It was a 14 hour bus ride into Kotor with a change over in Podgorica. Although I was tired and felt pretty terrible after my run through Belgrade it was too difficult to sleep knowing what was happening on the roads in front of us. The Montenegrin driving was even more kamikaze-styled than the Bosnians. It was nerve-racking at times to watch, but pretty entertaining.
They were having a bit of a heat-wave in Montenegro, it was making the papers and I immediately felt it once I stepped from the bus. We were hoping to go to a travel agency we had heard specialized in organizing private accommodation in local apartments, but it was a public holiday in Montenegro, and it was closed. There seems to be a public holiday every 2nd day around this part of Europe; maybe to make the masses of un-employed feel better about spending another day at home.
We were wondering aimlessly around the old town in the hope of finding another agency to try and organise a room, but to no avail. They were all closed except for one place that was ridiculously over-priced. We decided to do one more lap of town (which is tiny) just in case we'd missed something. We ran into some friends from Holland who were in Bosnia at the same time, and they knew where we could get a apartment! We followed those guys and organized a room with the family who owned the apartments and settled in; it was a relief after another long trip. We just spent the night at a bar on the walls of the old town called 'Citadel', had a few drinks and caught up.
The next morning the four of us went on a boat cruise around the Bay of Kotor, the boat was meant for eight, but we just paid extra and kept it to four. The guy driving the boat didn't speak a lot of English, which caused some problems in deciding on what we wanted to see. We visited Mamula Island; which had a 19th century for built on it which was used as a prison by the Italians during World War II. The prison was known for torture and the cruelty to its prisoners. We then moved on to 'the blue cave' it wasn't so blue, and was kind of a let-down. Especially when a boat load of about 30 dickhead tourist arrived and started jumping from their boat and swimming around. Up next were the islands just of Perast.One is called St. George island, and the other called Gospa od Škrpjela (Our Lady of the Rock), and each of them has a chapel.Gospa od Škrpjelais the only artificially built island in the Adriatic, it was built upon a rock after two venetian sailors from Perast found a picture of the Virgin Mary on it in 1452. The boat ran out of petrol just of the shore of Perast. Just to add to my list of transport dramas.
The next few days consisted of mainly sitting at beach bars. You could dive into the water from the edge of the bar. It did play the same 5 songs on repeat all day, including 'We speak no Americano'. I f***ing hate that song, but it was cheap and saved having to rent sun beds. Our friends from Holland left us to move south just leaving the two of us once more. It was really too hot to do much else during the day. We walked up to the top of Kotor Fortress one evening to watch the sunset over the bay. It was great, but getting down was a problem. 1,500 crumbling stairs and we had to navigate them in the dark. There were some close calls, but no injuries.
The original Idea was to spend a few nights in Kotor then move onto Budva. But everyone I'd spoken to said Budva was nothing more than a Russian holiday destination full of drunks and prostitutes. Kotor was relaxing and a lot cheaper than Budva so we decided to stay and just do a day trip to instead. It was a nice town, a lot touristier than Kotor though. I had been told of some really high cliffs to jump into the ocean from in Budva. I never thought we'd find them so I jokingly said I'd do it… we found them.One was 8 meters and I'm not too sure of the other. I've been told its 19, 20 and 25. I don't think it was 25, so we'll say 20. There were a few locals jumping from the 8 meter cliff, some very hesitantly. It was the same height as the waterfall in Bosnia and I jumped it a few times. Elisa even built up the courage to jump a few times too. It was a little more difficult to jump from these cliffs because the water is crystal clear. You can see every detail of every rock as though it's only centimeters from the surface. To the left of the smaller cliff was the larger one, stuck to the side of it is a memorial plaque for a guy who fell and died.I hadn't seen anyone jump from it and I wasn't even sure it was possible to get up there. I asked a young kid if he knew how to get up there and he showed me the way. Looking down from the top was pretty wasn't great. I asked the kid if it was going to kill me if I jumped, he smiled, did the sign of the cross and told me to "just do it". He had jumped for the first time the previous day. I seemed safter to jump then to climb back down so I just did it.
Up next is Romania!