While I was reviewing my posts regarding Croatia, I realized that I had accidentally skipped over my little day trip to Montenegro. See the thing was, that even though I had gotten a wee bit of sun while in Dubrovnik, it was still too chilly to be in the water and my plans of what to do didn’t quite work out. Due to this, the plans of an easy day lounging at the beach were replaced with a day tour as I saw no harm in a little sampling of Montenegro. To be honest, I knew very little about the country other than it’s considered the hidden gem of the Adriatic Coast – whatever the hell that means. I figured if Montenegro was to my liking than I could always go back for a more extensive exploration as this tiki tour would just wet my appetite enough to leave me wanting more.
The tour organized by Adriatic Explore met just outside of Old Town at the crack of dawn. By the puddles on the stairs, it was easy to tell that it had rained overnight but it was dry at the moment which left me with hope that it could clear up as the day went on. If not, it would be a very long day where I would have little to no desire to leave the bus. Don’t feel sorry for me just yet since the sun was peeking out from behind the clouds just as we were crossing the Montenegro border. As we continued to drive, our guide gave us an early morning history lesson on the region. Most of this was forgotten as quickly as I heard it other than the fact that Montenegro actual means black mountains.
The first real stop was at the Bay of Kotor for photos before we met our local guide who would take us through Kotor’s Old Town. The beauty of Bay of Kotor was enough to take your breath away and would cast a shadow on the tour through the old town. The weather didn’t do much to help matters either as the blue skies breaking up the blanket of grey was replaced with a darker grey by the time our old town tour had concluded. As the dark clouds and inevitably rain moved in, we continued to make our way around Montenegro. The next real stop was going to be Budva and as it wasn’t exactly beach weather, the only real options left was to have lunch and check out the old town before we had to meet up with the bus once again. If food wasn’t on my mind, I may have contemplated saying behind on the bus for a quick 2 hour nap but it was feeding time so I ventured out with the group.
We stopped at a restaurant where the portions were huge but there was very little I could eat as the focus was on seafood once again. I had a rather unsatisfying meal before making the fatal decision to nip to the loo prior to heading over to the old town. As the queue was one of the worst I’d ever seen, I told my travel companions to continue without me and I’d catch up. This was a move that I would soon come to regret. Why you ask? It’s because the door of my toilet jammed and I was trapped. Nothing I did would open that door. An elderly lady on the other side tried to assist but failed miserably. She tried to provide words of encouragement as we waited for the restaurant staff to come to my rescue. Great – I’ve come to Montenegro and am thoroughly checking out the inside of a toilet stall! After the billionth time of jiggling the lock, the door final gave and opened. This was at the same time as the staff showed up with the key – turns out they keep it handy as this happens often! Makes perfect sense to keep a key instead of fixing the issue but who the hell am I to criticize right?
After I set foot outside the loo as a free woman, I realized it was time to meet the group at the bus so I wasn’t going to be able to explore the old town like I thought I would and raced back to the bus. Even with my confinement issues, I wasn’t the last person back on the bus as there was a couple who were over an hour late since they forget where the bus was meeting us – REALLY? At that point, there’s nothing you can do other than shake your head and smile and wishing you had thrown caution to the wind and made that gelato stop after all! Budva was our last real stop and before I knew it, we were heading back to Dubrovnik. All in all, the tour was really well-organized and gave a good idea of what Montenegro is like even if it was a long and exhausting day. All that I know is that I got a taste of the black mountains and know that someday I’ll be back to explore it the right way.