09-18-2007, 07:40 PM
Since the eurobasket is over, I can finish what I have started prior it.

As I mentioned in the first part, our destination was Budva, but when we came there, we decided to rent an apartment in a village near it. So we went back to a place named Pržno. As I mentioned, we arrived there on August 15th, wednesday, but it seemed, that everybody were celebrating some festival, and there were a lot of people by the sea. We finally found a place to park and decided to go and find the place to live. First two houses with "SOBE" sign on them were full, then three of us went to a place, which looked more likely to have some free rooms, and one girl stayed on a crossroad to have a rest. And what do you know - we came back with empty hands, and she was standing there with a local unkle, who was offering a place for us. The place was very good, for the price we paid - we took it for four nights, and it costed 15 Euros for each per night. The only requirement we had for that place is to see the ocean from it's window. Look what a view we had:

http://aleksandras.infosa.lt/img/IMG_0574.jpg

and if you look on the right:

http://aleksandras.infosa.lt/img/IMG_0577.jpg

So, we took the place, and went to have a swim. Damn, that Adriatic sea was salty... Other thing is that you don't even have to move your legs while swimming in that sea - the concentration of the salt is big enough to keep your body on the top of water.

Beach views:

The most expensive beach by some hotel, which name I don't remember:
http://aleksandras.infosa.lt/img/IMG_0595.jpg

A view to Sveti Stefan monistery on an island:
http://aleksandras.infosa.lt/img/IMG_0599.jpg

A view from that island to the village of Sveti Stefan:
http://aleksandras.infosa.lt/img/IMG_0606.jpg

The beach of Sveti Stefan:
http://aleksandras.infosa.lt/img/IMG_0614.jpg

Coastal nature
http://aleksandras.infosa.lt/img/IMG_0616.jpg
http://aleksandras.infosa.lt/img/IMG_0838.jpg

On the second day we've decided to take a trip to the old capital of Montenegro - Cetinje, and the national park of Lovćen, which is near it. The first part didn't make a special impression, but the national park and the road home from there was impressive. The views are untellable...

http://aleksandras.infosa.lt/img/IMG_0661.jpg

My brother with Žalgriris scarf on the mount of Lovcen:
http://aleksandras.infosa.lt/img/IMG_0672.jpg

Me and the car that worked almost without any troubles:
http://aleksandras.infosa.lt/img/IMG_0673.jpg

The main place of interest in the national park is the Mausoleum of Njegoš (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petar_II_Petrovi%C4%87-Njego%C5%A1) .
Views from there:

Štirovnik peak:
http://aleksandras.infosa.lt/img/IMG_0684.jpg

Mausoleum of Njegoš:
http://aleksandras.infosa.lt/img/IMG_0685.jpg

A view from the peak with the Mausoleum:
http://aleksandras.infosa.lt/img/IMG_0687.jpg

Me on the terrace of Mausoleum:
http://aleksandras.infosa.lt/img/IMG_0706.jpg

As I said, we decided to take a different road on the way back home. I will never regret that we took this decision. The road was heading through the mountains down to the town of Kottor, which has a beautiful Roman oldtown with a fortress high in the mountains. It is situated near the Kotor-Risan bay, which is included in to UNESCO World heritage list.

That's me astonished by the views I was lucky to see:
http://aleksandras.infosa.lt/img/IMG_0732.jpg

This is called the most beautiful view on the Kotor-Risan bay from the mountains.
http://aleksandras.infosa.lt/img/IMG_0751.jpg

Look whom we met on our road down to Kotor
http://aleksandras.infosa.lt/img/IMG_0759.jpg

Church in the oldtown of Kotor
http://aleksandras.infosa.lt/img/IMG_0780.jpg

Fortress on the hill above Kotor
http://aleksandras.infosa.lt/img/IMG_0808.jpg

A view on the Kotor-Risan bay from the coast
http://aleksandras.infosa.lt/img/IMG_0816.jpg

We went up to the place called Kamenari, where took a ferry, similar to the ones we have here in Klaipėda, which allowed us to cut the big part of the road back. The cost of it was even cheaper, than here (4 Euros).
http://aleksandras.infosa.lt/img/IMG_0823.jpg

On other days we just were relaxing by the sea not far from our home. On one night we decided to visit the old town of Budva, which as we were suspecting, also had to be Roman style. And we weren't wrong. As the visit there took place when it was dark, there's no pictures of there.

