The bus trip to Herceg Novi in Montenegro from Dubrovnik is a mere 45 kilometres on the map but hours in reality. The journey started less than ideally with the overbearing ticket collector calling the police over in a dispute about an online purchased ticket. The officer correctly shrugged and moved on. The whole scene was embarrassing for everyone onboard and particularly for the young woman insisting her ticket should be good for the journey. The ticket collector had more standoffs before we departed including with Laressa over seating arrangements.
The barmy bus ride dived deeper into the mire over the next three hours as the driver talked non stop with a woman behind him about his woes, physical, spiritual and political. Fortunately we couldn’t understand a word but got the gist in debriefings with other passengers at the two border crossings.
Traffic delays meant we missed picking up our rental car in Herceg Novi but we caught a local bus to a small villa in the fjord village of Perast. We liked this town so much we moved to Hotel Per Astra for two more nights. An unexpected upgrade had us living the highlife or at least gave us a terrace and friendly kitten. This hotel sets a benchmark for great hospitality staff.
Perast has views of two small islands: St George hosts a monastery and is only open to guests of the monks; nearby Our Lady of the Rocks is busy with tourist boats all day. The mountains surrounding Kotor bay snare thunderstorms in the afternoon, which grumble for hours before deciding whether to rain or not.
We moved 15 minutes down the road to stay at the old town of Kotor but immediately wished we’d just done a day trip. A nice town to visit but too busy in summer to really relax. We swam amid the antics of the national junior waterpolo team and refugees from the cruise ships.
Here are some photos from both towns. There’s a splitpic of me in a weird Airbnb room we booked into in Kotor versus the plush surrounds of Hotel Per Astra just the day before.