I made it! As I write this, I still can’t believe how everything aligned so perfectly well. First, I arrived at Detroit airport three hours prior to departure. I discovered that the airport has a Leo’s Coney Island and it serves WINE! After a glass of Moscato, I began to relax and begin to truly get excited about my overseas adventure and fortunate to have my daughter along for the ride. Priceless!
Our nine-hour flight was excellent. Aside from minor expected turbulence here and there, it was a smooth flight. My daughter thought it was quite the bumpy ride, but I’ve been in much much worse. One thing about flying on KLM to Italy — they want to feed you almost the entire way! We had snacks, a full meal, endless drinks, including WINE, dessert, more snacks, and even breakfast! I appreciated the sleeping masks and decent choices of movies — I finally watched A Wrinkle in Time, Pitch Perfect 3, and some parts of other movies. I did not fall asleep, but then I usually can’t when I’m flying AND I was still worried if I’d make my connecting flight to Montenegro.
So…we arrived in Rome a couple of minutes early, like 9:00 am, and my flight to Montenegro (on a different airline) starts boarding at 9:20 am and departs at 10:00 am. THE STRUGGLE IS REAL. As you can imagine, clad with only our backpacks, my daughter and I (politely) charged through to the door as soon as it was possible. Passengers and crew were accommodating and we were the first to get off the plane. Buongiorno! The Italian airport was easy to navigate and within minutes, we were at our gate! To my relief, we did not have to go through customs and made the time for boarding! We were shuttled on a bus a few miles over to our plane. Talk about sweating a hundred buckets, but we settled in for the short flight and I was able to finally BREATHE.
The short flight to Montenegro was uneventful (yay!) and customs was a piece of cake. Of course, since we were warned about pickpockets in these situations, I was a bit paranoid at times and didn’t completely relax until we were picked up by our van driver (arranged by our amazing EMU professors).
First impressions of Montenegro — the mountains are simply gorgeous and I can see how the country got its name – black mountains. During the bumpy and curvy hour and a half bus ride to our apartments in Ulcinj, we saw picturesque sceneries of mountains and deep blue beaches. My jetlagged brain can’t think of the perfect words to describe everything, but I promise I’ll post pictures soon.
One thing I discovered on the bus, however, is that I get motion sickness! Really? Luckily I was surrounded by an entire bus of teachers and they were so supportive and helped me get through it (or should I say “threw-up” it — yikes!).
Soon we settled into our apartments and after a heavenly shower, I was beginning to feel better and tagged along for a grocery trip and then later met everyone for dinner at the Flora restaurant. The Montenegrins know how to cook! The food was delicious and we ate like queens! Seriously.
Day 1 was a traveling day and I’m just thankful I made it and my luggage did too. I went to bed about 10:00 pm and (unfortunately) I’m up now when I should be SLEEPING.
Tomorrow we get to meet the children. I’m so excited…stay tuned.