A Pedacito Of Budva, Montenegro
When I first arrived in Podgorica, I was pretty worried that I had made a huge mistake in deciding to move to Montenegro for three months. Podgorica is the capital city of Montenegro, and I had heard that it is the most boring city in all of Europe.
Boring would be an understatement. Podgorica felt more like a dying town than a capital city, and although I wasn't planning to stay more than a few days, I was worried that it represented the best that Montenegro had to offer.
Luckily, I discovered that I was completely wrong when I paid the six Euros and hopped on a bus heading to Budva. As the driver took us through the winding mountain roads, my anticipation grew as I first saw Budva from a distance.
I think the easiest way to describe Budva is simply to tell you about my day, today. This morning I woke up early and took a two-hour hike through the mountains. Along the way, I passed a monastery where monks were outside in the garden having coffee and praying.
As I continued to hike up one of the multiple mountains which surround Budva, I passed by various produce and animal farms scattered throughout the landscape. Every once in a while I would stop hiking and look down at Budva and the glimmering sea below. The views were breathtaking, to say the least.
After my hike, I walked about twenty minutes from my apartment to Mogren Beach. There are many clean and pretty beaches in Budva, but it is definitely a tourist town, and the beaches get filled with traveling Russians and other Balkan tourists pretty quickly.
So, following the suggestion of a Serbian friend of mine who had been to Budva before me, I walked past the more touristy beaches, past the port filled with yachts and fishing boats, and continued along the coast.
Nestled in what looks like a cave, I crossed a rather dubious-looking wooden-planked bridge, which took me to the more secluded Mogren Beach. There, I swam in the crystal clear and slightly cool water.
The sea is especially salty here, and so it's a great place to float effortlessly while you look at the surrounding mountains. If you are hungry or thirsty, there is a small restaurant on the beach serving cocktails and sandwiches.
After coming home and doing a little work (I've got to work sometimes), I will return to the beach this afternoon where I will hire a boat taxi (between five and ten Euros depending on the boat) to take me to one of the large caves along the coast.
While in the cave, I will jump out of the boat and do some snorkeling in the clear blue water. When I return, I'll visit one of the many seafood restaurants lining the beach and eat some fish that was literally pulled from the sea an hour before I ordered it.
Not a bad day, eh?
Budva is a truly wonderful place and I consider myself lucky to be living here for a short time. I'm still baffled as to why so many tourists prefer to go to Western European countries instead of visiting the Balkans.
But maybe the description of a single day spent here is enough to inspire you to give Budva, Montenegro a try for yourself. Trust me, you won't be disappointed if you do.
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