Saturday, March 6, 2010

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

I woke up to blue sky this morning! It has been raining for a long time here in Podgorica (even before I arrived); I saw evidence of flooding from the airplane window on my flight in here.

But today was gorgeous....still a bit cold but the air seemed so crisp and fresh. I wanted to take advantage of the great weather today because it is suppose to return to gray and rainy for awhile again so I spent the afternoon wandering around Podgorica and taking random pictures. Here are a select few...

The stairwell of our apartment is as colorful as the inside!

These shots are of the area just outside of our apartment, and there is a small kiosk right in front that sells fresh produce, drinks, etc. I guess that it is more pricey than the other markets but it sure is handy! "No banana for my oatmeal this morning? Maybe I should just run outside and buy some." I love it! There is also what appears to be a school next door with a cute little playground area.

This "fast food" place is right across our street and the most expensive item on their menu is some sort of omelet for 3 euros.

I am just so happy that the gorgeous weather allowed me to finally see the hills that surround this city. If I remember correctly, Podgorica means "under the hills."

Although it was quite disappointing to see so much garbage in one of the smaller rivers that runs through the city. I have been told that the concept of recycling is not on the top of peoples' priority lists here.

This is Millennium Bridge that crosses the Moraca River...this one seemed more free of garbage thankfully.

Here is a shopping area in the city center. Recently, there has been a large mall built outside of the city center which has negatively impacted this area. Some of the shops have had to close although it still looked fairly bustling on a Saturday afternoon.

This is the Mall of Montenegro, not to be confused with Delta City which I mentioned above (the one taking business away from the city center).

I went here this morning and there is a large supermarket as well as an amazing open market where you can buy fresh produce, fish, cheeses, etc. any day of the week. Much better than the weekly farmers' markets in the States, in my opinion! Most of the food in Montenegro is made with fresh, domestic produce...although "domestic" could mean grown in Croatia; I am told that Montenegro does not produce much on its own. Next time I head to the market I will have my camera in hand!!

Here is one of the government buildings...

Evidently government officials are well known as people, not just entities (e.g., someone may know the president personally). I guess we even saw a famous theater actor at the market this morning, mingling with everyone else. Famous people need to buy cheese too! The woman who has been showing me around the city was born and raised here in Podgorica (formerly known as Titograd), and there were numerous occasions where she stopped to say hello to people walking on the street. It seems to be an "everyone knows everyone" kind of place where they look out for each other. Even if you don't know someone, this concept of kindness is evident. For example, we went into a small shop looking for a map of the city; unfortunately, the shopkeeper did not have any but one gentleman overheard the conversation and kindly pointed us in the right direction as to where one could be bought.

And finally, here is Trg Republike, the city square.

I spent a good 2 hours wandering around our new city...everything is so accessible by foot and will make for a very comfortable lifestyle, I think. The larger supermarket may be a bit far when returning with grocery bags, but do not fear, a taxi ride back to the apartment will only set me back about 2 euros!!

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