Bar - as in town of, not as in a bar

Trip Start Aug 11, 2009
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Trip End Sep 30, 2010


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Where I stayed
Villa Jadran

Flag of Montenegro  ,
Sunday, August 22, 2010

Modern Bar town is not much to look at - newish, multi storey and deserted. The buses seem somewhat unreliable - even local people were asking us when they were due, we had to practice our travelers patience (what am I talking about, we still have none). Stari Bar (old Bar, again, as in the old town) is at the other end of the uphill bus ride, cobbled lanes of souvenir shops and restaurants leading up to the main attraction. Stari Bar has been deserted since its partial destruction in  1878, caused by the Montenegrins attacking the Ottoman occupiers. Interestingly, Montenegro was one of the few countries not occupied by the Ottomans - although Montenegro at that time was a very small country (not including Bar) of people living in difficult to invade mountains, with a reputation for being ferocious. So while the Turks went about invading the Balkans, they steered clear of those mountains.

We lost ourselves for an afternoon in the 4 hectares of overgrown crumbling ruins, occasionally stumbling across other tourists asking us hopelessly for directions to some part or other that we may have found but could never be too sure. Some parts have been rebuilt - the outer walls, a church, the bathhouse, but they were all locked up and far less interesting. In the basement of one tower is a dark, unlit church, intriguing passages leading off under the walls. we tried to follow one tunnel along in the pitch black (why do we always forget the torch!) giving up when we came to stairs and a fork in the path.

Lets be honest though, the main tourist attraction in Bar for fickle sun seekers is the beach. In the bright midday sun, the large stones glisten in the shallows with gorgeous colours from pinks to greens. In the evening as the tide recedes and the sun disappears, the drying stones turn dull and colourless. Not to mention the difficulty in walking on them - getting in to the water to swim is seriously hard work. All along the beach we could see people lurching and staggering, trying to balance on shifting pebbles as the waves hit - at least its not just us being uncoordinated for a change.
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