The early start left me a little sleepy, but once I was in the off-roader minibus, being thrown around the chassis, void of a seatbelt, I was well awake. My boss, Niko, the driver, a German family of five , a German couple, and myself, headed along the winding mountain roads for the famous landmark of Lake Koman. The man-made lake, which is cut off by a huge hydro-electric dam, reaches a depth of 250m in some places. The dam itself produces 300,000 Euros of electricity each day. Three quarters of the way to the private boat, the driver stopped so we could stretch our legs. I took the opportunity to slide down a rocky bank onto a river bed and get right at the lake.
I also asked Niko to take a photo of me, appreciating the vast unfolding sceneries before us.
We hopped back in the minibus and sped off for the boat. Some of the roads along the way were incredible, sheer drops at the side and road structure that strongly challenges what British people consider a 'pothole'. As we reached the hydro-dam, where three guards sat on the flooring 'guarding' the tremendous dam, we cut into a mountain tunnel. The tunnel was good fun, and the minibus driver flourished in the dark; for a man who had spent more time texting on his phone than looking at the roads, he was a sterling operator. The laughs came as we came out of the tunnel and the brakes slammed on, mere metres from water, with a café restaurant to our right, and our private boat to the left; nobody had expected such an abrupt end to the outward journey.
For the boat journey itself, which took around two and a half hours, I will let the photos do the talking because I don't feel that my words could justify the magnitude of the scenery.
Some panoramic shots I couldn't help but take.
More photos from the boat journey.
As we cut through the fjord, we were mostly speechless.
The hydro-dam was actually built by the Chinese during the times of communism, and in doing so, they built themselves a private community, with blocks of flats and schools.
Shortly after the Chinese village, the water turned an electric turquoise and then we pulled into Fierze, and the restaurant.
The way back was much the same as the way there, full of striking beauty and beautiful mountain forests. The driver asked my boss to sit at the front of the boat to distribute the weight more. Though I think the long travel got the better of him on this occasion.
The day was a success, and I genuinely had a feeling on the boat ride that I was blessed to have seen such a fantastic piece of nature. Along the miles and miles we travelled, we probably saw no more than 20 houses in the hills, most of them only accessible by boat, but we were told they have enough livestock and preparations to stay there through the winter, when the snow blocks their escape.