A Travellerspoint blog

Montenegro

Montenegro: Thunder and lightning; very, very frightening!!

storm 25 °C
View Euro trip 2013 on travellinglise's travel map.

"Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever remains to them?" - Rose Kennedy

Foodie moment

This became our steady brunch everyday whilst in Kotor. Filled with Cheese, Ham, Mushroom and with tomato sauce squeezed on top, so decadently yummy, and only 2 euro! :)

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Back to Bastion III (I know, I know...so pathetic.. but we just want cheap and good food without the gamble!). Anyway, Mark couldn't go past the Roast lamb again, and I couldn't resist my Shopska salad again and also ordered some stuffed peppers. All great again! Farewell Bastion III - we'll miss you :(

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Cultural moment

Once upon a time... a long time ago... I was a swim instructor. Eventually I regrettably gave up my life of the smell of chlorine, children peeing in the pool and freezing in the water at winter... but during my time in Eastern Europe I feel I may need to pick it up again!! No one in Eastern Europe can swim! They definitely try...and I guess they stay afloat, but there is NO evidence of formal teaching, just watching someone else do it and giving it a go. Very entertaining watching!

Wow moment

Today, we headed off to visit the fishing visit of Perast. A cute village, which is much quieter then Kotor, and seems to attract families on vacation. It has a bell tower that gives great views of the town and Kotor lake. Off the coast, there are two islands, one of which you can visit, Our Lady of the Rock. Our Lady of the Rock is a man made island, built out of old sunken ships and rocks, and it houses a big church. We didn't make it across to the island due to the crowds of people heading over there, and the black storm clouds heading towards us! But the views from the island was good enough!

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What we learnt today

We learnt by experience today, the storms of Kotor are an impressive thing to experience. We could see the clouds rolling in, impressively dark by the fact they were being concentrated by the super high mountains. We had heard that rain was predicted for the last few days, but it never actually did, but you could tell that this time was different. The next sign was the smell, you could smell the rain coming. Then the wind picked up and all of the restaurant owners rushed to bring their outside restaurants inside, folding up umbrellas (battening down the hatches) etc. Lightning and thunder was next, and I have never heard thunder as loud as that, the sound reverberating off of the surrounding mountains. We found "shelter" under a couple of palm trees. The rain hit hard, and the palm trees quickly became useless, so the best we could do was stand next to a building and hoped that the wind kept the rain falling at an angle away from us. Super exciting for me (Mark) as I'm a storm lover, it was over pretty quickly however, and the sun was out before we knew it.

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Posted by travellinglise 11:25 Archived in Montenegro Tagged beach lake storm perast Comments (0)

Spectacular SANDY Sveti Stefan

sunny 32 °C
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A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in.

Foodie moment

Today we went back to Bastian III again (you have to stick with a good thing) for dinner this time. We ordered the traditional roast lamb rack with vegetables and mash, squid stuffed with cheese and ham, and our favourite salad, shopska! The lamb was the best lamb roast I (Mark) have ever tasted! We must have been given the best bit because we were last in the restaurant to eat, so it had been slow cooking all night. Amazing! The squid was also delicious, the stuffing particularly a highlight!

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Cultural moment

Tanning is an art, well to some people anyway. Most people are quite happy with the mostly even tan you get by laying on the sand, but a few people, especially in Sveti Stefan beach just out of Kotor, have worked out quite an interesting routine of standing poses. In almost contortionist style, they direct their most pale parts of their bodies so that they face the sun while standing, holding for 15 minutes and then changing poses. It was like watching some kind of strange mime / statuette street performance. Entertaining nevertheless.

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After taking a few bus rides around Europe, we began to notice a particularly strange job, that of the bus ticket seller. Usually a younger girl (late teens / early twenties) rides up front of the bus, counts people that board at each stop and then asks you to pay for a ticket after you have taken your seat. I can see why this job exists, it saves time by taking the job out of the drivers hands, keeping the bus on schedule, but why anyone would choose this job, especially the young girls is beyond me. The pay must be awesome because sitting on a bus going around in circles all day sounds like boreds-ville to me!

Wow moment

We took a bus (with regular ticket collector girl) to Sveti Stefan. An island just a 100 meters off the beach (an actual sand beach!). The island is very small, and is squished with many old multi level stone buildings that used to be a small village, "used to be" being the part you need to pay attention to. Now it is a resort, the whole island is one resort, the residents bought out and the hotel moved in. You can't get to the island unless you are staying at the resort, but you can admire it from the beautiful sandy beaches! Being able to lay on actual sand again was a treat, even though the temperature was in the mid 30's and the shade didn't exist. This just made the water even more inviting, and once you walked past the sharp pebbles on the edge ( why does Europe never make it easy!), you could swim around in the crystal clear water. I (Mark) even swam to a buoy I saw in the distance just to see if I could, luckily I could! Such a relaxing day - just what we needed!

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What we learnt today

Smoking, still the way to be cool in Europe, exists and is allowed everywhere. Restaurants? Yep no worries. Bars? Sure why not. Buses? Of course. Bus drivers? You better believe it! Old bus drivers especially, light up like smoke stacks, chain smoking their lungs away, and preventing most of the smoke from filling the bus by driving with not the window, but the bus door open! If you have ever noticed a bus door, they're not small things and doing 100kph with the door open makes for an interestingly windy experience.

Posted by travellinglise 10:25 Archived in Montenegro Tagged sveti_stefan Comments (0)

Counting our Savings in Kotor

sunny 27 °C
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"Not every lake dreams to be an ocean. Blessed are the ones who are happy with whom they are." - Mehmet Murat Ildan

Foodie moment

Stephan, the guy that worked in our hotel, recommended we head out to Bastion III, and we were very happy we followed his advice!. Bastion III is another branch of the restaurant that our accommodation was situated near (Bastion I). It was just outside the old town walls which means that it was cheaper but also dead quiet, we were the only people in for a late lunch! Regardless, we had the Beef Goulash and a Boiled Beef with Vegetables, with my new favourite... Shopska Salad (tomatoes, cucumber, onions and grated feta cheese on top)..... Yummy, cheap comfort food!

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Cultural moment

The biggest cultural difference we have found since entering Montenegro is that it now actually feels like we are in Eastern Europe. To be honest it is mostly because the prices are more what we expected than in Croatia. But it is also because the people seem like they are just making a living, but not trying to get every possible cent out of all tourists that pass through!

Wow moment

Kotor is set on a spectacular bay, it's huge! Its a long and windy drive around the outside, but the amazing view around each corner make up for it! The towering cliffs that surround it make it unlike any other place in the world!

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The old town of Kotor is amazing to look at. Pressed up against the base of a huge cliff, the rest of it is enclosed by its original walls. Then snaking up the cliff are another set of walls leading up to the fortress that sits on top of the cliff. The inside of the old town has the trademark cobblestones and windy streets, which twist and turn you until you are not quite sure where you are... until you burst out on a bright square... hmm but which one?! Needless to say a map of Kotor is at the same time, essential and useless!!

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What we learnt today

The beach in Kotor was touted as a sand beach,and we eagerly headed out to it... Unfortunately I would in fact classify it as a 'gravel' beach not sand! Comfier then stones but really not sand!!! It is possible to lie on it, but you do have strange spots on your back afterwards that kind of look like you have some sort of pox!

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Posted by travellinglise 10:28 Archived in Montenegro Comments (0)

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