Balkans 2016 – Day 38 : Shkoder, Albania to Ulcinj, Montenegro

Today I leave Albania with a heavy heart. It’s has been an incredible , wild and memorable 11 days. The challenging and rugged rural terrain and the incredible friends I met along the way will have a long lasting impression on me. So thank you Albania for the ride. 

My plan today is to cross the border at the coast and end up in a town called Ulcinj in Montenegro. 

After a simple breakfast I pushed off from the hostel and headed towards the border crossing which was around 20 KM away. The weather was great again but a tad windy. And headwinds again. The route initially was hugging the river so it was relative flat until after Montenegro border control. Once after that the hills welcomed me and reminded me at every corner I make that Montenegro means Black Mountain. Montenegro is also called Mali Zi in Albanian. So at times people mistook it with Malaysia when they asked me where I am from.

Anyway the border crossing was smooth. In fact it was an interesting crossing. There were lanes for tour bus, cars and travellers. I guess travellers means other transport means like walking and bicycle. I passed my passport to the grumpy looking Albanian immigration officer and waited. After awhile I thought I saw him throw my passport on the floor.  So I was naturally alarmed and concerned. Actually later I found out that  he was throwing it to another counter to a lady who later continued to process my passport. She finally stamped it and return me my passport and I was happily on my way. I reached the signboard that says Welcome to Monrenegro. Eh? No Montenegro border control? I stopped for awhile to ponder a bit the situation. I deduced after awhile that the border complex was a joint complex for Albania and Montenegro. The grumpy guy was Albanian immigration and the lady was Montenegrian. How efficient in terms of time and cost. Maybe more border controls should adopted this instead of building multiple complexes each. 

The hills were not too difficult as it typically rolling with nice downhills as reward for every climb. What make it a bit tiring is the strong headwinds.

I reached Ulcinj around 230pm and settled in at the hostel and proceeded to walk to old city to check it out. The old city was very charming and beautiful. I hiked up to the fotress and was rewarded with a fantastic view of the Adriatic ocean and Ulcinj. I waited until sunset before heading back to the hostel. I had a quick and simple dinner before turning in early. Tomorrow I plan to ride to Budva which is around 70KM away. I suspect it would not be flat all the way.

Lions Project : RM 177.40

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I am on my way to Montenegro
One last glimpse of Albania
 

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Hello Black Mountain
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Nice roads for a change
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Mountains are not black but it’s all around
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More mountains
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A few tunnels. Thankfully most of them short.
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Mandarins are in season. 0,50 Euros for 1 KG
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Beautiful and charming Ulcinj
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Spectacular view from the fortres
 

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They probably say these rubbish are from Albania
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Museum at the fotress
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More incredible views.
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Fantastic Ulcinj sunset

Author: krankster

I am an avid cyclist that loves mountain biking, bike commuting and most of all bicycle touring. I am a freelance leadership coach and hope to inspire others through my cycling adventures.

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