Sunday, May 13, 2012

Kotor to Budva

My last night in Kotor and I joined the small group of travelers and local Montenegrians in the common area downstairs. Everyone was trying some homemade Rakia (Rah-key-ya) which is a spirit made from fermented fruit and is considered the national drink (very popular in the Balkan countries). It's not very pleasant to drink because it's 55% alcohol, not far off to be able to sterilize your hands. They brought out various 'flavours' apple, quince, plum; I couldn't tell the difference, each just had various lengths of burning sensations. 

The next morning I slowly made my way downstairs and checked out. The buses to Budva went every 45 Minutes but I felt like something different. 
I plodded off down the road past the bus stations and continue on 5 minutes out onto the main road where I stuck out my thumb. Don't worry, hitchhiking over these parts of Europe is quite safe, it's really popular between Split and Dubrovnik (along the Croatian coast which is about 6 hours) and Montenegrians are even more relaxed people and hitching in Montenegro is even easier. I was picked up by a guy after about 10 minutes. He stopped in the middle of the road, holding up traffic, and didn't move till my seat belt was on, so he seemed like a good sort. He spoke little no English so it was a very quiet, but a short journey (about 45 minutes); a good entry level hitch. 

The main beach
When I arrived in Budva, I started thinking how quickly I could get out of this place and to somewhere else. But of course this was after I had already paid for my hostel. Never mind. Budva is a very populr destination for rich Russians and young people looking for parties and beaches. I'm sure it's great for that in the summer, but the place has little charm and is quite 'tacky'

Budva Old town

Thankfully Budva has an old town which I could explore a bit, and a great walkway along the cliffs to some quieter beaches.

Walkway along to the beaches

just see the beaches in the distance
Budva's old town 

The ferry didn't leave till 10pm that evening so I caught a bus to Sveti Stefan which is just around the bay.
Downside of course is you can't get over to that little island'y thing as it's privately owned and operates as a hotel/resort.

It'll cost you 50Euros to sit on this beach, staff enforce this (not kidding)

This perfectly manicured beach where staff groom the sand didn't have anyone patrolling so I could chill out here instead. 

Budva would have been a total flop had I not met some really nice people at the hostel. They had traveled extensively and I was able to pick their brain about some locations and hear some great stories. You've got to have some bad places to appreciate the good ones as well.