A break from Kosovo in Montenegero

Several weeks into the job and I'm starting to become disenchanted with Kosovo's troubled justice system. All day at work, I read, hear and talk about its many ailments -- corruption, inconsistent laws, poor implementation of laws, lack of independency, transparency, accountability, professionalism... I take those thoughts with me and wonder when things will be better and how. Will Kosovo prove to be an international experiment gone wrong or will the newborn grow into a successful nation? 

Our trip to Montenegro managed to provide temprorary relief from my growing disillusionment with Kosovo's system. 

I’m not a fan of country music. Ashley and Joe are super fans. And the ride from Pristina to Kotor, Montenegro was seven hours, and it was country music almost all the way. The view of mountains and various bodies of waters along the way made up for the disagreeable music. By the way, Joe is a friend who works at the UN and kindly offered to drive us in his UN van.

 It was past midnight by the time we made it to Kotor. We had booked a hostel in Old Town where the streets where still filled with people at 1 am  in the morning. There wasn’t anyone in our hostel room when we arrived, but it was clear we weren’t going to be alone because backpacks and suitcases lined the floor underneath most of the bunk-beds. It turned out to be an eventful night. Our Canadian hostel mates showed up sometime around 2 am and one of them couldn’t hold his drink – he spent several hours spewing out his guts in the bathroom. It must have been 5 am by the time I fell asleep.

 We headed to the fortress Saturday morning after a quick breakfast at a bakery. After a hundred steps or so up the medieval stairs that led to the castle in the mountains, we stopped to take in the view. Wow. This has to be one of the best views I’ve seen.


The mountains, the sea, the town… I can see it all from up here. But after hiking several hundreds more meters, I changed my mind.This is the best view.


I changed my mind several times during the climb up the approximately 1350 stairs (12000 meters) to the fortress with the Montenegro flag waiving at the top.


I had to catch my breath before I could really enjoy the view, and when I did I discovered that the view from the top was the most brilliant.



 We stopped in Budva, Montenegro the next day so Ashley and Joe could swim at the beach and I could bathe in the sunlight at the shore. I’m inclined to believe that any body of water is amazingly beautiful if the sun shines on it right.