Relaxing on the coast

Trip Start Nov 15, 2005
Trip End Aug 15, 2008

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Where I stayed
The Blue Hippo

Flag of Serbia and Montenegro  ,
Thursday, July 13, 2006

After 5 hours sleep in a hot minibus, I arrived in the largest beach resort in Montenegro. Incidentally, it only occured to me that Montenegro actually means something when I saw the Serbo-Croatian translation and could relate it to what little Czech I know (most languages around eastern europe have slavic roots, so have a lot of similarities). Crna Gora - Monte Negro - Black Mountain.

I spent an extremely relaxing 5 days here, a perfect place to recover from whatever had hit me the days before. Not that I saw much of town; in fact, what little I saw really didn't appeal to me that much, being incredibly busy (Montenegran and Serbian tourists mainly, but tourists all the same) and with far too much traffic. The old town was nice enough, a lot like Dubrovnik in miniature, but nothing I hadn't seen before. As far as I could tell, the best thing about Budva were a couple of the bars. Set in coves on the south side of town, Acupulco and Tanga were great places to sit in a deckchair by the water and enjoy a couple of beers of an afternoon. Much better than lying on a shingle beach!

What I did like about Budva was the hostel. The Blue Hippo, it had only opened a few weeks earlier, but was easily one of the best hostels I've been to in a long long time. The whole set up of the place created such a relaxed, sociable atmosphere, and the owners (Dave and Nadya) did their best to make everyone's stay as pleasant as possible. Good business sense, I suppose, but you would be surprised how often it doesn't happen. Such a comfortable place to be, it seems there were always people lounging around doing nothing in particular. Usually Brian, someone I had met on Korcula and again in Dubrovnik. In the time it had taken me to do Dubrovnik - Mostar - Sarajevo - Zabljak - Budva, he had just been here. He was still there when I left. I met some great people staying there, and what's more, I managed to finally trade away the Bulgarian currency I had been carrying around for the past 8 months!

I did take a couple of excursions out from the hostel during my time there. A couple of times I hired kayaks with various others and paddled out to and around Sveti Nikola, a large island protecting the bay of Budva, with a couple of nice, quiet beaches on which to relax. I pity the couple that had the same idea, when a group of 7 of us turned up and disturbed their peace.
South of Budva, I walked along the coast to Sveti Stefan (a resort island), and north I ventured out to Kotor. Set in a glacial fjord (actually, aren't all fjords glacial??), Kotor is a beautiful and minute place with a fortress high above with some magnifecent views over the town and out into the fjord. Well worth a day trip out from the hostel :)

A much needed rest.
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