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Montenegro: Beach Town and Scenic Heaven

First let me say, as you read this post, please understand this tour was all kinds of wrong for me.

I’m simply NOT a passive consumer/observer of beautiful scenery. I have to be an active participant to enjoy myself, so choosing a mini-van tour of Montenegro was from the start a bad idea.  Add on top of that an inexperience guide, and less than exciting fellow travelers…and you’ve got a yawn fest.

Budva, Montenegro from a distance

Budva, Montenegro from a distance

The day started early. I was picked up at 7:30 am. Luckily (that’s to say God was looking out for me), I was the last person picked-up, and I got to sit in the front. Since it doesn’t take much for me to get car sick; I was very grateful it worked out that way.

Turned out the driver was also the tour guide, and while eager to please, it didn’t take long to realize he was not a very experienced guide. I later found out during one of our chats that he’d only been on the job for two weeks.

Once we crossed the border into Montenegro, we stopped at a gas station and found out we needed to wait for another van to join us. The other van, unlike ours, had a driver and separate guide on it. The drive to the first stop completely lacked any worthwhile scenery; it was boring and most of the other passengers were asleep.

The Montenegro flag flying at the citadel in Old Town Budva

The Montenegro flag flying at the citadel in Old Town Budva

The first stop was Budva. Montenegro’s Jersey shore.

It was a beach town…a few century old beach town with an Old Town…but a beach town none the less. We had two hours to kill there which felt like forever. As I walked around, I had flash back to my time at various beach towns like Dewey and Hampton Beach. Places where there’s not much to do except get up late from a night of partying to spend a few hours at the beach, eat, walk the boardwalk a little, and then get ready to go out again to dance and drink.

One of Budva Beaches with the Old Town in the distance

One of Budva Beaches with the Old Town in the distance

The Old Town was small. Pretty, but small, and mostly filled with restaurants and shops.

I spent about an hour there. I’m not one for shopping or spending a whole lot of time sitting alone at a restaurant. In the end, I walked along the beach and “boardwalk” like area behind the beach with all the souvenirs, beach wear, and arcades reminiscing about the fun times I’ve had in similar places while trying to stay awake.

Street in Old Town Budva lined with shops and restaurants

Street in Old Town Budva lined with shops and restaurants

Once back in the van, our departure was delayed by a missing passenger from the other van. In the end, our driver decided to leave and so we were on our way to Kotor.

Panoramic View of Kotor from half way up the city wall

Panoramic View of Kotor from half way up the city wall

We were met in Kotor by a different tour guide, an experience tour guide.  That made a world of difference.

She provided additional information about Montenegro, and Kotor. I enjoyed her tour. I was however disappointed we only had an hour left after her tour…this meant there wasn’t enough time to make it all the way up the city walls which stretch for 4.5 km (3 mi) directly above the city. I made it half way…and might had gone all the way, had I been wearing the right footwear and risked being a little late getting back.

Street in Old Town Kotor, Montenegro

Street in Old Town Kotor, Montenegro

We left Kotor and made our way to Perast. The drive from Kotor to Perast offered some beautiful views across Kotor Bay to the mountains on the other side. Perast was the highlight of the trip. Some people elected to get on a boat over to Our Lady of the Rocks. An artificial island created by bulwark of rocks and by sinking old and seized ships loaded with rocks. The Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Rocks is the largest building on the island. I chose to walk around and take pictures…the place was so pretty and picturesque. We were there only for a short time – 45 minutes.

Two Islets in Perast at a distance to include Our Lady of Rocks

Two Islets in Perast at a distance to include Our Lady of Rocks

The drive back to Dubrovnik was much more scenic and enjoyable.

I would have been better off white water rafting the Tara River…but I wouldn’t have the gorgeous pictures I was able to take today.

How About You?

Have you ever traveled to Montenegro?  If so, what was your favorite place to visit?  Did you  have an experienced tour guide? Feel free to comment below or contact Ann’s Adventure Tour Writer and Blogger here.