Monday, June 11, 2018

A Strange Encounter in Montenegro

Have you ever had strange encounters during your travels? Encounters that make you go, WTF? I mean, seriously.

Driving the coastal road of Montenegro in the direction of Kotor.

I mean those suspicious calling-for-trouble encounters where afterward you'd wonder what would have happened to you if you did not say no or did not pay attention at all?

Travelling does make us wiser, but there are cases when travelling have gone south (meaning have gone bad) for some people. No one really knows the future and what will happen next during our travels, that is why we always have to constantly watch our backs. Being friendly to strangers does have its perks, but skepticism and being mindful to the details still rules the day.

You can go a long way when you employ street smarts!

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

So this strange encounter happened on our second day in Montenegro. We had a lovely lazy morning in Perast. We took our sweet time and slept in, waking up to the view of the Bay of Kotor from our suite window at the Conte Hotel. Then we had a nice and slow breakfast, and afterward, we did a little walk on the town's promenade. We chose Perast as our home base for our visit to the coast of Montenegro because it is so idyllic and pretty.

After the morning stroll, girlfriend Bubbles and I hopped into the car in the direction of Kotor. We are going sightseeing.

As we sped through the snaky coastal road, we looked out the window and admired the natural scenery that flashes by. The Bay of Kotor is truly stunning. When we first saw the channel, which was after an hour and a half of driving from Dubrovnik, Croatia, and our reaction was all ooohs and aaahs. The lush mountains hover above and cushion the tranquil body of water. It's just so awesome to witness the raw beauty of nature from the running car.

Come to think of it, Montenegro now reminds me of the South Island in New Zealand.

Bubbles was telling me that we should have pictures of this lovely setting. So I told her that I will look for a spacious bend where we can stop for a few minutes to take pictures.

Halfway through the ride, just before the road takes a turn, I spotted a sizable shoulder, so I grabbed the opportunity to stop and park the car neatly beside the road. We quickly got out, very excited to take pictures. Bubbles had a selfie stick, so we did a couple of a selfie here and a selfie there. I was quite happy with the spot because it a was a really nice place, right on the corner bend with stunning views to the fjords.

If you stand near the edge of the cliff and look back in the direction from where we came, you can even see Perast. Unfortunately, I didn't have any selfies as they were not taken on my camera. I, however, managed to take pictures of the breathtaking surroundings.

I took these pictures before the man arrived.

As we were busy doing our picture taking, a red car suddenly pulled up in front of us and a lanky scruffy looking man came out. He went straight to us and started conversing in perhaps, Montenegrin, the local language. We were actually taken aback a bit because he came too forward. We replied in English that we do not understand him. He continued to talk, more like repeating himself again. So we responded back with the same thing, in English -- We do not understand him.

However, the man cannot be buggered. He kept talking and ignoring the pleas that we do not understand him. He was, I should say, very, very insistent to relay his message to us, whatever it is.

I also began to notice that he was becoming quite assertive in his tone and body language.

Somehow during the exchange, he managed to pick up the word Perast from us. Perast, as you know, is our home base. Perhaps we mentioned it unknowingly? Surely, I cannot remember anymore, but his eyes grew large and round when he was telling us about Perast. He seemed to be thrilled. The more he became enthusiastic (rabid I should say), the more we inched ourselves back to the car.

The cliff on the bend of the road. This was actually high, perhaps 5-7 meters deep.

Let us just say that it was a rather, very awkward, conversation. I could feel a growing tension and divide between him and us by the second.

But there was no stopping him. He was a man on a mission. He kept on coaxing us, convincing us of something, until he slowly transformed and became really aggressive. He has lost patience! and you could see it in his whole face, in his eyes, and his body.

He then walked to the cliff and beckoned me with his arm to follow him. Of course, I didn't move an inch. He called me again; he wants me to stand beside him on the edge of the cliff because he wants to show me the town of Perast.

Now, this is the part where things got really super strange...

The strange man just wouldn't stop demanding that I go to him and stand beside him on the edge of the cliff. He was actually beginning to sound like a broken record, and yes, he was demanding me to do what he says. Now, that was quite scary. He was very adamant that I follow him, his voice rising and commanding me as if my lot has been chosen by him already. Somehow, he made me feel like I was just an object to him.

I looked up straight to his face and there I saw something bloodcurdling in his eyes. There was anger, frustration, and danger. Alarm bells went ringing in my head.

Bubbles and I looked at each other and in a split of a second, without blinking and saying a word - yes, we were on the same wavelength - we both ran back to the car and locked ourselves inside.

Inside the car, we were like, "What the heck was that!!!???"

"Did you see that he wants you to stand on the edge of the cliff with him?" Bubbles exclaimed between breaths. "He was commanding you!"

"What if he will push me down that cliff?"


I was able to take pictures of the spot where we stopped.

It was a nothing less of a WTF-moment.

Oh, trust me, we had so many gruesome scenarios running in our heads. You do not want to know! Our minds were spinning. Adrenalin pumping, haha.

We did not really panicked because it was daytime and we were on the main road. Although not that busy, a car drives along every minute or two, so we felt relieved that we were not stuck on a dead end road. If something happens, help is just nearby. Just that we had to get into the car and lock the doors, just in case the crazy man will physically threaten us.

The man eventually gave up. He went back to his car and left.

This was the strangest encounter we have ever had on this road trip. Until now, when I think of his hardened face and hostile eyes, I really wondered if he would or could have hurt me, hurt us.

But what can we learn?

We, women, have to be always vigilant and on constant alert. We have to pay attention to the details of safety. We must learn to be able to scan and detect danger quickly. Better skeptical than become a victim. Trust your intuition. If something does not feel right, then it is not right. Get away as quickly as possible before its too late.

Travel Period: May 2018
Destination: Perast (Kotor), Montenegro

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

All pictures were taken by a point and shoot pocket camera or a smartphone.

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