Our road back wasn't that different from the road we experienced several days before. The only difference, that we decided to avoid the paid roads in Serbia, and took other direction - from Užice we went straight to Valjevo, then Šabac, Novi Sad and Subotica. The only new experience was the number of policemen on the roads. After several patrols we decided to count them. The final number on the road from Užice to Novi Sad, in the National park near which we stopped for a night, was around 25.

The part from Novi Sad to Vilnius was without any deep impression - the vacations were comming to an end, and the mood was becoming a bit depressing.

That's it. If you ever decide to go to Montenegro - please do not hesitate. It's worth it!

rikhardur
09-18-2007, 08:42 PM
Great photos, thanks for sharing sashikas ;)

Juan Carlos Nadal
09-18-2007, 08:51 PM
Wow! Did I enjoy reading this. I love such stories about trips. Even moreso when they come with pics like the above.

Great job, Sash! Thanks for sharing ;)

Jan van Grabski
09-18-2007, 08:59 PM
thanx for amazing views of Kotor-Risan bay.....and i agree adriatic sea is a disaster, salty, warm, almost boiling water and you feel like being with life jacket....i cant understand how people can even put a finger there :rolleyes: :D

elaj
09-18-2007, 09:01 PM
Great stuff man! You took some amazing photos! ;)

ArkadiosV2
09-19-2007, 01:58 AM
Great photos and places man, definetly worth the effort.

Montenegro is definetly going into my trips list, but after 2009.

re5pectas
11-26-2007, 09:48 AM
Nice trip! I also wana go by car anywhere, it must be fun :)
Just need a good company :D

more trips appreciated :cool:

Straight forward
12-17-2007, 09:16 AM
Realy nice trip, sashikas! I'm planning the trip to Slovakia, Hungary, Austria (or someth like this) in spring. This time with my own car. Last summer i was hitchhiking from Kaunas to Barselona, but i'm getting older and the trip with a car seems so pure to me at the moment :rolleyes: What kind of fuel did you used? I'm planning to use a gas, so i'm interested is there gas stations in Hungary, Austria, Slovenia, Serbia? Maybe some other people could help me with this too?

Joško Poljak Fan
12-17-2007, 10:12 AM
gas stations... :confused: what is that... :confused: :D:eek::confused::):(:o:p:confused:

Straight forward
12-17-2007, 10:34 AM
gas stations... :confused: what is that... :confused: :D:eek::confused::):(:o:p:confused:

yes, i was pretty sure it could sound pretty funny :) There are different types of fuel: benzine (?), diesel and gas. So, do you have some gas in Slovenia? :rolleyes: :)

And, come on, i'm serious. I heard that there's no gas for cars in Denmark. Is that true?

sashikas
12-17-2007, 11:09 AM
Realy nice trip, sashikas! I'm planning the trip to Slovakia, Hungary, Austria (or someth like this) in spring. This time with my own car. Last summer i was hitchhiking from Kaunas to Barselona, but i'm getting older and the trip with a car seems so pure to me at the moment :rolleyes: What kind of fuel did you used? I'm planning to use a gas, so i'm interested is there gas stations in Hungary, Austria, Slovenia, Serbia? Maybe some other people could help me with this too?
My car is running on diesel. I have filled my tank fully in Lithuania and it was enough to pass through Poland. On the border with Slovakia I have filled it once again, and that was enough till Užice, which is in halfway from Belgrade to Podgorica. Next fill was on the way back in Podgorica to get rid of all the coins, then in Valjevo, after that - a small inflow of diesel on the border of Hungary and Slovakia (about 10 liters to pass the country of Zlaty Bažant but it was enough till first bigger city in Poland), and the last one - in Rzeszow.

In the EU countries the prices are a bit higher than in Lithuania, mostly about 1 Еuro for a liter (in Hungary and Slovakia it was more expensive than in other places on the way). Serbian petrol prices are similar to ours, the only difference is that they have two types of diesel - a regular one and so called "Eurodiesel". I have tried both types, and sincerely, no difference was noticed.

mvblair
12-17-2007, 03:47 PM
I can't believe I only now saw this thread. There are some wonderful pictures and stories here, Sashikas. I will try to post something similar. This was a lot of fun to read!

Straight forward
12-21-2007, 12:08 PM
damn, no-one seems to care about the gas :D