Moving south along the coast, the next destination on my itinerary was the tiny country of Montenegro. One of the first destinations you’ll arrive at, and my next stop, is the Bay of Kotor. More of a fjord than a bay, it is an inland waterway sandwiched between several mountain ranges (not surprising, as Montenegro is almost entirely mountainous) with a series of small towns dotting the perimeter — with the town of Kotor itself being the primary spot most visit. And as you move south out of Croatia and into Montenegro, there’s no need to worry about saying goodbye to the beautiful scenary, as it only seems to grow in amplitude as you move into Montenegro.
While milling the hours away sipping on espressos in the old city is a great way to spend the day, I was feeling a bit more active and energetic during my stay. And as such, I sought out a few of the nearby hiking trails (which aren’t hard to find, as Montenegro is another outdoorsman’s paradise). The most popular hiking spot begins at the back of the old city, just inside the walls. Here, leftover fortifications snake up the mountainside, allowing you to glimpse the remains of several churches, towers, bastions, and other strategic positions on the way up to the peak, where you can wander around the ruins of the Illyrian fort Castel St. John. And whereas the remains of the fortifications aren’t the most impressive thing to see in the world, the view from atop the mountain along is worth the hike.
I, myself, didn’t attempt to summit the entire mountain, but still being the over-achiever that I am, I made the somewhat insane decision to descend the mountain and immediately attempt to hike up the mountain on the other side of the Bay. I thoroughly enjoyed my time that day, however, simply standing up the next day was wrought with peril as my sore legs felt like they were on fire.
And after a long day of hiking, I was ready to tuck into the delicious Montenegran cuisine that I’d been hearing good things about. Though it is quite similar to what you’ll find anywhere in the surrounding countries (Croatia, Bosnia, etc.), the food in Montenegro was particularly notewothy for being much less expensive and served in heaping portions, taboot.
As mentioned in the title of my post, my stay in Montenegro was unfortunately only a short one. After spending two days in Kotor, it was off to the capital city fo Podgorica for one night before catching a plane out the next day. Whereas the city of Podgorica isn’t known to be a tourist hot spot (usually, it is only used as a transportation hub), it still isn’t without its own charms and photogenic scenes. Here are a few quick images of the city:
After a short flight out of Montenegro, I’ll continue my journey in the enourmous city formerly known as Byzantium, formerly known as Constantinople, and currently the heart of Turkey: Istanbul. I’m quite looking forward to this leg, as I’ve received more recommendations from fellow travelers to visit Turkey and Istanbul than other other single destination (and actually, almost as many recommendations for Turkey than all other destinations combined). Until then, cheers from Montenegro!