Montenegro

Up early, quick breakfast and then out to wait for our pick-up. It’s about 15 min late, but the ride itself is a comfortable bus with 18 passenger seats. The guide gives us some general background info while driving to the border to Montenegro. Our first stop Kotor is at the end of an impressive fjord, we drive the long way around for the views and park outside of the old town, near one of the two big cruise ships that are moored in the fjord.

We have a half hour tour by a local guide, who points out the basic landmarks and then leaves us to our 1h30 of free time. To our standards the town is flooded with tourists and groups and we resolve to get out of town as soon as possible to flee the annoying tourists.

We decide to climb up the old fortifications, which run up the hill to protect the town on the land side. The climb is via a rocky road that sports a strip of narrow stairs (one person wide), there are a lot of people in ridiculously unpractical clothes and shoes going up and down. We’re walking up in the sun, there is not much wind and it’s extremely hot. We make it most of the way to the upper fortifications, from where we have great views of the old town of Kotor. Once we’re back down the crowds have thinned a little, we have a drink next to the town’s only tree (almost 400 yrs old) and stroll back to our tour bus. Here as well as in Dubrovnik there is an abundance of cats, that lay around in shady spots not shy at all of the throngs walking by. The old town is a lot less impressive than Dubrovnik, although the location on the fjord beneath steep cliffs is impressive.

Next up is Budva, which is apparently almost completely in the hands of wealthy Russians. Here we have two hours of free time, we start out by having a relaxed lunch in a restaurant overlooking the harbour with pleasure boats. We share a big bowl of mussels, including some rock mussels which are a local specialty and even forbidden in Croatia. As dessert we have a bowl of strawberries with chocolate sauce. Just enough time left to visit the tiny old medieval town, with its narrow streets and quaint churches. The drive back is very smooth, no waiting time at the border and we’re back at our hotel around 7 pm, without much motion sickness.

At the hotel we look again at the lists of restaurants and decide to try out Restaurant Victoria, which styles itself as a gastronomical restaurant with fusion Peruvian Adriatic cuisine. The food is surprising, with flavours that we are not familiar with but that we really like. There is no tasting menu but we decide to order several dishes and share, so that we can taste different things. My favourite was the ceviche, Arne’s the pork belly on quinoa. It’ a bit much food, fortunately the 20 min walk back to the hotel serves as an after-meal walk to help our stomachs digest. We’re in bed before twelve, but not by much. Fortunately we’re not in a hurry tomorrow morning.

Today’s statistics : 17.254 steps, 12,18 km, 94 floors

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