As our final adventure before returning to real life back in the US, Michael and I spent six days biking around coastal Montenegro with my parents. After a week of all feeling unwell, we were a bit trepidatious to set out on bicycles, but also excited to be feeling like ourselves again. Michael had planned out the whole route and booked apartments along the way; the days were relatively short (20-30 miles) but mountainous, with several days having over 3,000 feet of climbing.
What a fabulous trip it was! The back roads were nicely paved, with very little traffic, and the countryside was absolutely beautiful, especially as the foliage was just starting to change color for fall. (It actually reminded Michael and me a bit of our hikes in Seoraksan last October!)
We climbed up to Cetinje, the former capital of Montenegro, full of embassies from the late 19th century when Montenegro was first created as an independent nation. We coasted downhill to the shores of Lake Skadar, where a series of tiny monasteries dotted the offshore islands and the only road wove through olive trees and fig trees and vineyards along the shore.
We climbed over the coastal mountains to the ancient cities of Bar and Ulcinj, where old fortress cities kept watch over stunning beaches, olive groves, and delicious seafood. And then we climbed our way back up over the mountains on a quiet road over the hills, through a kilometer-long old train tunnel open only to bicyclists, and downhill to a tiny train station where we hopped on a train back to Podgorica.
Logistics-wise, we arranged to rent two more bikes through 3e travel in Podgorica, where the friendly Angelika met us ahead of time to try out an electric bike and then offered to arrange our luggage transfer for a very reasonable price when we ended up renting a road bike and a touring bike instead. Having our luggage driven around made all our riding much easier, and my mom could go incredibly fast on her lightweight road bike!
And when we rode back into Podgorica, we went for a walk around the city and then disassembled our bikes into their suitcases and returned them to their rightful owners – my parents – for their flight back to the US. It had been a wonderful, wonderful adventure, but it was sadly time for it to end.