We had a gorgeous drive from Trebinje to Kotor today – the scenery is gorgeous around here… it would be a lovely area to explore without being on a tight schedule, I think! Gorgeous! The colour of the water here is just stunning. And here we are at Kotor again. When I was here in 2016, I was kinda disappointed that we weren’t going to Dubrovnik that trip, but now I’ve been there and am back here – I think I prefer Kotor. It’s like a mini-Dubrovnik, similar feel, winding little streets packed with delightful cafes and kooky little shops – but less overtly touristy (I mean, still plenty touristy but less ‘in your fucking GoT loving face!’, touristy).
I remember trying to take a photo of this when I was here last time, but there was always so many people streaming in (this is the main entrance to town under the fortress walls) that I didn’t manage it. I love the old stone work and the carving… I like to think of the hands that crafted these hundreds of years ago, not ever knowing they would stand the test of time the way they have. Oh, and the weird little permanent Christmas shop that I noticed last time I was here, seems to have survived the pandemic! Seriously would not have expected that… was tempted to buy one of these hand painted wooden Santas to take home to show them some support, but I remembered myself and how much I fucking hate Christmas and resisted the temptation admirably. 😛 So after a little wander around, I found myself an out of the way cafe in one of the back windy streets and treated myself to some bruschetta and a spritz so I could just watch the people going by. Kotor is definitely a fun place to be, I’m not sure I’d suggest staying here for a few days, unless you were using it as a base to explore the region, but it is quaint and lovely. Some of our group were mad enough to go for a walk up the fortress walls in 36C heat… there’s quite a bit I’ll do for a photo op, but that ain’t one of them! Have to say, the cruise ships really kinda spoil the view. They should make them anchor around the corner and tender in to port… (like we did when we were on the enormous Regal Princess!) .You can make out the walk that goes around the walls and then up to the mountain to get the views over the city… there’s a small church up the top and apparently it’s not particularly noteworthy, but fuck that walk in this heat!
Usually Simon was full of useful information about the towns we were visiting and the local history etc. On the way into Montenegro, he told us the one thing he said the Montenegrins are s truly proud of was how lazy they were held to be! He said it’s a reputation they revel in, and are absolutely proud to be as lazy as humanly possible. He read us these Montenegrin Commandments (which were on postcards everywhere) and said people here are will do just about anything to get out of doing work…
So in the spirit of embracing my inner Montenegrin, I decided to spend the remainder of our time in town relaxing with more spritzes for the people watching! Having raced around like a mad chook last time I was here, it was nice to be able to just chill and enjoy the scenery.
After our visit to Montenegro, we were back on the bus – poor Kris was stuck in traffic for ages – 50 mins to move 4kms – so we were a bit behind schedule. And it was off to Budva once he managed to get to us.
The drive there was equally beautiful as we wound our way down the coast. Still in Montenegro so no time wasted in border checkpoints.
Budva is a completely unknown quantity to me, having never been there before and knowing very little about the place… but this is what the ‘Budva brochure’ looks like:
There’s a gorgeous old town happily situated on the mouth of the bay, but unfortunately due to our late arrival, we weren’t going to have time to go explore that. The hotel we were staying in was right down on the beach in the ‘Budva Riviera’ which sounds super exotic…. until you realised it’s full of cashed up Russian bogans and it’s fucking Spring Break out there! Our hotel was the dodgiest one on our entire itinerary… when we checked in, we were given a key, remotes for the AC and a television and strict instructions to check everything was working before everyone head out for dinner. When we stepped into the room, it was obvious that people had been smoking in there and there was a super strong smell of bleach – never a good sign! (Undiluted bleach I late found out because my PJ pants fell from a towel rail to the bathroom floor and it stripped all the colour from them – not happy, Jan!).
Anyway, ‘outside’ there was party sounds in every direction. Turns out that Russians own 80% of the real estate in Budva, so that is the primary language spoken here, they are noticeable everywhere with their shaved heads, shiny tracksuit pants, white singlet tops and big gold chains and ubiquitous cigarettes. Though it turns out due to the war in Ukraine, there are not as many Russians travelling here this year as normal, so a lot of the hotels and resorts have had to market really cheap holiday packages aimed at young people all over Europe to put bums on beds this season… so it is kinda chaotic out there.
I had low expectations of a good nights sleep – and those were met admirably by music from several parties reverberating through the hotel until the wee hours.