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Published: April 5th 2010
BAR/BUDVA/DUBROVNIK Day 72
I woke up a little sad in the morning. Vjera and Radovan have been so incredibly kind and I have really enjoyed their company. I think they have actually adopted me as one of their grandchildren. They are truly lovely people and I am sad to say goodbye to them. When I came down for breakfast Vjera had a heart pendant necklace for me and gave me one of the Easter eggs. We had breakfast, Burek and my other two pork chops, and coffee and then Vjera filled a bag of food for my journey: Burek, sweets, and mandarins. I gave Vjera my Canada pin and some of my Amber block that I bought in Morocco. I only wish I had more with me to give them but I will send them a care package once I am back home.
We took some pictures outside of the house before we headed into Bar. In Bar we stopped at the world’s oldest olive tree. Stara Maslina is a 2000 year old olive tree that is the centre of Bar’s culture. All festivals and events throughout Bar’s history have occurred around this tree. It is really lovely
and I have never seen an olive tree like it. The trunk is all knotted and intertwined. Olives are a very important part of the Montenegro culture, being a sacred fruit. In the past men were not allowed to marry until they had a certain number of olive trees growing. In Montenegro it is said ‘olive is like mother. When you come to her, her arms are always open’. I have never seen olive trees like the ones in Montenegro. I think this is because throughout history it was never allowed to cut down an olive tree so many of them are very old. The older ones end up with very thick knotted trunks as new younger branches grow and wrap into the older parts.
Next, we went up to Stari Bar (old Bar). Radovan waited by the car, incase of ‘Albanies’, while Vjera and I made the walk up the hill. The old town is very beautiful with vines and wild flowers growing over all the old walls. We are technically supposed to pay to enter but Vjera just says ‘Kanadaski’ and just walks right past the guards.
We checked the times at the bus station and
then went to the port for a short walk before my bus to Budva arrived. We visited the Museum of the Royal family, Dvorac Kralja Nikole. Again, I think we were supposed to pay but Vjera told them “Kanadaski…anglicki” and then they gave us a guided tour in English and a free drink. Vjera also used this person as a final translator between the two of us to remind me that I should come back to visit and bring my family and she will get us from the airport. That I should put my passport and money in my underwear so that no one can steal it from me. To be careful in Croatia and call as soon as I get to Dubrovnik to let her know I got there safely and that no one stole my passport or money from my underwear.
We then headed back outside to get Radovan and then Vjera forced Radovan and I to have an ice cream cone. I attempted to pay but she forced the cashier to return my money to me. We then headed to the bus station where Vjera refused to let me buy my own bus ticket. We then
parted ways and I am really sad to leave them behind. I really wish the very best for them and hope I see them again one day.
On the bus to Budva, the driver, having been informed by Vjera that I am “kanadaski… anglicki”, put in a tape of the song ‘who let the dogs out’ and put it on repeat for the whole 1 hour journey. I guess it was the only English tape he had. As we approached Budva the driver stopped and let me get off so that I could take a photo of Sveti Stefan, which is a little island full of houses. It is really pretty and looks as though the houses are going to fall right off the edge. From Budva I wait to take another bus to Dubrovnik, Croatia.
The views along the road were amazing. I think Montenegro might be the most beautiful country I have seen. The water is stunning along with the mountains. As we passed through the city of Kotor I nearly got off the bus to stay a whole day there. The village is nestled between the mountains in the fjord. The lake is beautiful. And
the old fortress is jutting out from the side of the mountain. It is really some of the most striking scenery I have viewed.
I was sad to leave beautiful Montenegro behind but the views in Croatia are also beautiful. As you drive in from the mountain roads you can see the old town far below. When I got off the bus an Elderly man approached to see if I needed accommodation and told me about his villa. It was listed in my Lonely Planet book; he had a car; said it was only 10 euros for the night; and offered me a chocolate bar, so I went with him. Offer me a chocolate bar and I will follow you anywhere. Mom, I know you always said ‘never take candy from strangers’ because they can try to steal me away from you but it was a Milky Way bar. In the end all worked out well as he brought me to the villa and it was pretty decent.
I got settled and had my meal care package from Vjera for dinner. I must say that when I entered the Balkan countries I was a little nervous. I had
my guard up and was being extra careful when I was travelling. But everyone I have met has been incredibly kind without any expectation of anything in return. I have had a very refreshing and pleasant experience.
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