EURO BLOG: Hvala, Montenegro!

    July 14-21: Herceg Novi, Montenegro

    This is Brianna writing to you from Herceg Novi, Montenegro. What a wonderful trip it has been! After an incredible few days exploring Zadar, Croatia we took a bus to the ancient city of Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik is a beautiful walled city made of stone that sits along the Adriatic Sea. Everyone explored the streets of the city, stopping to see churches, enjoy gelato and window shop for souvenirs and gifts for friends and family. Some of the group hiked the perimeter of the city to take in its breathtaking views. From there, we took a short ferry ride to a small lush island called Lokrum. Once on the island we walked to a beautiful beach with steep cliffs. We each took turns cliff jumping into the Adriatic. It was a blast! Some brave members of our group continued to climb the cliffs to find a higher place to jump from. They soon found what they were looking for in a cliff that was nearly thirty meters! Dagmar, Amanda and Kaitlin were among the few brave enough to take the jump.

    Now we are in Herceg Novi, Jovan's hometown. It is awesome being able to see where our coach was born and raised. Herceg Novi is situated along a bay on the coast of Montenegro. One boardwalk along the beach connects the small fishing town to its neighboring towns. In our free time we visited the old town, which included beautiful churches, cool antique shops and impressive stone citadels. When we went to the citadel we were surprised to see that on the roof level there was a makeshift outdoor theatre. The man at the entrance explained to us that each night they play two movies. That night the theatre featured the movies Finding Nemo and The Jungle Book.

    The majority of the rest of our time was spent relaxing under the umbrellas of the beachfront that lined the boardwalk. Nearby beach clubs played techno music throughout the day as locals and tourists alike tried to escape the heat of the day.

    We also took day trips to nearby attractions including the blue caves. Unfortunately, our first attempt at seeing the blue caves was cut short because of a summer storm, but after a day of torrential downpours, the sun reappeared for the remainder of the trip. Thankfully we were able to revisit the blue caves. Some boats squeezed into the caves while our boat anchored just outside them. We jumped off our boat and swam to the caves, which reflect a bright blue color into the clear water. I loved seeing the fish swimming beneath us as we ventured into more caves in the area.

    Our time in Montenegro was also marked by the birthdays of two of our seniors, Nikki Stansfield and Avery Peterson. We celebrated their birthdays as a team at dinner on one of our last nights in Montenegro. One of Jovan's close friends hosted us at his restaurant where he served us a special lamb dinner. All of the food was delicious and the lamb one of our favorite meals of the entire trip!

    Sadly, our trip is coming to an end and we will be flying back to California tomorrow. Getting to visit so many unique places in Europe is such a privilege, and getting to share these experiences with my best friends made it that much more special. I am so thankful to know that we will have these memories for the rest of our lives.

    Fight On!
    - Brianna Daboub

    Read them all!
    EURO BLOG 1: Como, Italy (by Nicola Gonzales)
    EURO BLOG 2: Bogliasco, Italy (by Stephania Haralabidis)
    EURO BLOG 3: Zadar, Croatia (by Dagmar Gudmundsson)
    EURO BLOG 4: Herceg Novi, Montenegro (by Brianna Daboub)