Day trip to Montenegro

When I think of Montenegro, I think of nice sandy beaches and sunny weather.  I’m guessing Hollywood put these ideas in my head because I can’t say I saw nice beaches or sunny weather.  I had wanted to do a day trip to Montenegro once I realized how close it was to Dubrovnik.  Our host, Tony, offered to take people on day trips.  I also knew that the roads in Montenegro were not the best, and the drivers drove a little more aggressive.  Before we knew how much Tony could talk, we asked him if we could hire him to take us on a day trip to Montenegro.  We arranged to go on Saturday and he told us the weather would be great.

We meet him at 8 in the morning.  Thank goodness I packed an umbrella and jacket with me because it pretty much rained the entire time.  We first drove to the Bay of Kotor.  On the way, I saw one car that was in the bay and one boat that was underwater.  I heard many motorists honk their horns as their hood was basically touching our bumper.  The steep roads and many curves made me glad that I wasn’t driving.  Although it did cross my mind that I put my life in the hands of a stranger.

Kotor was a small town that basically thrives on tourists.  The Republic of Venice at one point ruled the area.  We walked briskly around the town as Tony would give us a little history tour.  I think we waited longer to park than we actually stayed in the town.  Next we drove to Budva.  Budva is 3,500 years old which makes it one of the oldest settlements on the Adriatic.  Budva is one of the most popular summer destinations in Montenegro.  I think because of the bad weather we didn’t get a real Montenegro experience.  There wasn’t anything that I saw there that would make me hurry back.

On the way back to Dubrovnik, Tony said he knew a good place to stop for lunch.  He explained some of the menu and told me that the meat with cheese was really good.  The cheese was made locally from the mountains above.  I decided to try it but was horrified when I got 10 cevapcici sausages again over a very hot soft pile of cheese.  He told me that I must eat fast because the fresh cheese would turn to liquid from the hot sausage.  I really do like these little sausages but I don’t know why they need to give you 10 of them every time.

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Island of Lokrum

Just a ten minute ferry ride from Dubrovnik is the Island of Lokrum.  Lokrum is a nice natural island where cars aren’t allowed.  You can walk the trails of the island up to a fortress where you get a nice view of Dubrovnik.  They have a small botanical garden on the island, however most of the plants are not native.  Someone donated a lot of peacocks to the island so they roam around looking for food from people.  I was one of the crazy tourists that started taking pictures of the peacock as soon as we got off the boat.


We were told there is a nice beach there but every beach we ever saw was just a ladder down into the rocky sea.  We sat on the rocks for awhile and just watched the waves crash on the rocks.  Lokrum was worth the visit (and a nice place to get away from the cigarette smoke).

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Sites from the Dubrovnik wall

The wall around Dubrovnik is in good enough condition that you can walk around it.  For a small fee, you can walk the walls that circle the entire old city.  They say it usually takes around 2 hours to walk around the wall.  We tried to get there as soon as it opened so we could beat the crowds.  It took us about an hour and half to walk around the wall.  It was a nice walk for us since there weren’t a lot of people up there that early.  I can only imagine how crowded it is in the summer when it is hot and there are a lot more tourists.  Tony, the man who we rented an apartment from, did say that a couple of years ago a young boy died when he fell off the wall.  They don’t have a lot of railings on the wall to help protect young children from climbing over the wall.

Here is a slideshow of some of the scenes you can see from the wall.

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Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik is a beautiful walled city on the southern Adriatic Sea.  Although the old town was heavily damaged in the war, they have repaired a lot of the damage.  Dubrovnik is one city in Croatia that was not ruled by the Republic of Venice.  It has been easy to tell which cities were ruled by Republic of Venice because there is usually a lion stone at the beginning of a town or city.

Dubrovnik was by far one of the more expensive cities we visited.  I’m pretty sure that a lot of it is because it is a popular cruise destination.

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En Route to Dubrovnik

We drove from Ston to Dubrovnik in probably some of the worst weather I have ever had to drive in.  The rain was huge and it came down all at once.  It probably didn’t help that we were driving on a steep cliff with a lot of sharp curves.  At one point, it was coming down so hard that my windshield wipers couldn’t keep up.  I was happy to see a bus stop off to my right and I was able to pullover.  I was also happy I did because about 3 minutes up the road there was a bad accident involving 3 cars and a truck.

In Dubrovnik, we stayed in an apartment about 30 minutes walking distance to the old town.  It was a lot cheaper and easier with the car to stay outside of the old town.  Included in the price of our apartment was a free ride up Mt Srd to get a view of the old town.  Tony, the owner of the apartment loves to talk and to take guests on trips.  His wife gave us some schnapps while we waited for him to come home to give us the ride.  Once he got home, he sat on the terrace with us for an hour talking about the city map.  I was beginning to wonder if we would ever get to see the town or if he was just going to talk for 3 days.

We arrived around 2 and, finally at 5, he said he would take us to the top of Mt. Srd and then drop us off in old town.  The view was very nice, but it was cold.  Tony talked to us about the war that he lived through, and the importance of the fort at the top of Mt. Srd.  According to Tony, the Croatian government has sold some the land on top of Mt. Srd to an Israeli company, and they plan to develop the area with golf courses and shops.  There is actually a path that people can walk up to there from the old town.  Can’t say I’m sad I don’t have my running shoes.  There was one guy running up with no problem.  I’m pretty sure I would have needed an oxygen tank when I got to the top.

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