Week in Review: Week 17
This week wraps up our second week in Montenegro. It’s been another hot week, but fortunately our Airbnb has an amazing pool! This week has been the only week that has felt like vacation, and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed a few lazy pool days. We only have a few more days in this beautiful country, so we are trying to make the most of it. Our next few weeks will be quite busy, as we head north to make our way to Munich for Oktoberfest, so these last few pool/relaxation days will be fantastic!
Highlight of the week
Sharleen: Hiking the City Walls of Kotor. Climbing the 1350+ steps of the fortified wall is a must do activity while visiting Kotor. It is a steep climb, so we were happy we did it in the morning before the hot Montenegrin sun was beating down on us. Even without the sun we were super sweaty once we reached the top! The views on the walk are gorgeous. You get to see the beautiful bay, blue water, red roofs, church peaks, and the large mountains that surround the bay. We took a look at the cruise ship schedule on our first day in Kotor so that we could make the climb on a day when no cruise ships were in the bay. During our 10 day stay there was only one day! We were so happy we waited, as the views without a massive ship were stunning.
On the walk up to St. John Fortress you pass the beautiful Church of Our Lady of Remedy. Since it was early in the day we were able to take lots of photos with not too many people nearby. I loved the walk for the views, but also because we could explore the walls and fortress ruins on the way up. It was a fun walk, and I can see why it’s a must do while visiting the bay,
Darrell: Mega Yachts in Tivat. The small town of Tivat doesn’t really boast too many touristy things. Unless you are into eating at expensive restaurants or shopping at stores we can’t justify with our current salary of $0. Tivat is definitely a destination place for wealthy travellers. This is mainly because Tivat is home to Porto Montenegro, which is a development and marina large enough to support the largest mega yachts in the world. There are a bunch of high-end apartments and hotels that sit right on the edge of the marina. The area is very nice and upscale, and feels more like what I assume Beverly Hills or Rodeo Drive is like.
Although our budget doesn’t fit with the day to day living of Tivat, spending an afternoon walking around the marina looking at super high-end boats, luxury sail boats, and mega yachts makes for a really great time! It was fun to imagine what it is like to spend a week (or a day for that matter) on a boat that costs more to fill with diesel than an average person’s annual salary. There were some giant boats that were moored here, but the largest was the Golden Odyssey. It was at the end of the marina in the most private spot. It is a staggering 404 feet long, and cost approximated $300 million US to build! It’s definitely something we don’t see or do experience ever, so it was pretty nice to catch a glimpse of a totally different life style!
Least favourite part of the week
Sharleen: Wasps. I feel as though there are more wasps in Europe, particularly the south/Balkan part, than I have seen anywhere else in my life. By far they are the bugs we see most often, and they really put a damper on our patio time - especially for me. For some reason they are attracted to me, and I absolutely hate them! To top it off, I got stung by one this week while enjoying some time down by the pool. Darrell concocted some homemade wasp trap, so hopefully that distracts them from now on!
Darrell: Missing golf. This week has been the worst for missing golf for some reason. I have only been able to watch golf a handful of times on TV or on the computer, and basically can only stay up to date with the PGA via YouTube and Instagram. I am not sure if it’s because the 4 major PGA tournaments are over, or if I know that the summer season at home is winding down, but I really miss it! If I were home I would be scrambling to get as many rounds in as possible before the snow falls. I have a total of zero rounds played this year, which is rather sad considering it’s definitely one of the things that I enjoy doing the most. I usually get 30 plus rounds in a year, with the past few years totally way more than that, so it really feels like I am going through some sort of weird withdrawals recently. I have looked up golf courses to play in almost all of the countries we visited so far, but it is either super expensive or almost impossible because of lack of courses. For example, we were going to be staying in Romania for almost a month, so I thought that would be a great time to try to sneak some golf in. Although Romania is a rather large country and a relatively inexpensive place to stay, they only have 10 courses in the whole country. This makes those 10 courses still rather expensive to play, due to the fact that golf is a very private, expensive, and exclusive sport in a still relatively poor country. I guess the hope on the horizon is that the UK might be able to fulfill my appetite for golf, I'll just got to wait a little bit longer!
Favourite city/town/village visited
Sharleen and Darrell: Herceg Novi. It seems as though we are starting to see a theme in some of these coastal towns that sit along the Adriatic Sea. These small towns and cities like Dubrovnik and Kotor were important ports of trade or strategic military posts for the past 1000 years and longer. They were all built with large stonewalls surrounding the heart of the city and with large fortresses throughout, and Herceg Novi is no different. It sits on the side of a hill, with stonewalls that connect to the large fortresses that sit on top of the hill and at the bottom of the hill, right on the water. It is a very narrow but long old town. We had a great time walking through the old town, taking photos, and taking in the views of the Bay of Kotor. One of our favourite parts was a free tour up the clock tower. The guide was great, and pointed out so many historical parts of the town, and various points of interest. It was a great way to start our explorations of the town.
Sharleen: Our meal at Tri Lipe. We went out for lunch in Herceg Novi, and had a great meal at Tri Lipe. I had a Greek salad, some fries, and a grilled meat patty with raw onions. It was close to a burger without the bun. I love this burger alternative, because you don’t get full off a white bun. The grilled meat was also so flavourful and juicy, and the raw onions really added so much flavour. We even celebrated my birthday with some belated birthday cake. It was a great lunch!
Darrell: Home cooked mussels. After having mussels in the small town of Perast, we kept that train running with a couple of home cooked batches. Although we do get mussels at home every once and a while, it is always better when you get them closer to the source! We were able to pick up a couple of kilos for 5 euros (about $7 CDN). We steamed them in a super simple mix of parsley, garlic, chili flakes, butter, and of course beer. Sometimes it’s surprising how easy and quick it is to make something that tastes so good. Having fresh seafood is something we have not been having enough of here.
We paired the hot mussels with a nice white wine and had an awesome lunch at home! Even just writing this and remembering this meal is making my mouth water! Those are the best kind of meals. The kind that gives you a flashback to the day you ate it. You remember everyone you were there with, what you ate, and what you drank. We are so lucky, because we are having those kinds of meals on a weekly basis. It’s exciting to think of where and what we will eat next.
We only have a few days left before we head to our next country - Bosnia and Herzegovina. We’ve really been enjoying our time along the Bay of Kotor, although this heat is making us a little excited to visit some cooler destinations in the coming weeks! As we soak in the 30+ heat, it’s hard to believe that fall is just around the corner at home in Canada.