The country that we both fell in love with!
21.06.2011 - 23.06.2011 29 °C
On the bus to Kotor, it was full of people going on holiday from Serbia. We got the bus at just after 9 and there was a party of youngsters already on the beer.
The bus journey was beautiful, we took so many pictures on this route. Daisy read in the Lonely Planet guide of Eastern Europe that there were bears and wolves here-so eyes were peeled as we went through the mountains and passed rocks and massive amounts of greenery.
We went through Budva on the bus ride and we were pleased that we didn´t stop here. It looked like a resort town with party people.
We arrived in Kotor bus station surrounded by mountains on every side and began the walk to the hostel. Daisy managed to fall over and scrape various areas of the body, probably due to the massive weight of unnecessary clothes on her back! Steve was adamant that he knew where he was going, but Daisy wasn´t too sure. Steve was right and we entered the Stari Grad (Old Town) of Kotor, it was again-beautiful, a real change from Belgrade. Lots of stone buildings and no cars, just tiny passageways to meander through. In the entrance was a dressed up man who we thought to be a mayor or somebody important (more on him later) and he said ´You need Montenegro Hostel?´and he showed us the way and it did look very complicated.
We checked in and shown to our room. We decided to do the rafting tour and so booked on that for the following day.
In the afternoon we wandered around the old town, and recommended by the guide book-we didn´t take a map and we got lost. Best advice-good ol Lonely Planet! We came across the entrance to the fortress which is 1350 steps up the side of the mountain. It was 2.30 in the afternoon, solid sun and we thought this would be a good idea!! More fool us. Daisy was really weak and had to stop several times. Steve was like the personal trainer ´right you can break at those trees up there´. We made it to the top and an amazing view over the Bay of Kotor. There is a marina in Kotor that houses several very posh yachts and at this point there was a big cruise ship which had docked, thing is you had to marvel at the Captain for getting it there in the first place as the Marina was quite small!
That evening we went for dinner in the old town and sat surrounded by the old town and overlooking mountains. You can´t put into words just how beautiful it is. No pictures can do it justice unless you go and see it for yourself.
We awoke for rafting the next day at 8. 5 of us on our minibus and we were with a Montenegrin driver for a 2hour journey that took us to the Bosnian border and the stunning Tara River Canyon, slightly hair raising. Part of the trip was breakfast included and it was a plate of hard ham, cheese and egg. And of course a peppermint tea!
Then another hair raising jeep ride down to the riverside along a rock track which had fallen in places! Daisy and American girls Julie and Amanda, had been squashed in with some Poles. Steve was with a Finnish guy called Alexis.
The water was so blue and clear. It was also drinking water and tasted very good. Very cold however! The English speakers were put in a boat with the Poles and it was fun, but at this time of year not particularly difficult. We stopped along the way to see a waterfall and it was even colder! Something new for us both and some incredible scenery along the way. Bosnia one side and Montenegro the other.
Got back to base and had a Montenegrin dinner which was delicious. Goulash soup and then a main of fish or meat. Steve had some lamb, which was really rather tender whilst Daisy opted for the fish which was garlicky but at the same time delightful. After dinner our friendly driver rounded us up and we set off for home. The bus journey home was a long one, well.. it certainly felt it. Within about 15 minutes everybody was asleep and the bus was tranquil. However. the peace was broken when we had to stop in a small town for the driver to change the tyres. This process took a while and our American friends patience quickly evaporated. After about 45 minutes the driver had finished his errands and we were able to head home.
We got back to the hostel at 8ish and slowly started to sort some dinner. We had the culinary delight of Ravioli. After our hard day we think we deserved a beer so we headed out in Kotor to see what was on offer. The first bar we visited was a very touristy but friendly bar. Daisy opted for the local vino. Vranac, a 13% tipple from the hills around Podgorica-a delightful wine, with flavours of chocolate and berries..(maybe?)
The next day isn´t really worth mentioning as we very slowly ambled our way to the bus station to leave for Dubrovnik. This included stopping for some fruit at the market, eating some banana-carrot and orange ice cream, and playing cards on a bench.
On the bus to Croatia we were still with the American girls but met a couple who were studying courses in England that related to international relations and so were looking into the Yugoslavia years.
Again passports were checked twice and we entered Croatia on our luxury bus with air conditioning!