On top of the Citadel.
October 10, 2007


I like saying this name. It has a cute sound to it. Doesn’t it?

What isn’t so cute is the weather out here. But that’s okay. It is still a wonderful small walled-in (surprise, surprise) town to
explore. Maybe at some point the rain will cease.

I had to tackle on errand when I got here – I went to the ‘JAT’ ticket office (and I would find out that nobody would have a
clue what I was asking when I asked where ‘jat’ was…it was only once I realized I needed to be asking about ‘yat’ that I was
able to be pointed in the right direction). So I will now be flying the ‘Yugoslav Airline’ to go from Belgrade to Athens. I’m just
crossing my fingers that this isn’t like flying the ‘Soviet Airline’ in Russia.

I lucked out and managed to take advantage of the break in the rain. Off to the Citadel I went to see some views from the top
of the Old City of Budva. And shockingly, some of the water actually looked blue (instead of a grayish color that is pretty
common with weather like this).

It was also here when a Russian woman would choose to befriend me. At first I thought it was innocent enough – I thought she
just wanted me to take a few pictures of her. But then she started asking questions and I could see where it was going – I was
traveling alone, she was traveling alone, we should hang out together. Normally I’m down for stuff like this when I’m feeling
like I would have a good time with a person. I wasn’t particularly feeling this way at this moment. For starters, with the
weather the way it is, I was really looking forward to sitting at a café and reading with a cappuccino. Secondly, while I am sure
she is a very nice person, she came across as very gruff.

I wasn’t really able to escape and she was now coming to a café with me. I found out that she is only in Budva for the day. But I
could tell she wanted to have an all-day hang-out session. I did not. So I ended up lying. I said I wasn’t staying here and that I
was staying in Kotor. When she suggested the next place we should go (actually, as I recall it, while we were sitting at the café
she decided that she was done sitting there and in her gruff tone said “Let’s go.”) I said that I might just head back to Kotor.
The plan (or I should say ‘lie’) was backfiring as she suggested possibly going to Kotor, too.
Crap. How am I going to lose her?

I know these thoughts do not make me ‘Person of the Year’ but I was not in the mood to deal with somebody who took it upon
herself to call all of the shots. Not only that, there was a
major communication problem going on which made every minute of
our interaction seem like a whole lotta work. What happened to my pleasant day sitting at a café and reading that I had
planned on? I was
finally able to sever ties by saying that I had several errands that I had to run (yeah…errands in
Budva…but I had to come up with
something…), it was great meeting her, blah blah blah…

Free at last.

I headed back to the place I am staying partly to hide-out for a bit. One nice thing about weather like this is that it gives a
person a great excuse to take a nap in the middle of the day – this is very necessary since that darn mosquito kept me up all
night last night. Since I am already in my room, this seems like a good idea.

On that note…it’s time to rest my eyes…


There was mass rainfall on the day that I left Sarajevo. This was when I whipped out my rain poncho that I purchased from
REI before leaving for such situations. Since I wanted to protect my little backpack, I threw on the poncho over the backpack.
While I was walking the streets of Sarajevo to get to the bus stop I realized I was quite a sight – ‘Hunchback of Sarajevo’ was
what I labeled myself. Tonight I would be transformed simply to the “Ewok of Budva’ (as that is basically what I looked like).  

I actually really like rain…just not when I’m on the Adriatic Coast. Tonight I was craving one thing – food that could get
delivered to me. I don’t think things like this exist in Budva. So I made the 15 minute walk into the Old Town. I am currently
tucked into a cozy, semi-romantic seafood restaurant sipping on my glass of Vranac. Soon I will have seafood stew and black
risotto with cuttlefish in front of me. On a night with weather like this, I don’t think there could be a better way to still have a
nice night out.

October 11, 2007

Raining. Again.

Hmmm. What to do?

I would end up hopping in a bus and going down to Bar. No, not ‘the bar’. But ‘Bar’ – a city that is down the coast. The bonus to
this plan? The built-in scenic drive, of course, that comes with so many Montenegrin bus rides.

In any case, this morning I made the wise decision to stay in my place in Budva for my entire time on the Montenegro coast
and I can use it as my base. So what if I have to do a bit of backtracking to do these side-trips. It means not having to pack and
re-pack! Hallelujah!!!

Anyway, I think I was expecting a bit more from Bar. At the very least, I guess it’s at least good that I went so I could get my
train information to Belgrade? There are very few travelers out here so it’s difficult to find these things out unless I find them
out for myself. (Kind of scary that
I am the one responsible for getting all of this info. I am very known to screw up stuff like
this.) Hopefully I don’t mess this up along the way. At least I can breathe a sigh of relief that I won’t get lost trying to find the
train station as I now know where that is. (Oh. I can also breathe a sigh of relief that I’m not spending the night in Bar, too.)

The one thing my book mentioned to see in Bar was ‘Stari Bar’ – or ‘Old Bar’. I assumed this would be just like the other
Montenegrin walled-in towns I had seen…and I was more than okay with that. After all, I really love these towns and all of
their quaintness.

But this was different. It wasn’t an actual town. Nor was it anywhere near the sea. This was a town that was kind of tucked
away near the mountains and was in ruins. Literally. It was only 1 euro to enter and it was one of my best euros that I have
spent. I felt like it was some sort of old playground. If I had a friend with me, hide-and-go-seek would have been so fun. Even
being by myself, I felt like running around to see what was behind the next pile of stones. Maybe it was the rainy weather or
maybe it’s because it’s not high season…but there were only two other people there the whole time I was there. So I had this
almost all to myself. I love not traveling during peak season!

And then there was more good news to report – the weather cleared up tonight! So after getting in my fix of grilled squids, I
went to ‘my’ café (I have become a regular since I arrived) and didn’t have to deal with the pitter-patter of raindrops against
the umbrellas.

Maybe things are looking good for tomorrow despite what the weather reports say???
Back to Montenegro.
The remains of Stari Grad in Bar.
Break from the rain in Budva.