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Published: January 5th 2012
Budva walled town
Taken from the coastal walking path.
Yes, yes. I know what you're thinking, you've never heard of Budva right? Well, the truth is neither had I just a week ago! For the record I'm sure the guys are fabulous, but if you'll indulge me for a moment I'd like to comment briefly on the women. I arrived on New Year's Day in the middle of the heaving celebrations, with people flocking from all over the Balkans to ring in the new year in this picturesque Adriatic city. I stepped out for a stroll when the earth shook to it's very foundations. So then, what's the story morning glory? Oh that's it, suddenly it dawned on me that never before have I seen such beautiful women! Finally there's a city to rival St Petersburg, and the ladies promenade here like they've just stepped off the catwalks in Paris or Milan. My eyes started to widen in growing disbelief, and it was all I could do to avoid a serious case of whiplash. By definition an aesthete is overcome in the presence of exquisite beauty, and I soon felt the need to strive for an artistic endeavour to rival the immortals. Perhaps I could paint a new Sistine Chapel,
Budva from the Citadel
Perched atop the Citadel on a clear morning.
or compose a timeless symphony, or I know ... write a blog! Even the girl selling rose stems in the Walled Town was so beautiful I was of a mind to purchase the whole bunch from her just to give them right back! Ah, you have to laugh at the absurdity of all this nonsense, but the thing is I'm being half way serious...
The journal left off, dear reader, during a pumping outdoor concert in Dubrovnik to celebrate New Year's Eve. On the first day of the new year I caught a morning bus for the two hour ride to Budva in Montenegro. The journey featured stunning scenery as we wound our way along the Adriatic coast. The bus was an absolute spanker, and featured a unique form of independent suspension for the driver. His gig didn't include any of this plebeian bone jarring during the journey, as his seat was designed to gently bob up and down when we hit a rough surface. After we arrived at the bus terminal I made my way to the historic walled town, and then checked in to a great hostel in the very heart of the new year's action.
Walled Town, Budva
Light and shade are a feature in the mornings.
The sisters running Montenegro Budva hostel are so friendly and welcoming it's almost overwhelming, and after settling in I got to chatting with a friendly german guy from the dorm who is great friends with them. I was invited out by my new friends to attend a massively hyped concert that very evening, starring the biggest band in Bosnia. Dino Merlin popped down to Budva with his cracking band, where he was the feature act for the excited revellers on this new year's. The concert was brilliant and we were lucky to have got so close to the stage, after we squeezed through the crowd in the path of the hostel owner. I marveled as only tourists can while the crowd sang and danced and generally went berko, it soon became crystal clear the partygoers love the music of this legendary Balkans performer. I even got some running translations of the happenings from the owner during the show, for which I'm very grateful.
During my stay in Budva I was blessed with perfect weather to get out and about. There's plenty to explore in the picturesque Walled Town. It's more compact than Dubrovnik, but still provides a chance to
Lazing on the beach
The temperature hit a balmy 14 degrees, and I even saw a few guys swimming.
get lost which seems to be a habitual failing of mine in old towns. Throughout the world old towns are crammed with a veritable rabbit's warren of small streets that always seem to get you turned around in no time. The Citadel perched atop the town provides spectacular views over the Walled Town and the coast, and it was great fun watching the world go by on a quiet winter's morning.
So what else is there to recommend while relaxing at a beautiful coastal town on the Adriatic sea, except to go to the beach of course. We enjoyed three consecutive days of perfect weather with a maximum temperature of fourteen degrees, and I found it incredible that I was able to take off my shirt and lap up the rays in the middle of a northern hemisphere winter. I was expecting biting cold and snow for the duration of this trip to the Balkans, but as a travel destination Budva continues to surprise. On the last day my German friend joined me at the beach, and we got to chatting about how much Montenegro has to offer.
Of course the hosts insisted on taking me out again
on my last night, and once again the evening's entertainment centred on whiskey and cigarettes. The hostel owner and her sister have lived a fascinating life, having made their way to Budva as destitute Bosnian war refugees. During the last fifteen years the owner has carved out a successful and diverse career, and her life story provides inspiration to anyone who has fallen on hard times. The city of Budva is famous for beautiful women, gorgeous weather, magnificent coastal scenery and a pumping nightlife. Hmm, just give me a moment to consider these attractions, basically all of you should be here now!
Ballet's image of perfection is fashioned amid a milieu of wracked bodies, fevered imaginations, balkan intrigue and sulfurous hatreds where anything is likely, and dancers know it." Shane Alexander
As I continue my travels, until next time it's signing off for now
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