So large to have an appearance of a sea, so different that it might be called unique and so beautiful that eyes can’t get enough of it! Skadar Lake always calms me down, fills me with positive energy and reminds me that I don’t need to die to be in a heavenly place…
Every time I turn my head something grabs my attention – the way that hills sank in the water, a blend of different shades of green and blue around me, the sound of bird spreading its wings and fly, romantic stone fortresses overgrown with vegetation or fishermen, occupied by his work so much that he even doesn’t see us coming…
Cultural and historical Monuments
Calm water of Skadar Lake looks very innocent. Nobody could tell that for a several centuries it used to be a noisy battlefield, a place where severe battles were taking away human lives. How many local and Turkish ships ended up under its surface? How many people were witnesses of a tragic fate, both occupiers and defenders? Even the beauty of the place could not compensate a tragic loss of loved ones. Nowadays, only remains of fortresses, ex prisons and churches silently whisper that everything is not as it looks like…
I love this “hot spot” for birds who consider the lake their home mostly in nesting and wintering season. Even though they don’t prefer human company, still many of 280 bird species can be seen on the Lake, floating on its surface, periodically diving for fish, flying above it or just having rest in reeds or trees. In spring time one can still commonly spot cormorants, wild ducks, herons, grebes, or even many rare and endangered species like a curly pelican, a symbol of the Lake.
Skadar Lake meditation
More than anything Skadar Lake is relaxing. Here I can hear a silence, interrupted only by sounds of nature and my heart beats. Lake doesn’t let you think about your every day worries. It teaches you that everything is perfect as it is, that the noise and worries exist only in our heads and that the nature is in command, not us. We should just obey and listen to it carefully.
Just like in the past, people use local resources to please their appetite here: tasty fish just caught in the Lake, accompanied by glass of excellent wine. Is there a better choice even today? Marinated carp, smoked bleak, rise with eel and plumbs, grilled trout? Served with local cheese, olives and vegetables, it looks like an excellent choice…
Cruising on the lake
Boat trip is always a perfect choice for exploring the Lake. This is how you can see large part of the Lake with its interesting flora and fauna, fishermen settlements, big and small islands with fortresses and monasteries. Typical Skadar Lake boats are very attractive, adapted to the conditions on the Lake through centuries. Tradition of making them was passed from one generation to another. Wooden and shallow, they can perfectly resist Lake currents and storms and even be used for transportation of heavier and bulky goods.
Fishermen’s settlements are making Skadar Lake even more appealing. They are always located near fishing areas with their typical and preserved architecture. Adapted to a fishing lifestyle, terraced houses are always built of stone, connected by stone paths or even tightly built next to each other. No matter if they are old and deserted like the one in village Karuč, or still active ones like Vranjina, they always give the Lake touch of human warmth.
Flora and fauna
Skadar Lake is the most beautiful when it is covered by a carpet made of yellow and white water lilies, along with water caltrop – rare plant (a nut) growing in the lake and fed by a rain. Reeds and sedge are perfect shelter for birds and give a mark to overall impression. Beside birds, Lake is home to many different types of fish, tortoises, amphibians, lizards and snakes. Nice collection related to this topic can be found in the Visitor’s Center in Vranjina.
If you are bored with standard activities on the Lake (boat trip, lunch and swimming) you may also try out bird watching, recreational fishing, windsurf, kayaking and hiking. Each one of these activities may enrich your experience on the Lake and make it unforgettable.
Swimming and sun tanning
Since smaller in size, Skadar Lake warms up faster than the Sea. It means that swimming season starts earlier and last longer. Even though beaches cannot be compared to Adriatic, they have their specific ambiance. Swimming in the fresh water will provide you with another type of joy. Swimming in the depth, straight from the boat, one is of my favorite activities…