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The Trans Montenegro-Serbia Express

Mighty Travels

Two tea lovers make their way around Europe with their Mighty Leaf

The Trans Montenegro-Serbia Express June 21, 2007

Sure, there are a good number of buses that run between the Adriatic coast of Montenegro and the capital of Serbia, Belgrade, but there isn't much charm, allure, and Old World character in taking an air conditioned motor liner for seven hours, when you can take a train for ten. Well, actually the train is supposed to be eight and half, but it's always late. That is part of the charm after all.

You get a First Class ticket. The only difference from Second Class is that you lose the possible threat of small children, massive cigarette smoke, and maybe a chicken running around your red velvet seat. So you start in Bar, Montenegro, a rather fun-less town on the Adriatic which serves as a major port for the country. From there, you wind through some crazy twists and turns on the tracks until everything opens up and you slide across Lake Skadar, watching boats calmly plod their way across the still waters. Then, it's back in to the mountains, through multiple tunnels until you reach the capital of Montenegro, Podgorica. After a never-ending stop, you start realizing that there are better ways to view the vast valleys of the landscape (think Yosemite the size of a country) and you head for the dining car. Once there, you order a pot of boiling water and get a strange look. "Maybe you'd like a coffee?", the attendant asks, but no, you want a tea, specifically a spicy, orange tea to have with that chunk of Italian chocolate you've been carrying with you.

You sit back and watch the valleys, gorges, streams, rivers, small towns, herds of sheep, and pastoral life run by you for hour after hour. Then, there is a quick series of tunnels and the sunlight is like Morse Code. You burst through it all and come out upon the plane that leads onward to Belgrade. The train accelerates rapidly and you decide that since your tea is long-finished, returning to your seat for a little nap seems like a wonderful idea.

Where: Montenegro/Serbia
Food: Chocolate, the darker the better
Tea: Orange Dulce