Exploring cultures and communities – the slow way

Karlos Zurutuza reports on a summer day in Ulcinj, a coastal town in southern Montenegro.

article summary —

Most modern travellers intent on exploring the coastline of Montenegro so extolled by Byron will head, in the main, for the Bay of Kotor or for the sweep of resorts from Budva down to Sveti Stefan. But for those willing to venture a little further south down the Montenegro coast, there is, in the small town of Ulcinj, a chance to find something more offbeat.

Drive south through the olive groves, ignoring the industrial ferry port of Bar, and make for Montenegro's southernmost town.

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Not content with the conventional maps of Europe and the Middle East, Karlos decided to hit the road and produce his own! He maps the contours of cultural life: Aromanians from Albania, Yezidies in northern Iraq, Armenian villages in Abkhazia and the Georgians in South Ossetia. These and a myriad of other isolated communities are the ‘pixels’ that Karlos plots on his ‘hi-res’ maps. Were it not for the magnetic effect that the mountains of Kurdistan have on him, he would gladly spend his entire life circumnavigating the Black Sea. He travels light, yet there is always space in his small backpack for two favourite books: Neil Ascherson’s The Black Sea and Jules Verne’s Keraban the Terrible. Karlos writes in Basque, Spanish and English. His work has been published in several newspapers and magazines. He can be contacted at kzurutuza@gmail.com.

This article was published in hidden europe 9.