> When I saw the Bond film ‘Casino Royale’ I decided then + there that I’d go to Montenegro. There was a scene in Podgorica, the capital, that really resonated with me, the streetscape + buildings looked magical. So went out of my way to get there. I found out a few years later that the film wasn’t event shot in Montenegro – hah. These shots aren’t amazing, skill-wise + they were taken on my old tiny point n’ shoot camera – but I thought you may like to just check this place out anyway.
From Italy, I went to Croatia first [who wouldn’t?!] + took the best bus ride I’ve EVER had, from Dubrovnik to Budva, winding along roads just a few metres from the gin-clear waters of Europe’s most southern fjord. The beautiful Bay of Kotor is located in the southern part of the Adriatic + is wedged in a fjord coast for about 28km. There’s a few shots of this unique landscape below – it’s amazing, suspended between the sea and the mountains. There’s a photo of a map I took at my hostel – you can see the coastline. The little island you can see in the middle of the waters with the couple of green domes and the orange rooves is a small but ancient city, declared a UNESCO World Heritage site – I lost my mind when I saw it, wondering who built it + what went on there.
I crossed the border from Croatia + arrived at Budva, Montenegro’s key coastal tourist town in what felt like the last few days of the season. I feel like a loser if there’s heaps of tourists around so this suited me fine. Like most coastal Euro cities, there’s an old town on the sea which is walled for protection. So many great white stone buildings with orange rooves. The people were so strange looking – loved it, so Eastern Euro, exactly what I was after. I heard at the time it was a hotspot for Russian tourists as they could easily get a visa for this area or something. The number of Russian tourists visiting Montenegro tripled from 2008 to 2013. You can see the Russians everywhere – check out the shots of bathers on the beach, I swear they’re Russian! Loved looking at these foreign bodies + faces, so different to the humans where I’m from.
> Like I said, I arrived at the tail end of the season + you can see the carnage of the summer crowds – it’s like they just chucked the big stuff away, got up and left – leaving the rubbish, chairs, old umbrellas, etc, all lying around. It’s like they thought ‘We’ll deal with it next year.’ I enjoyed seeing that, coming from an over policed, over polished place myself. A bit of humanity. The food was a meat fest with tomato, cabbage and capsicum or paprika. I took a tour to Sveti Stefan + the ‘booking agent’ [guy in shorts on the beach] told me that it was definitely in English. It wasn’t, it was in Russian. I got out at Sveti Stefan [another reason why I wanted to go to Montenegro – Google image it, there’s some shots of it below] + walked back to Budva. What a mission > but got to see heaps so all good. The men were really pervy + not afraid to stare – I had enough by the time I left after a week – they absolutely did my head in. It was funny, as I left Montenegro from Bar [just a bit further south], crossing the Adriatic again on an old overnighter ship [WORST trip ever – check out that one shot of the back deck with the big black bucket with ‘food’ written on it – WTF?!] , I actually cried because everyone on the ship were men that just stared. I couldn’t stay in my cabin – too hot + full of fumes. I always said that I lost my innocence in Montenegro. So when I docked at Bari in Italy, I welcomed the warm sleaze of the Italian men – and that’s saying something!
Definitely get to Montenegro, it’s a trip.
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