Petar, our host, had told us the night before that he would be glad to drive us and two other people also staying at the house to the park as long as we paid his gas money as he enjoyed visiting the park several times a year. That worked out fine with us as there was no public transportation in and around Cetinje at all and we would otherwise have to hire a taxi to take us all the way to the park, wait for us and then drive us back.
The biggest and most important monument of Lovćen National Park is Petar Petrović Njegoš' Mausoleum. Venerated as a poet and philosopher, Cetinje native son Njegoš is well known for his epic poem ‘The Mountain Wreath’ which is considered a masterpiece of Serb and South Slavic literature. His writing unified all of Yugoslavia, Petar said. As a school kid, he said he had to memorize the poem’s 200 pages!
Protests erupted in 1970 with many famous Yugoslav public figures, of both Montenegrin and non-Montenegrin origin, complaining of what they described as a barbaric violation of Njegoš' last will.
Arriving at the summit of the mountain was one achievement but we still had to climb up the 461 steps before reaching the mausoleum.
Gorgeous views from the top of just the steps to the entrance where we then faced 461 more steps!
Once we entered the tunnel, those steps were in sets of nine with the odd place to rest and look out of arched open windows. It was hard work due to the altitude and steepness of the steps.
There were several openings, each with stunning views but no guardrail. Forget health and safety as there were sheer drops. One false move and it would be game over!
Rock cairns are normally placed in memory of loved ones. Or perhaps these were as simple as people wanting to see how many rocks they could pile on top of each other before they all toppled over!
Petar and Steven at the top with the mausoleum in the background.
The mausoleum was interesting and an amazing sculpture but the star attraction was the view from the platform.
It felt like we were truly on top of the world here. The journey to and the views from this location were breathtaking.
It is said that the whole country of Montenegro can be seen from the top of Lovćen Mountain.
Rather than walk back down the steps, we took the path down the hill.
Petar commented he had noticed the proliferation of the rock cairns in just the last couple of years.
Petar kindly said he would drive us next to another area of the park so we would have some more panoramic views of the wonderful park.
These cyclists had ridden all the way from Kotor and had stopped here for a well deserved break and lunch.
By the time we got there, the clouds had rolled in so Petar began driving back. A few minutes later though, the sun made an appearance so Petar drove back so I could take some more photos. How incredibly kind of him.
We passed a number of roadside stands that sold local products. I didn't feel like I could ask Petar to stop though.