The Walled City of Montenegro

Budva – From Albania, we headed straight North to Montenegro. With nothing booked, we aimed for a lunch stop at a restaurant we had been recommended in the heart of Budva. It turned out to be a Harley Davidson motorcycle club bar… but we had some tasty squid and got a few snaps of some interesting bikes. Budva looked great from the road but the town was like any other  – lined with high-rise hotels and rammed with tourists.  Luckily, we had made good time and continued North to Kotor, which was supposedly a quieter and more scenic option. For us, the location was also ideal as it lay just a few miles from the Croatian Border.img_0400

Kotor – I knew it was a walled city but somewhere in there, I hadn’t translated that to mean no vehicles anywhere in the city. I don’t have a problem with walking but be warned – if you want to stay in the city, be prepared to navigate cobbled steps and half a million dawdling tour groups while loaded up like a sherpas donkey.dsc_0704It soon became apparent that this beautiful ancient city was now solely focussed on catering for the daily intake of tour groups from the colossal cruise ships.

That evening, we challenged ourselves to the 400 stair wall hike to the castle ruins above the city. It took about an hour to ascend but the view was seriously worth it!dsc_0727We stayed at Old Town Hostel due to it’s rave reviews online. It was billed as an ancient museum house and one of the best hostels in Montenegro but in our opinion it was was very dark and dusty, had no windows and smelled of musty old potpourri! Having said that, we shared some beers with some interesting people and took advantage of the hostels 6EUR meal deal for dinner and breakfast. Unfortunately we never made it to the breakfast and the early start we head planned went out the window. (Well, it would have gone out the window if there were any). Rich was up all night with a stomach bug and unable to go on with life so he played dead on the sofa while I sourced him Kotor’s finest stomach remedy from the pharmacy. Affectionally named ‘Smecta’ the gray, clay-like remedy powder had to be desolved in a glass of water and consumed three times daily. He didn’t find it as funny as I did…img_3904Mostly just because we couldn’t face another night in the dark smelly hostel, we left the city around 2pm. Across the lake was beautiful, calm, nice guest houses which made us wish we’d stayed on that side instead.

We boarded the small ferry across the lake (which took about 5 minutes) and met some traditionally dressed Montenegrins who were all too keen to have a go on the bike.img_0412Lots of smiles, throttle cherades and thumbs up. They waved us off when we reached the shore and the Croatian border was just 30 or so miles away.

We didn’t make it to our planned campsite as Rich still was not feeling well but there were many to chose from all along the coast. We stopped around 6km south of Dubrovnik (14EUR) at a basic site which had a short walk down to a small town, shopping centre and a nice beach. Rich crawled into the tent immediately on our arrival and didn’t resurface until the next morning. I went food shopping, cooked plain pasta in the pitch dark, burned off my fingerprints and nearly set the campsite on fire with help from the trangia and white spirit AND met a very cute hedgehog who was pretty interested in my leftover pasta!

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