Montenegro has been on the want-list for quite a while, probably since it was used as the setting for much of Casino Royale, Daniel Craig’s first Bond outing, despite most of the locations actually being in the Czeck Republic. From Bosnia we caught a bus to Kotor, probably the most famous of Montenegro’s towns. It is set at the end of a massive body of water that snakes into the country like a Fjord and consists of a walled city and is on every Med cruise itinerary. We stayed in a brilliant hostel right in the centre of the walled city with a room up in the eaves with nice views. One of the main entrance gates is shown below.

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A challenging walk up a stony valley brings you to the top of the walled city which you access through a hole in the wall. The view from the top is stunning with the whole walled city visible in a 360° turn

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We took a boat trip around the sea which included stops at the small village below (Perast?) and an island with a church called Our Lady of the Rocks. 

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From Kotor we headed to Petrovac, a small beach resort further down the coast where we had planned a few days relaxing. Unfortunately this trip coincided with the worst May weather for a long time and this plan was ruined by storms and appalling weather. We stuck it out for a few days but it was never going to get better so we moved onto Podgorica and picked up a hire car to explore the rest of Montenegro. We headed up north to Zabljak where we hoped to do some walking as practice for our bgger trips that were coming up. We got see the impressive Tara canyon and Black Lake. Floods were affecting access to some of the trails but with the inclusion of a nearby Ski resort we were able to get 3 days walking in. A very tough hike up the ski slopes provided great views and some good birdwatching too. On the way up we visited the impressive Ostrog Monastery which is built into a cliff. Full of pilgrims being blessed by a priest with relics it was a very interesting stop.

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A stunning scenic drive displayed how harsh the winter weather had been and snow was very much in evidence in the mountain passes. We pass some pretty exhausted cyclists on these roads with bikes laden with luggage. Tough.

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After returning the car to Podgorica we had a couple of nights to kill before moving on to our pre-arranged walk in Albania. We didn’t aim to do much though found some nice bars and watched a bit of boxing in the town square. I returned the car to the airport alone so had a bit of time on my hands. rather than a taxi I hunted down the railway station nearest to teh airport and caught the local train back to Podgorica. Always like to get a train trip in.

© Paul Hyland 2012