We have left Positano, Italy and are on our way to Kotor, Montenegro. I have to say, the only thing I knew about Montenegro is that they have a team in the Olympics and I would see them march in on that first day, when the teams are introduced to the world. I was not even sure where Montenegro was. So, I have created a map so you can see where it is on the Adriatic Sea. It is a small country nestled between Croatia and Albania, which we will also be going to. We got up extra early to see the narrow passageway the ship had to maneuver, so we could come into the port at Kotor.
Compared to the hubbub of the Italian coast this was most welcoming. Maybe we’ll have a slower pace today!
The ship was able to dock right at the pier, so we didn’t have to tender today……… Those orange covered small boats are the boats now used instead of the life raft. If we have to get off the boat while at sea, that is the boat we use. If we can not come into the port, because it is too shallow or because there are too many ships in the port, these boats are also used to “tender” us in. They are fully equipped with everything needed for forty passengers. They have a driver, two attendants, life preservers for everyone, food, radar, GPS and a bathroom! One of the first items of business when you board the ship the first day is a mandatory drill on where you meet, where your boat is and what is expected of you in case of an emergency. Everything’s good!
I so wanted to get a good photo of the sign at port, but this gentleman (who I did not know) stood every which way to get his photo taken and I had to move on. I had a bus to catch!
Our excursion took us on a 30 minute (well with all the traffic on the two-lane road, more like an hour) to Budva, our first stop of the day. Here is a map so you can follow along!
Once outside of Kotor the scenery is low scrub brush along one very narrow, congested road. The Adriatic Highway is the major road along the sea level. The other major road takes you on top of the mountains. So we had a choice, high or low, and we picked low. It was amazing there is nothing, zilch, along this road and then all of a sudden there would be building construction popping up in spurts. Mostly it looked like shopping centers rather than housing. I kept wondering who was going to come out here to shop? But, with all the traffic there must be a need and Montenegro was booming………….in spots, here and there and in a very mish-mash fashion. When we arrived in Budva the bus dropped us off at the side of the road because Budva is a pedestrian only city near the Old Town and the beaches. What did we see first? There were these seedy-looking and not very well kept (garbage was binned everywhere, like the grounds had had a night of high intensity partying) Perhaps Monday is their garbage collection day and the trash was yet to be picked up. The multiple fenced up lots represented different parts of the world. Looking over one section of the fence was a replica of France with a smallish Eiffel Tower. Another place was New York City…………..another place, a spot for Elvis……… It reminded me of a circus or maybe a lewd amusement park with different themes. We kept walking on and the guide did not address it. I think most of the tourists were afraid to ask just what it was. I was cautious of taking any photos. But, on the bright side, a short distance away we came to a beautiful, spotless, wide tree-lined, promenade with restaurants galore on each side of the avenue. Wow, take your pick they were awesome!
And the staff very friendly…………and there was no problem with language. Everyone here spoke English.
Just look at this place!
I was afraid to ask what exactly was sold here………….
And the promenade took us straight to the beach!
Here you get a glimpse of the fortified walls of Old Town. More about that in my next post……….
Montenegro is in a growing phase. Their number one attraction is tourism. I can see why they are trying to bring more tourists to this beautiful and remote place! Tomorrow we will work our way through Old Town and learn about Budva’s history! See you then!