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C + 3 : Crossing into Montenegro

After three days in Albania, we left this morning for Montenegro. The wind had calmed down but there was still a rough swell from the storm the night before - sometimes with waves 2 meters high - we had some collateral damage in the kitchen ... oh well!

Albanian coast this morning

After two hours of sailing we lowered the flags and replaced the Albanian with the Montenegrin - still the double headed eagle of the Byzantine Empire but now in gold. People here love tradition!

Hoisting of the flags at 9 am with the Montenegrin Double Eagle on top

As we approached the coast of Montenegro it became clear how thr country got its name - the Venetians always called the lands Monte Negro€ - Black Mountains. And black they were indeed today - helped of course by the dark rain clouds! Montenegro became independent in 1697 when the Ottomans decided to leave these fierce, troublesome mountain folks alone. They were only a few and poor anyway - they paid almost no taxes - so why bother? 2/3 of Montenegro’s population is Serb, about 1/3 is Albanian. It was the enthusiastic Serb majority who brought Montenegro in 1918 into the new Yugoslav state - something many regretted later during the civil war in the 1990 when their sons had to go to war on the Serbian side against Croatia, their neighbour. In 2006 the country declared independence again - with full support from its Albanian minority . In 2017 Montenegro joined NATO, uses the Euro as currency and now waits for full EU membership.

The mighty black mountains of. the Monetenegrin coast at 11 am

As predicted by Captain Mustafa rain cought up with us by noon . The rain was torrential - so heavy! Good chance that none is left now for tomorrow

Bar Harbour at 12 am - the official port of Immigration from Albania

We used the rainy afternoon for a trip to Ulcinj, the pirate nest 30 min to the south. Its harbour was too small for the Dragonfly but we had to immigrate in Bar, further north

The rough coast north of Ulcinj - no wonder the pirates loved it here - easy to escape

Ulcinj today is a party place with all Eastern European nations present - according to the car number plates we saw. The crowd of young people moves happy thru the narrow streets! Ulcinj probably already was a party place when pirates prayed on passing cargo ships (see blog C - 27). If they were able to catch a galley they could sell the crew into slavery, the galley ship to the Ottomans and the 150 tons of high value cargo to the highest bidder. Am pretty sure the pirates then partied until there were no money left and hunting started again!

Ulcinj - pirate nest and party place

Today only overpriced restaurants pray on tourists of. We avoided the fate and had dinner at Chef Vis'€™ place, our friend who works in the winter as chef in one of the hotels in Zermatt. The food was excellent!

Chef Vis cooking dinner for us - he is so proud of his own olive oil!

According to the latest weather forecast there is sunshine tomorrow - yahoo!!!!

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