Friday, August 22, 2008

A Short Trip To Montenegro



Earlier this week I spent a few days in Kotor, Montenegro. Kotor is really, really lovely and I would recommend it to anyone wishing to get away from the busy, intense and suffocating city for a few days. The Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, is just beautiful. The coast line and the mountains rising up from all sides are unreal. I'm a city child - born and raised surrounded by concrete - and I was slightly apprehensive about the very slow-pace of life in Kotor, but I very quickly adapted to drinking coffee, eating some delicious food, walking around the streets of the Old Town for the 40th time (which didn't become dull or repetitive), drinking some more coffee, having a beer or two, walking around again, and ending the day with another delicious meal (and another beer). Ice cream was also most welcome at every opportunity with temperatures reaching up to 35C or more.


There are a lot of individual and group tourists in Kotor (mainly Australian, Russian and French), but they are not too imposing and I mainly heard Serbian/Montenegrin during my short stay in the town. One thing you should certainly do when in Kotor is climb up the 1,
300 'steps' (sometimes steps, sometimes broken rocks, sometimes nothing) to the Kotor Fortress for some amazing views over the Kotor Bay. It is extremely hard work and tiring so bring water and food with you! Flip flops were not the ideal footwear for that adventure...


I also took a short trip to Bar, which is a bit further down the coast towards Albania. I wasn't impressed. The food I had was terrible (but that could be down to the particular 'restaurant' I chose) and the beach was not particularly nice and lacked amenities (apart from a rather unsafe looking fairground and an ice cream kiosk selling black market cigarettes). The new town does feature some rather astounding architecture with three dome-shaped buildings housing some shops - apparently the locals refer to them as the 'Three Albanians'.


Ideally, I would have loved to have spent a few more days relaxing in Kotor and perhaps visit some other towns along the coast. The people are friendly, the food is good (just follow the crowds and you're in luck if you're a seafood fan), and the prices are not extortionately high considering the large numbers of tourists descending on the town every summer. So, if you have the chance to visit Kotor, I would say go for it.


6 comments:

markowe said...

Ha, I know that restaurant in Bar, the weird-looking concrete one. It used to say "Pizzeria" above it - we once took some guests there figuring that pizza would be alright. Once we had finally summoned the waiter (after about 1/2 an hour, I think) we said, "What pizzas do you have?" He said, "Oh no, we don't do pizza".

So I will always remember it as the pizzeria without any pizza...

Adam said...

Hey Mark,

Yeah, pizzas seem to be part of the staple diet in Montenegro, but they don't do them so well!

I ordered a Diavolo pizza, which is supposed to be nice and spicy, but it turned out to be a regular margarita pizza with some kulen and canned mushrooms dumped on top. Let's say I wasn't very impressed!

Well, I suppose I should be glad that my restaurant actually did provide me with a pizza.

Adam

Sajkaca said...

Wow, a wonderful post, Kotor is indeed amazing!
I'm a little surprised that you guys go all the way to Montenegro to eat and discuss Pizza...even in Bar you can get a decent Burek and wash it down with Niksicko!
BALKAN FOOD FOREVER!

Beatrix said...

Adam, that was a lovely post from Montenegro (Kotor), I was really enjoyed reading it.
But I have got surprised about Mark's comments because I think to visit another country, to know a new tradition,to get new impression........those things are much more important than to discuss about the "pizza diavolo". Montenegro is not Italy, if someone like to have a beautiful pizza, so....visit Italy! If I go abroad, I like to get know that country...the life of the citizens , their specialties including traditions, the local gastronomy, history etc. We should not degrade something till we do not know that well!!!!!!!!

Adam said...

Hi Beatrix,

I'm glad you enjoyed my post! :-)

Mark and I are just sharing 'humourous' experiences of one of the times we've been to Montenegro, no offense is meant and I'm certainly not putting down Montenegrin cuisine! I had far more delicious meals than I had bad ones - I was just commenting on that particular pizza I had that was to be honest very bad - not Montenegro's cuisine as a whole.

Montenegrin cuisine is extremely similar to Serbian, apart from a lot more seafood (which I don't like anyway!) - so I loved all the rostilj (BBQ) and bakery stuff I had!

I agree with you when you say visitng a country is to learn the culture, history, cuisine and see how the citizens really live. I took that to the extreme with Serbia by moving here permanently! ;-)

Adam said...

Sajkaca:

Yes, Kotor is indeed amazing, I really loved it there and can't wait to again for some relaxation.

Oh, I certainly had a lot of Niksicko, or Nik Gold (it seemed to be the most popular).

Adam