Monday, August 10, 2009

Day 10: Ostrog Monastery, Montenegro

We're sleeping here tonight! After driving south by bus to Montenegro (approx. 7 hours), we arrive at the stunning Ostrog Monastery, which was built into the side of a rocky mountain in the 17th century!

Ostrog since been a destination for visiting Orthodox Christian pilgrims as well as those seeking a cure for their bodies and soul. In the afternoon, we go on a hike to the Upper Monastery where relics of the founder, St Vasilije, are kept.

Our accommodation for the night is a konak (simple night quarters) close to the Lower Monastery. This is a wonderful opportunity to mingle with other travellers and pilgrims.

A more adventurous option is to stay in the konak near the Upper Monastery where you get to sleep on wooden benches (blankets are provided).

Montenegro is Europe's newest country, after breaking off from Serbia in 2006. A few months ago Montenegro applied for European Union membership... This tiny country has a population of just 678,177, equal Manhattan above 125th Street or 1/4 of Brooklyn... Its area is just 5,019 square miles, slightly larger than Connecticut. They speak 'Montenegrin,' which is pretty much identical to Serbian, Croatian, and Bosnian. A language is a dialect with an army.... : -)

Here's an awesome video visit to the Monastery...

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