I woke up today at 06:30, showered, dressed, got ready, and made it to the front of the hostel by 07:15 (the first out of the eight in our tour group to show up). I then waited as the others showed up – the short Slovenian man I had met in Tirana, an older German woman with German-Chilean ancestry, a Brazilian woman, an Australian woman, a Turkish woman, an English couple (who are driving around the continent), and our Montenegrin tour guide. Once assembled (shortly after 07:30), we walked out of the old town of Kotor and to our tour van. We all got inside and drove off to our first destination: the small town of Perast, located on the Bay of Kotor. Upon arriving at the town, we exited the vehicle and walked 200 meters along the waterfront, looking at the town’s buildings and the islets of St. George and Our Lady of the Rocks, which are small islands near the town; the Island of St. George (officially, “Ostrvo Sveti Đorđe”) is a natural island that contains the Saint George Benedictine monastery from the twelfth-century AD; the Island of Our Lady of the Rocks (officially, “Gospa od Škrpjela”) is an artificial island that contains the Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Rock, which was built in 1632 AD. Once done with our short walk, the tour guide picked us up in the van and we continued on our journey. We then made another stop on the highway overlooking the Bay of Kotor and we had a grand view of the bay and surrounding mountains. Continuing on, we drove further in to the heart of Montenegro, to a vantage point overlooking Lake Slano (an artificial lake) and Lake Krupac (a natural one). Next, we drove in to the town of Niksic and stopped for breakfast. We exited the vehicle and bought something to eat at a very fair-priced bakery (I had a large croissant with chocolate filling for 0.50 Euros) and then took our food to a café where I had a cappuccino. After we finished our breakfast, we sat around waiting for our tour guide (perhaps he was running errands). Once he finally showed up, we drove for over an hour to our next destination: the Tara River Gorge, which is the longest (78 kilometers) and deepest (1,300 meters) canyon in Montenegro; it is also the deepest canyon in Europe and the second deepest in the world, behind the Grand Canyon. USA! USA! US- wait, the Senate didn’t pass the USA Freedom Act? Well fuck the motherfuckin’ United Sta- Anyway, at the Đurđevića Tara Bridge (a concrete arch bridge built in 1940 AD), we exited the van, in to the cold rain (yes, it was raining up in the mountains even though it was sunny and only partly cloudy by the Adriatic Sea when we had left Kotor), and were given two spare umbrellas to share amongst us (luckily, half the tourists had rain jackets); I ended up sharing an umbrella with the short Slovenian man and we walked across the bridge together, getting fairly wet during the trek. Once on the other side of the bridge, we met up with the tour guide in a café and waited there for a while. Three people in our group ordered drinks in the café and we waited for them to finish (we probably wasted about forty minutes, sheltering ourselves from the rain and waiting to move on). Finally, once everyone was ready, we loaded up in to the van and drove to the town of Žabljak where we stopped to eat lunch. We all quickly entered inside the restaurant (on account of the rain) and sat down at the reserved table in a private room. For lunch, I had a boiled sweet red wine (to warm me up amidst the cold temperature), a pork steak that was rolled up and filled with cheese and thin slices of hard beef, and French fries. After eating lunch, we paid our bill, loaded up in to the van, and continued on our journey (in somewhat sunny and rainless weather – hooray!). Our next stop was maybe only 400 meters away from the restaurant; it was the entrance to Durmitor National Park (the entrance to this park, as well as all the other national parks in Montenegro, happened to be free today (May 24th), the only day out of the entire year). Once at the entrance, we set out on foot and walked to Black Lake (officially, “Crno Jezero”), which is a glacial lake, located on Mount Durmitor, at an elevation of 1,416 meters. At the lake, we were told we only had an hour to enjoy the park and wander around – it was 15:57 and we had until 17:00. I set out counter-clockwise around the lake (to ensure the sun was behind my camera) and hiked on the trail circling the lake. Soon I got it in to my head to hike around the entire lake; so I quickened my pace and continued on the trail. I made excellent time and at 16:30, it looked like I was half-way around. I then continued on past two small waterfalls that were flooding the trail (I had to hop across rocks) and made my way back to the starting/meet-up point. Near 16:45, I met up with the English couple on the other side and we walked back to the meeting point, reaching it at 16:50 (with ten minutes to spare). Then, at 17:00, we all started our trek back to the van. Once back inside the van, our tour guide drove us to the “smallest church in Montenegro” (I doubt they hold services in there and I’m certain most would consider it merely a chapel), which was built by some friends for their buddy. After visiting the “church,” we drove back the way we had come, through the Montenegrin countryside. After a while, we stopped along the highway next to the town of Niksic and viewed Bedem Fortress, before continuing on. We then stopped at a vantage point overlooking the Bay of Kotor to see the sun’s final rays light up the mountains and waters for the day. We then made our way back to Kotor, arriving just after 20:00. Once out of the van, which parked next to the local supermarket, just south of the old town’s city walls, I walked inside the marketplace and bought some moloko, water, Montenegrin wine, an energy drink, salami, and chocolate. I then returned to the hostel and got to work on going through photographs from today and typing out journal entries. I also finished off the muesli that I had bought in Albania, mixing it with the moloko (“moloko-plus, eh”). I then drank the energy drink and ate the salami and chocolate with the Montenegrin wine I had purchased, which was made from Vranac grapes (an autochthonous Montenegrin variety of grapes and brand of wine that is protected as an intellectual property and Montenegrin geographical indication of origin since 1977 AD; it has also adopted in neighboring countries like the Republic of Macedonia and Serbia, but under a different name). The bottle of Vranac wine tasted of blackberries and black cherries, with hints of liquorice and chocolate (admittedly, the chocolate flavors I tasted may have been pollution caused by the chocolate I had earlier, but I did try to rinse my mouth out with water as much as possible). After drinking the bottle of wine and finishing typing for the day, I went to sleep after 02:30.