Folk dancing – one of the things I’ve always loved, and travelling – something I’ve recently discover that I love. Great company, great occasion, great destination and my first appearance on the stage in the incredibly beautiful Montenegro. What a better combination?
(Not to overload the post with pictures, most of the photos you can find at the end of it divided into galleries.)
At the border – Kalotina
We left in the afternoon after the end of the work day. Two full buses with enthusiastic dancers, and as it turned out, good singers as well. 😉 Late in the evening at the Bulgarian-Serbian border, a 4-hour queue awaited us. Well, the weather was good and the time well utilised – we collected all of the looks and applause of the people around us.
Arrived at Ulcinj, Montenegro
I think that after 22 hours on the bus we would be happy at the final destination, no matter what it looks like.
And yes, we didn’t have much idea where we were, but we felt happy getting off the bus. We arrived in the late afternoon and only had an hour and a half to take a breath and get ready for the show. Tired but excited.
A quick rehearsal before sundown, the latest updates and with the flag straight ahead! It turns out that we are the group that closes the 3-day international festival. Our hosts performed brilliantly, we took the baton and defended our presence with dignity, after which we all indulged in a fun mixed improvisation.
Thank you for the warm welcome, Ulcinj! 😊
A wee walk in Budva
Satisfied with the performance, rested and curious, we load up on the buses again, this time for a short excursion to nearby larger tourist destinations.
Along the way we come across a wonderful view of St. Stefan Island, even bus drivers give in to its charm and stop for a 10 minute photo break! 😊
Next stop – Budva. Again on the Adriatic coast. We all poured like an avalanche into the old town with impressive fortress walls and beautiful narrow streets with lovely cafes and noisy tourists. And constantly looking at the clock – the disadvantage of organised excursions…
Final destination of the day – Kotor. On the same coast, of course. Again an old part, again a fortress and narrow streets with cafes, restaurants and souvenir shops.
If the fortress walls in Budva and Ulcinj are impressive, then the one in Kotor is stunning. It starts from the river, climbs to the top of a nearby mountain and goes down the other side of the old town. What kind of view should be seen from there…
And again, the clock do not allow arbitrariness, such as climbing walls and mountains or even longer walks. But the view from below is not at all an understatement.
Unlike the old part, only some other deluded tourist wanders around the port and is so beautiful and peaceful. Craving for coffee and tired of the noise of the crowd, I began to look around for a non-tourist spot near the park and the port.
With an eagle eye, I spot half-hidden between the trees around the corner, a small and pleasant jazz club where I gratefully went. In the cool twilight I was served a wonderful coffee accompanied by a glass of water. And there was not much room left in the glass for the water – the waitress had read my mind and filled it with ice.
I told her, with a grateful laughter, that I am already in love because of that gesture, and she blossomed into a happy smile, then handed me another glass full of ice.
How could a person dislike Kotor! 💝
Back to Ulcinj
Two days in Ulcinj – a quiet little town on the Adriatic coast at the end of the tourist season. We were located about 13 km from the city (I found out when I walked them on foot) in an area built up almost entirely with small hotels and guest houses.
Everyone decided to go to the beach, something that did not attract me as an idea – I had a whole unknown city in a foreign country to explore. The beaches are quite similar – sand/rocks and water…
At the reception they explained to me that the city is quite far, but there is no public transport, and a taxi would cost me about 10 euros. I didn’t like this idea either.
I do have a backpack and hiking boots!
Incredibly smiling and responsive people, everyone ready to guide you, help with an advice and information or a glass of cold water.
People invite you for a cup of coffee – people you can communicate with only through Google translator (not quite though), since they don’t speak language different than Albanian. But still, somehow they want to talk to that crazy lady walking down the empty country road grinning to her ears and almost dancing!
Another invited you for the same reason to have a little chat in Serbo-Bulgarian and filled a bag of fruits for you to go. And more, and more, and more…
Life can be wonderful!
A few hours and 13 km later I reached the old town. First I came across the church with an olive grove, which I went to the second day as well – cool, quiet and peaceful. A place to think…
The old town grabbed me with its maze of narrow streets and small cafes, all with magnificent views of Adriatic sea. And the same people – friendly and helpful. So different and so similar.
In my way back to the hotel I wanted to feel the pulse of the town, see more real people away from the tourist flow, and plunge into the residential area.
Of course, I got lost, and then I found myself again!
I went around the hills and met dozens of surprised looks, because there wasn’t even a sidewalk! 😆
From Montenegro back home
And after another 20 hours on the buses, we’re back home. I fell in love with Montenegro! Incredible combination of mountains and sea, breathtaking views and nice warm people!
I shall be back someday (yep, I did!)! Someday, when I won’t look constantly at my watch and will walk quietly around Budva, will climb the steep wall of Kotor and cross the narrow bridge to the island of St. Stefan.