A few months back I found out that RyanAir, one of the European low-cost airlines, started flying to Podgorica, Montenegro. I hadn’t heard much about Montenegro, but my experience in bordering Croatia was so great that I decided to give it a shot. My first stop was in Budva, the self-proclaimed “party-capital” of Montenegro. Unfortunately, it was an hour drive from the airport, and I later found out that the 65 euro cab-fare was a screw job, not atypical of airport cabs in this region. On top of that, my cab driver clearly smelled of liquor, and was driving three times the speed limit on winding, mountain roads (no guardrail in some spots). I’ve never seen someone pass so many cars on blind curves before, it definitely put the fear of god in me. Also, the driver smoked like Sean Penn, so every 10 kilometers or so he had to pull over for a cigarette…at least this gave me a chance to get some good road-side pictures.
After nearly 2 hours, I finally made it to Budva and checked into my Hotel, which ended up being really good, solely for the air conditioning in the room. My house in Belgium, with no a/c and no fans, has been a furnace for the last month, so quality sleep has been hard to come by. So needless to say I caught up on a month’s worth of poor sleep on this trip.
Budva itself was a typical beach town. I guess living in San Diego has spoiled me somewhat, it definitely had more of a ‘Mission Beach’ feel to it than a ‘Pacific Beach’. However, the beach itself was shockingly bad. No sand, primarily gravel and cigarette butts. To see kids laying their towels down on rocks and cigarettes, then laying down, just made me nauseous. It had its highlights. I took a boat tour on the Adriatic, which gave a great view of the mountain scenery, which is the prettiest part of Montenegro, I think.
I found a ‘Harley-Davidson’ themed sports bar near my hotel that made a kick-ass pizza. My last night in Budva I hung out all day in the old town, which reminded me a lot of Croatia…very old buildings and narrow streets. I watched the final round of the British Open at ‘Chest O’Shea’s’, Budva’s only Irish Pub. It was very small, but I met Chris and Julie, a Scottish-Irish couple who I ended up watching the golf tournament with, and later some live Irish music. Phil Mickelson won, which was awesome, I’ll always remember where I watched him win his 5th major.
I heard a lot of Russian being spoken on my trip, I guess this is a popular holiday spot for them as a visa is not required to travel here from Russia. I also must say that the local beer, Niksicko, was quality stuff. It’s nice to drink a 5% alcohol beer as opposed to the 8% beers they have in Belgium…it makes for longer nights.
Although I’m glad I had the experience, I probably wouldn’t come back to Budva, I think that Dubrovnik, Croatia is the much better option, and it’s only a 2 hour drive away from here. Although it clearly is the party-capital, most of the nightlife in Budva starts after midnight, so I probably would’ve liked it more if I came here in my mid 20’s. On a side note, I watched the Steven Seagal movie ‘On Deadly Ground’ one night in my hotel room, and it is possibly the worst movie I’ve ever seen.