Published: June 29th 2012
June 29th 2012
Such a rubbish place really
Another early start later and we were on the bus leaving Sarajevo, heading to Montenegro. Specifically Ostrog Monastery. After a gut churning ride through some beautiful Bosnian countryside, with the driver both smoking a cigarette and talking on his mobile phone most of the way, we were dropped at the side of the road near the monastry, ready to take a mini bus up for a night of serenity. And getting to know our fellow travellers better, as we were staying in group dorms.
Montenegro has been surprisingly stunning. Though I dont know why surprisingly because I did not really focus that much on researching the country before I came away. The landscape turned much more arid, but still very dramatic with mountains surrounding nearly everywhere we travelled.
The monastery is known as having the preserved body of St Basil. Not the same St Basil as the Moscow cathedral namesake by the way. After checking into our dorms and having a bit of lunch, we began a trek from the lower monastery up about 200 metres in altitude to the upper monastery, through some beautiful forest type areas, up many many stairs, testing all the hard training I have
put in on the trip so far via beer drinking.
Once at the top though the view was more than worth it, except for the slight haziness. We also got to see St Basil, though none were brave enough to peak under the loosely placed shroud to see if he was really under there. A leisurely walk back down the hill and some dinner later it was time to retire to the dorm, ready for our next early morning. This time we had to flag down a bus on the side of the highway, a favourite passtime in the Balkans. Who needs bus stops! A short stop in the capital of Montenegro later (which was so wonderful I cannot even be bothered googling its name), we started to descend the coast near beautiful Budva, the town before our home for a few nights, Kotor.
After checking in our bags and getting into our swimmers, we headed back to Budva to enjoy an afternoon at the beach. Although initially sceptical to the European style of beaching, and Budva's similarities to the Gold Coast, I soon warmed to the comfortable chair, shady umbrella and reasonably priced beer on demand. The
water was also a perfectly refreshing yet not too cold temperature, and was so salty it was very easy to float around enjoying more stunning Montenegrian (?) scenery.
After an apparently wonderful seafood dinner (I had chicken), it was a sort of sleep in before enjoying more of the scenery via a boat trip around Kotor bay. After being exhausted by all the beauty, we jumped in the middle of the bay off the boat for a quick swim, then enjoyed a considerately provided by the tour operator beer. All of sudden I can see why the Adriatic coast is a popular place to visit during the summer.
The rest of the time was spent enjoying the pretty town of Kotor, avoiding strenuous walks up a steep hill in the heat, then enjoying a picnic dinner on the harbour as the sun went down.
I am beginning to regret spending the final couple of weeks of my holiday on the Adriatic coast, all this beaching and relaxing is pretty exhausting.
There are more photos below