Montenegrin Mulligan

Earlier in the summer, when we first came through Montenegro, we hired a driver to take us out to see a nearby lake that everyone told us must be seen. When we reached the lookout point, our Oregonian eyes deceived us. It didn’t really look all that must-see.  From high upon a hill at a lookout vantage point, we looked over the lake and thought, yeah, okay, that’s a big lake.


Our driver then got us closer, where we stared at it from a bridge. Still feeling uninspired, we opted not to pay for a guided boat tour into the lake, thinking there was nothing much to see.


We would find out later how wrong we were.


There’s a pernicious paradigm shift that happens to people who live in places where stunning beauty can be found at every turn. We’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest most of our lives, and it has admittedly turned us into nature snobs. We were raised on a steady diet of stunning backdrops which paradoxically hardens the eyes over time to what you consider beautiful. Back in Oregon, our backyard is Crater Lake, a magnificent bowl of azure blue. Our roads are inlaid with a herringbone pattern of rivers, lakes, and waterfalls, that run their majestic course down to the Pacific where massive redwoods stand like mighty sentinels overlooking our postcard coastline.


This gluttonous diet of beauty warps your vision.


A month after our skirmish with Skadar, our new friends over on sv Lia regaled us with tales of their visit to Lake. Obviously, we had missed something. We trusted their endorsement since they live in southern Utah—an equally stunning part of the US.


It was plain to see that our Oregonian eyes had obviously led us astray.


Luckily for us, we are back in Montenegro! So, we charged up the drone and rented a car and headed back.


We quickly learned that reading a lake by its viewpoint doesn’t always tell the full story, sometimes, to unveil the magic, you’ve got to get into the weeds.


It was there, in the middle of the lake, under the shade of a thatch-roofed boat, floating along the margins of an emerald carpet of lilies, pierced with white cranes and gentle breezes, that our Oregon eyes were entranced.


Thank goodness for Montenegrin Mulligans.

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