As morning dawned we caught our first glimpses of Montenegro, as our bus wound in and out of the ominous mountainous terrain. Montenegro is hands down one of the most breathtakingly beautiful countries I have ever visited with luscious green landscapes, crystal blue lakes and hills that tower above you wherever you go. To anyone on the fence about visiting; don’t be. There is a reason why this country is an up and coming destination for second-home owners and I urge that you allow yourself to be wooed by it’s unavoidable charm.
Driving down into Kotor was beyond amazing. We spent at least half an hour in silent awe, staring down at the terracotta roofs spread out below us; the medieval old town glistening in the distance with mountains on all sides. We strolled through the gates and into the heart of the Old Town to find our guesthouse, which had the original name of Old Town Kotor Hostel . Old Town Kotor Hostel is housed in a 13th Century building and really captures the spirit of its historic surroundings. The lobby features exposed brickwork and quirky vintage furniture and the dormitory bedrooms carry on this traditional theme.
On arrival we were told that they had overbooked the dorms that we had reserved and we were instead upgraded to a private three-bed room at no extra cost for our two nights in Kotor – Bonus! We immediately dumped our bags and headed out to explore the walled town, where residents were celebrating National Statehood Day, a national holiday which signifies both Montenegro being recognised as an individual state and also the country’s uprising against the Nazi regime. We stood and watched local women stage a theatrical protest event in the main square to signify first oppression, then uprising and finally freedom. It was an absolute privilege to experience.
We then wandered down and sat by the water, chatting about our trip so far and what our plans would be for the next day. We then headed back to our apartment, cooked some dinner and got ready to head out into the heart of Kotor for the evening. This ended in a mass shopping spree of silver jewellery, souvenirs and copious amounts of ice-cream as we wandered along the waterfront; looking at the yachts that were moored there for the night. This town really comes into itself in the dark; just as you think it couldn’t get anymore beautiful the hills light up to show the silhouette of romantic churches perched high above, drawing your eyes instinctively upwards. This really is the definition of a romantic getaway, transporting you back in time.
The next morning we rose early and spent the morning getting lost in the Old Town, exploring all the nooks and crannies we could find including numerous quaint stone churches. It was a day of quiet, uninterrupted bliss.
We then spent the afternoon cooling off in the bay, taking photos and bathing in the sunshine. Swimming in the bay was breathtaking, feeling so small compared to the towering mountains around us. As we swam we watched the grey clouds roll in and before we knew it we were caught in one of the biggest thunderstorms I have ever experienced. Shrieking we ran to the cover of our room and watched the clashes of lightning from our window as we dried off our clothes.
Later that evening, when the storm had passed and the sun was setting, we headed out for dinner in one of the many restaurants in the Old Town. We sat outside at a quaint table and watched passers by as we feasted on seafood risotto and spaghetti, before finishing the evening with a stroll along the water with huge ice-cream cones. Catching a bus to Croatia the next day we felt satisfied we had seen and experienced as much of Kotor as we could in the short days we had. It was therefore with a very heavy heart we said goodbye to Montenegro and went to bed in our private room for the last time.