Budva and Kotor
Our time in Montenegro was filled with lazy days of swimming, eating and drinking, and some light hiking.
After spending the entire day relaxing around Lake Ohrid, we boarded what has to be one of the most uncomfortable overnight buses we’ve had to date. There was zero leg room and as everyone puts their chair back as far they’ll go, we were all head to lap with our legs squashed in. The only saving grace is that the border crossings that we went through were very lax, in fact we only had to hand our passports over once at the first crossing between Macedonia and Albania which happened within an hour of leaving. Also, as is typical in these parts we didn’t need to get off the bus. This is a welcome change to being marched through crossings in the middle of the night in Latin America. We drove through Albania into Montenegro and arrived at our first destination of Budva around 8am.
Budva is a popular tourist destination, particularly in summer, and our money did not go as far here. It feels very much like a summer resort primarily for the wealthy. At the nearby harbor you can see large luxury yachts from as far away as South Africa. There are also numerous beach clubs where you would need to pay to access them and you would have lounge chairs and a bar at your demand. On the other hand, we found a lovely patch of beach wedged between a high-end resort and the walls of the old-town. It had steps down into the water and was a great spot. We spent roughly a half day at the beach and a half day wondering around the old town.
The next morning we boarded a 45 minute bus to another nearby summer spot, Kotor. Again, our money wouldn’t get us much in terms of accomodation, so we stayed a bit outside of Kotor in Prčanj. However, the nice thing about Kotor is it’s hard to find a location that’s bad. The entire bay is lined with picturesque little villages like the one we stayed in, all providing phenomenal views and access to swimming in the bay. We spent two days relaxing and swimming and on our last night took the bus into town to explore the old medieval portion and to hike up to the fortress. The entire region has a bit of an Italian feel, including many of the street names, which makes sense as it was under Venetian rule for about four centuries. It ended up being a great decision not to stay close to town, there are at least two large cruise liners that dock in the bay each day. Considering how busy the town felt in the evening as the ships departed, we wouldn’t want to know what it’s like while they’re docked.