Budva, the Montenegrin Miami.
While Kotor is sober, enclosed in its walls, Budva instead is the trendy location in Montenegro the seaside resort for who wants to enjoy night life at the disco and sunny days on the beach. As it happened also on Croatian island, this is going to come during Summer season, now there are a lot of works but nevertheless, the town is more sparkling than Kotor. The downside is that the small old city is surrounded by huge buildings and a circus made of souvenir stalls, café, grill restaurant, open air markets. I’m aware that many people love this kind of places. I have to be in a particular state of mind to appreciate them.
But as I said, Budva has a small but very nice old town and it is not too far from the bus central station where I arrived from Kotor. Once here, bought the ticket to Nikšić and left the backpack, I’m ready to quickly visit the town having more or less 3 hours. To reach the old town it is enough to go straight in the direction of the sea and from there it can be seen behind the yachts berthed in the marina. The wall around the town has several gates, I count at least seven of them. Inside I am in the now familiar grid of small streets and old buildings as the one of Kotor. I’m lucky and I reach quite soon what is certainly the best part of the old town at the southeast corner, the one stretched into the Adriatic sea. Here are concentrated, the citadel (citadela), and beach and four churches: St John the Baptist, Holy trinity, Santa Maria in Punta (known with the Italian name) and St Sabas. Entrance to the citadel is subject to the payment of a reasonable 2,5 Euro ticket and it’s worth because from here there are beautiful views on the old town and especially the four churches.
Unfortunately, out of this beautiful zone the rest of the old town does not offer too much. Walled is so small that I think I was able to pass in each street at least twice and afterward I decide to return to the bus station. On the way I stop on a Turkish café with very friendly staff, enjoying Turkish coffee and Pistachio Baklava. Before reading about the rest of the day, take a look at Budva gallery.
And now Nikšić…
The trip to Nikšić on a small bus, offers some great view. In the beginning because climbing up the mountains close to Budva the bay can be seen from a very favourable position. One of the two picture of cover page for Montenegro was taken from there, 8 years ago, when I travelled by car from Budva to Belgrade. Up on the mountains it was sleeting and this worried me a bit because currently I don’t have heavy clothes. Luckily once the bus went on the plain again the weather improved allowing to enjoy some nice view of lake Skadar, a natural reserve half Montenegrin and half Albanian. Bus then reached Podgorica, the country capital city and after a brief stop headed to the final destination: the town of Nikšić. This place represents the first real change to my original itinerary. I decided to come here in place of Podgorica due to its short distance to the Ostrov monastery that I resolved to visit after a suggestion from my taxi driver on Pelješac peninsula. So far I knew this town just for the very good local beer brand, Nikšićko Pivo that I love especially in its dark (Tamno) version therefore I don’t know what the place has to offer.
Walking from the bus station to my Bed and Breakfast I cross the main square called Freedom square, relatively nice. It is quite cold and it becomes even colder when it’s time to go out for dinner. With this climate it is even more enjoyable the local food mainly based on meat, so similar to the Serbian one. For dinner I have a steak with cheese and the famous ham from the Montenegrin village of Njeguši washed up, of course, with the local beer. Tomorrow, weather permitting, I want to go to the monastery of Ostrov.