Archive for ‘Montenegro’  

Bulgaria, Montenegro : Sofia at last

Sunday, 4th May 2008

It has been 26 hours since our last post and since that time we have been travelling solidly.

We got on the 16:50 bus from Kotor that got us to Bar (still in Montenegro) at 19:30. We had time for dinner at a nice little restaurant opposite the train station in Bar before we boarded the overnight train back to Belgrade; this time we had beds on the train (3 bunk beds on each side of the compartment).

The train was 2 hours late and we only got to Belgrade at 8am. Our next train left Belgrade at 08:40 to Sofia (10 hour trip!). At one stage we shared the compartment with 2 very strange old ladies smuggling cigarettes across the Bulgarian border (hiding the cartons everywhere – from a specially made jacket with hidden pockets to socks and underwear!). The one even bribed the controller because she didn’t have a ticket for the train. It was very obviously not their first time doing it and all this made for a very interesting trip into Bulgaria.

We found a very nice hostel, Hostel Mostel (no, that is the real name) and we even got some free pasta and a beer when we arrived. At this stage we are planning on staying 2 nights in Sofia and then heading to Veliko Tarnovo, but it all depends on how exciting the city turns out to be tomorrow.

Montenegro : Cool Kotor

Saturday, 3rd May 2008

Our bus from Dubrovnik to Herzig Novi (Montenegro) arrived at 11:00 and we decided to go straight to Kotor. We had about 40 minutes to walk around Herzig Novi (nice town, but not worth an overnight) and then caught the bus further.

Once in Kotor it seemed quiet difficult to find cheap accommodation but in the end we found a single room (yes, only a single bed!) in a private appartment right in the heart of the Old Town. We shared the appartment with a very friendly Serbian couple, Bojan and Ivana, who now live in Montenegro.

Kotor is a beautiful coastal town at the bottom of a huge fjord – the setting is spectacular. We climbed up the mountain to the fortress yesterday afternoon and got some great photos of the valley and mountains. Afterwards we walked through the Old Town and had a pizza in one of the little squares. Kotor is really something special and definately worth a visit!

After dinner we went back to the room at 21:30 and Bojan and Ivana invited us for a glass of wine on the terrace. They introduced us to “Rijka” a homemade, distilled apperitif – with a hell of a cick! We ended up chating until 01:30 and had a great time, finishing off with a very strong “domestic” coffee brew.

This morning we visited Budva, another coastal town, but a bit more commercialised. We had our packed lunch on the beach and took the 14:00 bus back to Kotor. On the way back we decided not to stay another night in Kotor, but to go to Bar and catch the overnight train back to Belgrade. From there we will catch the train tomorrow morning to Sofia, Bulgaria, and then resume our original planned schedule. Hopefully all of this works out.

Bojan advised us against taking a route through Kosovo, so we will take the long way via Belgrade again.

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If you can’t see the slideshow above click here.