Greetings Bloglings, and Blogettes! I has been to Montenegro, for a short holiday, just 3 nights, flying from Manchester at 6:30am, I wouldn’t recommend that – you got to lose a nights sleep, cos you got to set off at 3am from home, get over the mountains from here to Manchester, then park up, check in, do the security, wait in line, and so on – nasty business, but at least once you get to Montenegro, the weather is fine – whereas here, at this time of the year its mostly somewhere between miserable and relentlessly bitter.
We went to Dubrovnik a couple of years ago, and I fancied having a go at Kotor, its only about 70 miles down the coast from Croatia to Montenegro, Kotor looked similar to Dubrovnik, but more mountainous, set on an inland fjord, the southernmost in Europe.
Montenegro isn’t in the EU, but it does use the euro as currency, both countries would like to join the EU, while the UK is currently trying to leave it – don’t forget the former Yugoslavia fell into war in the 90s, wouldn’t it be peculiar if they all were re-united under European membership?!
So we arrive in Montenegro, Tivat airport, its only 10mins by taxi to Kotor, there’s this gang of taxi guys at the airport, sat at a makeshift table, (there’s no bus from the airport) They looked like something out of Goodfellas! They offered us a taxi for €30, so we said no, €10 – and they said alright then €20, so we said no, its €10, and they said oh, ok then! €10 is the going rate, we saw it online before we went! The driver was a maniac, but he didn’t seem to mind only getting €10 – Actually, if you only pay €10, they probably drive faster to get back quicker for another fare!
In this part of the world, they mostly eat tomatoes, and cheese and ham. They like Pizza’s and Pasta, and seafood. If you’re English, you’re more used to eating pies, and big motherfucking lumps of meat – potatoes, chips, buns, fried eggs, bacon, fried bread, black pudding, all those things and many others are not available in foreign countries, so be warned! If you want English tea, with milk, well, don’t be so weird!
So anyway, I’d read that Kotor is a great place to go, and now’s the time before the cruise ships take over – I think it was an old article, cos the cruise ships have already taken over! Haha, it didn’t bother me, I was amazed to see these behemoths coming into dock there, one in the morning, one in the afternoon, then they’d be gone and 2 more would come the next day – amazing! The tourists flock off the ships, and are descended upon by the locals selling their wares, offering day trips and so on. The population must be doubled or tripled by these daily visits.
Day 1 we just chilled out after the night before, had a walk round the old town, which was beautiful, I loved it, but was feeling a bit knackered having been up all night – I dozed off a couple of times cos I hadn’t had more than 50mins sleep I reckon. So day 2 was really day one, we went up this hill where you go on the city walls, there were lots of American tourists up there from the ship, and Russians, there’s a lot of Russians go to that part of the world. Americans are very polite, they always make pointless conversations, joking around about how far is it to go, and would you like your photo taken, and apologising for being in the way or whatever – I think these are probably the ones that could afford to go abroad, so they feel obliged to go around saying blah blah blah to everyone they meet.
In the afternoon I think we went round the old town again, which was nice. Back at the hotel, they got the TV screen on with this fashion parade, from NY fashion week, that got me thinking, cos now there’s no war there, everyone is into fashion instead perhaps? I overheard some Americans in town talking endlessly about baseball rules, you go half way round the world and you’re cooped up on a cruise ship with all these strangers, so you make polite conversation about baseball – maybe it would be the same if you were on a warship, and it makes no difference? I just wouldn’t want to talk much about fashion or sport, whatever the setting! Boring!
Well, day 3, ultimately the penultimate, we had to decide what to do, so we took a speedboat ride to Our Lady of the Rock Church thing, and thence to Perast, a small town down the lake / fjord thing. It was €15 pp, not bad really, so we went in this little church thing, and I took a shine to this Japanese girl in there – we were in this little church and all the Japanese tourists came in from the Cruise thing, it made me laugh, cos they all look like they’re dressed for playing golf, the men anyhow. They probably are just ordinary hard working folk who worked all their lives to pay for this luxury cruise thing, so anyhow, they all come in, and I noticed that when one laughed, they all laughed, nervous travellers perhaps? Or else they are like cartoon characters from Toy Story or whatever, and they all share the same consciousness – but I liked this one girl I saw, so I went and stood next to her, and she looked at me so I smiled, and she just kept on looking without even blinking, so I’m thinking, what does it all mean? Perhaps she’s Jaquzi or whatever it is, and I’m going to have to marry her now cos I brought shame on the family? Sort of thing happens to me . . .
After that we went to Perast, tearing myself away from my stony faced new love, its a nice place, I was getting to feel my feet now, abandoning the speedboat trip we went to look at some Roman remains at Rican down the road, using a local bus service – good way to leave behind the cruise crowd. By this time I was beginning to see what the bloke in the review meant about the place being spoiled by the cruise ships – an organised holiday is a kind of mania IMO, you got to loose the shackles and get away from the herd, or else you’re going to wind up in a weird limbo world discussing baseball rules with a stranger, in a strange place, strangely!
That evening was the first there was no cruise ship in town, cos they’d all just left, the town was returned to something more peaceful, so we had a meal and wandered about taking photos and so on. I don’t mind the cruisers, they’re a bit mad I think, but obvs good for the local economy.
The last day, we had to fly at midday, the landlady at the hotel made us pancakes for breakfast, I showed her some utube footage of pancake races in England which amused her greatly 🙂
Its weird being back here already, but we got cats to feed – did I mention there’s loads of cats in Kotor – and also in Dubrovnik, you know these new cat cafe’s they have here in the UK? They don’t need them over there, I asked this woman in a shop if everyone here likes cats and she said yes, we do!