We are city kids and so far we have spent most of our vacations in cities. In Montenegro this should be different…
I searched for a while until, after much back and forth, I decided on an accommodation. So we would spend a week in Dodoši, a small town on Lake Scutari. With the host I had previously exchanged some mails and so we knew, there is no public transport that goes to this place. So we drove with our rental car from Podgorica.
On the way to Dodoši
First we were on the main road that leads to Budva. Then we followed our navigation device off the main road in the direction of Dodoši. At first the road was bad, but still well drivable. A sign told us that it should be a good 7 kilometres to the village.
The road became narrower, on one side the rock went steeply uphill, on the other side it went steeply downhill. By now the road was almost as wide as our rental car and at every bend I hoped that no car would come towards us.
Yes, and then we must have taken a wrong turn… the road became so steep, the curves so narrow and the grass grew in the middle of the road – turning around was impossible – so sweat, hope and keep going. The road stretched on almost endlessly.
After a small hilltop, we suddenly stood on a large concrete square in the middle of the mountains. There were lines painted for a basketball court and some parking bays. A sports field in the middle of nowhere? So we took a deep breath and hoped that we would still come across houses. The road was now a little better, but it was still only as wide as a car. A sign told us that we still had 3 kilometres to go. I had the feeling that I had been on the road for hours …
Then finally we saw the first houses! Dodoši was reached! It wouldn’t have gone any further, the road ends here in the village and it is also the only road there is here.
Now with a bit of distance and knowing that we were really going the wrong way for part of the route, I found the ride quite challenging. Even later on the correct route (unlit, winding and narrow) you should be able to drive well. But – and also looking at it from a distance – the ride is definitely worth it!
Our accommodation – a dream
Fortunately, there is no way to get lost in Dodoši. There is a main road and a turnoff to a small side road.
We drove into it, parked on a meadow right by the lake and were already standing in front of our rented accommodation.
We hadn’t even closed the car door when it was already calling “Susanne?”. Our host Misha stood on the terrace of the house with a mop and bucket and greeted us warmly. I immediately felt at home and his warmth was to accompany us for the rest of the week.
First Misha showed us “our” new home. A really beautiful house in a small garden. Vine grows in the garden and there is a small bed with fresh herbs. There is even a fig tree here, unfortunately the fruits were not quite ripe yet.
The house is about 120 sqm. On the ground floor there is a large kitchen with a huge table, a cosy living room and the bathroom with a bathtub!
On the first floor there are 2 bedrooms and a beautiful balcony. Misha has furnished everything with much love. Some of the furniture is quite old and lovingly restored. Later he tells us that some of the pieces came from his grandparents and have many memories attached to them. I am particularly taken with the huge dining table. It’s just the right size for great family gatherings and I’d love to have a table like that in our flat – if only it wasn’t too small…
Then we sat down together on the small terrace and had a Rakja and fresh fruit to welcome us. Misha told us a little about his house. He lives in a small room behind the house, so he is almost always available.
By the way, the “shock” came for us. There was no electricity! Language difficulties or whatever, we just heard no electricity for 2 days! We had chosen the house because there was supposed to be wifi, we had to work and then no electricity! Luckily it soon turned out that “only from 7am-1pm” the electricity was off due to maintenance. So we were able to charge everything overnight and use up every last drop of electricity the next day. But no electricity also meant the water pump wasn’t running. Misha had already deposited water canisters in the bathroom and kitchen. In addition, water stood in the sun and warmed up.
The first shock was quickly digested… and luckily the maintenance work didn’t take 2 whole days and the electricity flowed again the next day at noon.
The small “electricity problem” was the only problem with our accommodation. We felt completely at home here. I enjoyed the peace and quiet – it felt like 5 cars drove past the house during the week, no planes flew by – I heard bees buzzing and cows mooing (more on that topic later). It was the perfect accommodation for us, which made a mixture of little work and a lot of relaxation possible.
Do you know Dodoši?
After a short break, we set off to discover the place. We didn’t get far … a cow was standing in the middle of the road, grazing with pleasure in our direction. What does a city kid like me do? Back behind the protective garden fence!
Misha looked at me without understanding, the cow would get out of our way. So I started attempt number 2. In the meantime, the cow had arrived at our rental car and I “bravely” crept past her.
This was not to be my only encounter with cows during our stay in Dodoši. Cows live in the area around the village and roam freely most of the year. In the evening, it was particularly interesting to observe a bull/steer calling his “female herd” back together. He stood in an open area and made his presence known loudly. From the surrounding forest, the cows answered, apparently orienting themselves to the calls and then converging for the night. Yes, and then it could happen that a cow would appear from behind a tree, turn around in fright and disappear again if you happened to be in the way.
Back to our village exploration. Dodoši today consists of about 50 houses, 2 restaurants and a small shop. Restaurants and shop are open when they are open. There are no fixed opening hours.
Dodoši used to be one of the most important places on Lake Scutaria. The village has existed since the 16th century and many people moved to Dodoši over the years. Over 150 houses stood in what was then the largest village on the lake. Later, people moved away from the lake. Houses stood empty and today about 20 families still live here. The average age is well over 50 years, young people are almost only seen at weekends.
Day visitors come to the small village especially on weekends. They swim in the lake, eat in one of the restaurants and drive back to town before sunset – then it gets quiet again and you can hear the frogs croaking and the cows mooing.
Of course, we also visited the two restaurants. They are located directly on the water and offer mainly fish dishes. The fish, of course, comes almost exclusively from the lake. I have rarely enjoyed such good food!
We have enjoyed it here.