Happy Monday! If you haven’t read part 1 yet, start here.
After a week in Croatia, we were excited to fill out passports with more ink and to see some new places. Sunday evening, we met our new group members over dinner and long conversations on our hostel patio.
The next morning, we piled into a private bus and drove along twisty mountain roads to the Montenegro border.
Our first stop in Montenegro was Perast, a small village on the Bay of Kotor. In the middle of the bay sits a church, known as Our Lady of the Rocks. The church is known for it's unconventional construction method: it was built on an artificial island of stones and sunken ships. The full story is fascinating and it was surreal to stand on the island after hearing how it was built.
After Perast, we continued along the bay to Kotor. The town is known for its historic district, which is surrounded by thick fortress walls that extend up the hill behind the city and lead to a fortress that overlooks the bay. The historic town is full of Venetian-styled buildings and narrow streets. As confusing as the streets were at first, we soon got the hang of navigating by landmarks instead of street names.
We took a quick tour of the town before dinner, then gathered in the lounge of our hostel before exploring town at night.
The next day, we took a trip out to Budva, a city on the coast, for some beach time. That evening, we picked up a snack at a bakery then hiked up the fortress walls to the top of the hill. 1,200 metres and 18 minutes later, we were at the top. We watched the last light of the day fade from Kotor as the sun ducked behind the mountains, then headed back down.
As the town grew dark, we grabbed some cheap beer from a corner store and met the rest of the group on the rocky beach outside old town. Looking back up the hill, the lights of the fortress walls rose sharply above the town, while the dark mountains behind it blended into the inky blue sky.
The next day, we packed up again and headed for Albania.
Keep an eye out this week for parts 3 and 4 about Albania and Greece!