SKADAR LAKE: COUNTDOWN TO SPRING

 

spring Skadar Lake1 spring Skadar Lake2Skadar Lake is close to Podgorica and it is always waiting to be explored. Historic villages, gastronomic delights (trout and carp!), breath-taking views, islands and monasteries, old stone bridges … but above all, natural beauties. Depending on the weather, the lake can be blue, green, and sometimes dark grey. Its color changes all the time. And its flora and fauna make the area absolutely unique.

In the last weekend of February we made a round trip from Podgorica to Rijeka Crnojevića and Virpazar, following the old caravan road. Spring was in the air! Coming from Podgorica, we enjoyed the magnificent view from “Pavlove strane”, but we were also delighted to discover purple carpets of wild crocuses along the road near Rvaši (photo 1).

spring Skadar Lake2.1The first violets had already appeared and at many places we saw patches of yellow flowering trees: the European cornel or dogwood (Cornus Mas) (photo 2).

Just before reaching Rijeka Crnojevića we turned left and passed the old stone bridge. The panorama was spectacular. The water level was still high and naked trees were mirrored in the Lake, creating a mystic atmosphere. Driving through the dense woodlands, we soon arrived at the village of Čukovići, where we parked the car, as we had the feeling that wild spring flowers would, first of all, grow along the Seljani brook near the footpath to the mills of Poseljani (see my blog post: “The mills and bridges of Poseljani”). So we walked downhill and followed the trail along this small current (photo 3).

spring Skadar Lake3And yes, we were right! Both sides of the path and the stream were decorated with wild flowers: snowdrops, wild crocuses, violets, beautiful primroses (photo 4) and Alpine squills (photo 5). What a treasure! Did you know that many of these wild flowers are on the “Red List” in the Netherlands? Primrose (Primula Vulgaris) is protected and so is two-leaved squill (Scilla Bifolia). And in Montenegro you can see them on each foot step!

We did not have enough time to hike further to Poseljani and so we continued our trip by car. Along the road to Komarno, the views of the Lake are spectacular. There was hardly any traffic on the narrow road and soon we reached the serpentines above Virpazar, with a great view of this charming town.

spring Skadar Lake4We arrived just before sunset. And then we got a surprise… The sky and the water of the Lake had already become deep grey at that moment, but the last sunbeams made the reed appear almost golden in color. It was a surrealistic picture (photo 6)!

So – after the long and rainy Montenegrin winter – this is the time to explore nature. Feel the spring! Enjoy the first wild flowers!

 

spring Skadar Lake6

3 Comment

  1. Juan Carlos says: Reply

    Hello Marianne! First of all, congratulations for your amazing blog. It is pretty difficult to find some information about the country and this blog is very useful. My girlfriend and I are planning our trip to Montenegro next September. We will fly to Podgorica since flying to Croatia is almost the same price and after that, we have to get to the country. Our main concern is rent a car or not. Do you recommend to rent it? We don’t know how roads are and driving aptitude there. Our plans is to stay around 10 days, some in the north and then move to the south. Thanks in advance for your time

    1. Hi Juan Carlos,
      Thank you for your nice comment. I hope you will spend a great time in Montenegro. In my opinion, it is a good idea to rent a car at Podgorica airport (also possible online) where you can find good European agencies, like Europcar, Autoeurope, Avis and others. Most roads in Montenegro are good and driving is not a problem, when you take care. You are right, traffic is rather chaotic here, like in most Mediterranean countries!
      Have a nice time and if you need any further advice, pls let me know.
      Kind regards, Marianne

      1. Juan Carlos says: Reply

        Hi Marianne! Thanks for your quick answer. I guess driving is as chaotic as in Spain. I will be back to you if I need some information 🙂
        Kind regards,
        Juan Carlos

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