Off in it’s own corner of the world lays a magnificent little country called Montenegro. Once part of former Yugoslavia, it is now an independant nation with spectacular seaside views and a long and storied history. I recently took a trip to Montenegro with my wife. In three short hours from Moscow we were overlooking the crystal blue waters of the Adriatic Sea.
We landed in Tivat Airport, which is 40 minutes from the booming tourist district of Budva. In Budva, you will see newly constructed modern hotels, seaside restaurants, bumping nightlife and a marina that houses superyachts you would expect to see in Monaco. We opted to stay in a quieter bed-and-breakfast-style town of Bečići (20 minute walk from Budva) the first few nights of our trip. Perched on the side of Bečići’s sleepy mountainside are spanish-tiled villas with terraces overlooking the pebble beach below. Up the mountain, cars ascend over the ridge towards Podgorica. At night, the headlights along the mountain pass look like airplanes taking off into the sky.
Colonizers and conquerors from Greece, Rome, Turkey, Venice, Austria and Northeastern Europe have left their mark on Montenegro. Most noticeably in the architecture left behind. Venetian-inspired buildings tower over the fortified walls of Old Town Budva. In Bar, the ruins of a Roman settlement still stand and a 13th century Romanesque cathedral was converted into a Mosque in the 17th century.
However, nothing man made can compare to the awe-inspiring beauty of mother nature, and Montenegro does not disappoint. The last half of our trip we stayed in villa nestled on a cliff in the town of Seoce. I will never forget the view from that terrace. We spent hours looking out into the sea mesmerized by each intricate detail as if it were a painting.
In the interior of the country, at the foot of the Dormitor mountains is Crno Jezero, or Black Lake. Here the turquoise waters reflect the mountains in the distance and the only thing you can hear is the sound of your thoughts. At 2,500m above sea level the temperature is lower and the air rarefied. We kept warm with the help of the sun and a little Vodka.
We saw many things in our short time in Montenegro, but the most wonderful was the look of astonishment and happiness on Victoria’s face. It gave me the warm and fuzzies and made the experience much more gratifying. We made several promises of returning to Montenegro during our trip, and I am looking forward to keeping them.