An extraordinary week of characters and contrasts…

On Feb 3rd, 2014

With 4 Comments

Wk 26 – Cetinje, Montenegro to Lezke, Albania.
A week of extraordinary characters and contrasting cultures as my camera gets as tired as my feet… and finally the rubbish weather turns sunnier.

01 Cetinje

King Nikolas’s Museum, Cetinje, Montenegro. This place is a real hidden gem of a visit. The cultural and geographical centre of Montenegro.


02 Monastery of St Peter

The Monastery of St Peter, Cetinje. Home to many religious artefacts including the right hand of Saint John the baptist.


03 Amine Sbia

Amine Sbia, married to Marina the local English teacher. The first people I meet. They sort out a place to stay and we have a giggle of a meal. Lucky me. Amine is in charge of Miss World from Algeria – Lucky Amine!


04 St Cleaning

Street cleaning on a snowy day – Montenegro style! The lovely ladies posed for me later too…


05 Gromit

The morning after the night before… Gromit was a little snowbound.


06 Bread

The local bakery – Pekara – loading up days provisions like a small child in a sweetie shop.


07 Cetinje in the snow

The view looking back over Cetinje as I waved goodbye – sadness I loved the whole Alpine village feel, the subsequent work like approach and attitude to life of the people and my new friends. I promise I will come back.


08 Ana

The lovely Ana in Podgorica – teaching me so much on Art, Photography and what to do with the 18,000 photographs I have collected on this trip so far.



Branko, Si and Bojan in Hotel Philia. The biscuit boys are back in town…



Si, Duzan and Rade – Happy days…


11 Leaving Podgorica

Leaving Podgorica, crossing the bridge outta town onto the outer circular ever onwards and eastwards…


12 Road work

Men at work on the bridge near Tuzi.


13 Tuzi

View from the bridge near Tuzi into some interesting limestone gorge scenery


14 Campsite sunset

Sunset over the Lake near the border to Albania


14a gromit and the sheep

Gromit, doing what every sheep dog should do!


15 sheep

Friend or Foe? Answer – Alarm clock.



16 Welcome to Albania

Welcome to Albania. There were a lot of shot gun cartridges on the lake shore, a helluva lot.


17 Welcome to Grappa

Welcome to Albania with the Grappa drinking men of cafe #2 – Cheers guys or should I say…Gëzuar!


18 Skhoder crew

Albanian team in Hotel International. A wet Sunday morning.


19 Horse and cart

Albanian horse and cart. After getting pics of three wheelers and various families on motorbikes… I was just thinking, it’d be great to photograph a horse and cart. And behold the full happy, smiling, waving family. Normal for this road.


20 Shuco

This is Shuco. The coolest war veteran in Albania I’ve met. A gent, he invited me to coffee and lunch in Skhoder. It was a good traditional stew, healthy as you like, but the real star was this extraordinary man who made me feel like a celebrity for a few minutes as we took on the high street and met all his numerous friends.


22 Skhoder veg

In Skhoder even selling vegetables can be a cool thing.


9 Leaving Skhoder

There are no restrictions on the jaw dropping ingenuity of Albanian road vehicles. This was a straightforward 3 wheeler, but I have seen lawnmowers and engine driven wheelchairs.


25 Lezhe

Heading for Lezhe District, the weather took a turn for the better at last and the grey went golden. Superb mountain backdrops to fertile panoramas flanked by happy fruit and vegetable farmers at the road side who couldn’t have been more cheerful.


26 Lezhe

Lezhe is home to an interesting mix of so many religions and cultures. It’s both dizzying for it’s buildings and people.


27 Lezhe

Contrasting architecture and eras in Lezhe. Big miles tomorrow as Gromit and I head for the capital.

And the blog is up to date – Yippee!


  1. Lou Foti

    February 4, 2014 (7:51 am)

    Congrats on getting up to date. Not sure if I’m liking those snowy pics for you, must have be tough going, but the warmth of the people look like they made up for it. Great bunch of characters. Amine looks like a fun dude, Ana no less than beautiful and Shuco a total find. Loving the growing catalogue of free wheeler shots. I hear you can’t really call from Albania, prohibitive costs? At least you’re finding plenty of places with an internet connection to Tweet and Instagram away, really look forward to your daily pics, always in awe.

  2. David smith

    February 4, 2014 (11:39 am)

    Morning Si. Looks and sounds as though your having a proper adventure,the pictures are stunning. Greece then Turkey? Keep tabs on the foreign office website to ensure your safety old bean. Keep in touch and take good care of yourself. X

  3. Dan Boys

    February 23, 2014 (9:30 am)

    Si, I couldn’t help but think that your shot of the Albanian horse and cart was a sort of self portrait of you and gromit – or perhaps how you think some of the people that pass you think of you 🙂

  4. David smith

    April 4, 2014 (10:29 am)

    Hi Simon. How are things? Not heard from you in a while,everything ok? Send me a message to say your ok. Cheers David x


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