The money of Montenegro...

Trip Start Jun 15, 2010
Trip End Sep 15, 2010

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Flag of Montenegro  ,
Friday, July 23, 2010

Yes, after an early start (picked up at 7am!!) I was on the road in the minivan, with other eager, like-minded travellers (ok, that's a bit over the top - other middle-aged package tourists more like it!) on the road to Montenegro. After finding out about it the day before, i decided 'what the hell' and to go on it - after all, it only cost about 40 euros or so and there were only about 15 people in the van - so not a horror trip like some can be! Now, organised trips and the like aren't really my cup of tea, but financially it worked out beter for me, if i did want to go to Montenegro, to just do the day trip - accommodation isn't really the cheapest there, especially if you're in Budva, which is the most popular and probably one of the nicer places there.
First stop was the town of Kotor, which has it's own walled city - quite quaint and quite small to be honest! There is a lot of poverty evident there, from all the beggars and homeless, and since the wages don't really add up to much more than 150 euros a week (if you're lucky!) you can see why. Also, even though it's not as bad inn Kotor, the Russians own most of Montenegro, so in one way it is financially viable for them, but in another they are missing out on business and work opportunities.

Anyway, back to Kotor..... we had a local guide us around the old town, filling us in on tid bits of information about this and that... then there was time to wander around, before heading back to the van. I just took a wander, grabbed a bite to eat, and slowly (avoiding all the ladies with babies flung over their shoulder asking for money) made my way back to the van.
Next stop it was Budvar - and in true bus-trip fashion, i was nodding off to sleep (damn sun shining in the windows combined with an early rise!!). GThankfully i wasn't dozing for too long, as the view on the way was quite stunning.
Ads we were approaching Budva, wes took a detour to go and see a wee island, that is actually privately owned, but in summer the owner lets 'the public' rent a place in his hotel - if you've got about 5 grand a night, you might be lucky to stay there! The rest of the year it's closed off for his 'personal' use!! Took a quick few snaps and then it was back in the van (no time for dawdling!!) and off back to Budva. On the way we passed yet another example of the Russian hold (sorry, influence) there - a gigantic hotel, which was made famous in a Bond film, that celebrities apparently like to visit - Madonna apparently spent no less than 10 grand (euros) for a night there - nice to have money to waste!! To be honest, it looked ok - but as the beaches are like Croatian ones - mainly a small pebbly patch in a gap ion the steep cliffs - i don't really think it's worth it!!
Anyway, back into Budva, and yet another walled old city to explore - this one was more spread out, with lots of wee alleyways taking you this way and that. Actually found a cool shop that had purple sunnies (huzzah!) that fit and half-suited me (double huzzah!!) so i opted these to be my birthday treat!! (delayed, but not forgotton - sort of like this blog!!)
I was quite keen to go for a swim (wearing swimmers under clothes in 37degree heat isn't really the smartest idea!!) however all the 'beaches' were chock a block - and since i was by myself, i didn't really like the idea of leaving all my stuff unattended with so many people around - so i ventured to find another less busy beach. Well, the search ended up being similar that to finding a needle in a haystack - near to impossible, as i think the whole population of Budva, along with all the visitors, ahd the same idea - to go for a swim! After endlessly searching i decided to give in and settle for air con and a beer instead. After all, i didn't really want to risk my life crawling over rocks and what not just to cool off - i could do that in Dubrovnik!!
After relaxing and cooling down in the bar, it was time, yet again, to headback to the van. Unfortunatley Budva was the last port of call for the day, but on the plus side we did get to go a different way back (well, for part of the journey!).
Arrived back into Dubrovnik at around 6.30pm, so all in all quite a long day, and nice to see yet another new country!!
Next stop Split!!
Bek  :)
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