Sasha went to sea to see what he could see

Europe » Montenegro » Budva
July 17th 2012
Published: July 25th 2012
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Many people would wonder what was the design behind going to the Adriatic seaside for mere 24 hours… I cannot really explain, but now that I’ve seen the place I’ll go there again for a longer period. Montenegro is a small country but it has two things I like most – sea and mountains.

I departed from Novi Sad (“Sad” does not mean “gloomy” here, it means a “garden”) at 7 in the morning and the bus drove very slowly that’s why I came late for our bus to Budva at 8.30. The anxious Vasia was waiting for me at the departure platform but I was quite calm because there would be a bus in just four hours. They refunded our money save a 300-Dinar deduction and we bought new tickets. Beware, the cashier could not explain in English that we should go the departure platform to have our lost ‘tickets’ stamped. The importance of being a polyglot! Though, I was a bit disappointed because we planned to spend the evening on the beach. We sat in McDonalds eating McMuffins and browsing the web.

Now, the road from Beograd to Budva is hard if you are not accustomed to buses and haven’t slept well, because you’ll be giddy and have nausea because the road becomes serpentine and tiresome, it’s hard to bear it serenely for 11 hours; the landscape is rewarding, all around are rocks and canyons and magnificent vistas though mountains are like small hills. There are a couple of places where the bus passes above the abyss along the edge of the rock and it’s exciting. It made a long stop near a shop somewhere and all the other stops in Kragujevac, Kraljevo, Benari, Podgorica and some other settlements were very short, only a couple of minutes. We passed the border quickly.

As we were getting weary and going nuts with all the interminable driving we saw a horrible sight near Podgorica. At first, there was grass on fire, not so far away from the road, but then it looked like hell because the whole background transformed itself into a wall of crimson flame and smoke was everywhere. I never saw such in my life. There were whole trees and houses on fire. Later I learned by radio that the fire was localized, a dozen houses were lost, but at the date of writing (25.07) the web reported news on extensive fires in the whole region, namely Hrvatska, due to the ardent heat and tourists were evacuated from the coastal area.

It was an unforgettable view of Budva opening from the serpentine road. We were high above the illuminated supposedly best city of the Montenegrin coast; the sea was not seen due to darkness. I began to feel enthusiasm. Vasia felt bad and jumped out of the bus at some of the stops (a short way before the bus station); I scolded him for not waiting till the bus station, but later it turned out that our accommodation, Villa Adrovic, was very close. He asked some people how to find the villa in Velji Vinogradi and we roamed like lost sheep until asking two men to help us: one of them called by phone (some municipal service perhaps) to remind him where the Adrovic was so in a couple of minutes we were staying in front of the villa. We thanked the man heartily. The trouble is that there are no house numbers in Velji Vinogradi, so far as I can judge. If you come to Budva from the Tivat or Podgorica airport, better book transfer with your hosts or, cheaper, ask the locals (not much use of English here, I guess).

The majority of tourists in Montenegro are said to be Serbians and Russians. I guess other European nations do not go there because they have their own mountains and coasts. But Russians must love this country because visa is not required, the infrastructure is excellent, the sea is close to perfect, and prices are not skyrocketing. Vasia went to have a swim at night while I fell asleep at once.

We had a good room with a big bed costing 35 Euros per day for two. In the morning, we went in quest of catering and found the excellent Zlatibor restaurant with menu in the Montenegrin, Russian, and English languages; the prices were moderate and food was of highest quality. Then we went to the beach and entered the salty clear blue depths of Adriatic Sea. The beach was overcrowded. There are many beaches in the area. Tourist agencies organize many different excursions in the region – the Skadar Lake, Albanian capital Tirana, Dubrovnik in Hrvatska, some boat trips, monasteries etc. I’m planning to have them next time.

The gem of the town is the Stari Grad with the Citadel (entrance ticket to Citadel 2 Euros) with its narrow streets, cafes, shops, and three churches. As we rose the steps of the Citadel, I saw the unlimited expanse of sea and that seemed the best part of the whole journey as regards visual pleasure. As we were getting warmer, it was high time for bathing. Russian speech was heard everywhere. We also stayed on the beach in the evening when there were very few people – there were crowds of people in the trading area along the embankment, and groups of young girls seemed to go to parties.

Our bus left the next day at 8.15, this time the road was not so wearing but in any case it lasted more than 11 hours. Our flight to Russia was at 7.00 in the morning. We crossed the borders so many times on this short trip, but that’s the pay for cheap air tickets. We could not simply stay in Tivat and fly to Moscow from there, we had to fly the first part of the journey from Beograd to Tivat because such was the ticket.

Last year I was searching for the bus to Nikola Tesla Aerodrom in vain. I was looking for it near the railway station, but it stops in a different area, Zeleni Venac, which took us a bit of effort to find. I must have mixed up all the information about buses to airports that’s why it was a problem for me. We found it successfully and reached the airport by midnight.

There is free wi-fi in the airport but it requires an mt:s phone number, or a local bank card in order to pay online; there are several options none of which I was able to use. In total we spent there 5 hours looking through photos, I read “Daisy Miller” by Henry James and we talked a lot. The flight to Tivat revealed the greatest views on the mountainous terrain below and Budva as well.

Additional photos below
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view from the bus window

flight from Tivat to Moscow

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