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Ex-YU Travel
7th-Mar-2005 12:37 am
Just joined this community today. I was thinking about going to Croatia this summer with a few friends from university, however we have found a lovely villa in Meljine nearHerceg Novi in Montenegro that we would be thinking of going to at the end of the summer.

Info on Montenegro seems to be a bit harder to find then on Croatia and I've read what I can find and visited the websites such as the visit-Montenegro one, I was wondering if anybody here had been there and what you thought? How much were things like food and alcohol? Is there anything we should watch out for? Or that we should see while we're there?

Thank you!
10th-Mar-2005 08:55 am (UTC)

I've only been to Montenegro for three days, but managed to see a lot. Herceg Novi, as far as I remember, is right next to the border, so you can probably visit Cavtat and Dubrovnik as a day trip or a one-night trip. From the border, you can head south to Kotor, on the bay of Kotor, which has a pretty medieval wall and an actual Visa-only ATM. Montenegro sucks about ATMs, or at least did 2 years ago. In Kotor, you can take a boat to what I think is called St. Mary's Island. It's a man-made island with a Catholic church on it, which has a famous holy icon and some vases from Asia brought by Montenegrin sailors. The tour is in the local language, but the local tourists seemed happy to translate for the foreign tourists.
From there, you can head to Budva, which seems to be pretty much a beach and party town, and where half of the license plates are from Belgrade in the summer months.
You also should visit Cetinje, the former capital and home of the Montenegrin kings. It has several well-kept museums, a royal palace, and seems to have English-speaking guides. There, you can find gifts given to the Montenegrin royal family by other European royals of the late 19th/early 20th century, Tsar Nicholas II among them, and numerous photos taken by one of Montenegrin princesses, who owned one of the first cameras in the kingdom. The pole near the palace that has distances to different museums on it was part of the Bienale organized by the grandson or great-grandson of the last Montenegrin king. Try some of the local food, too.
From Cetinje, you can head to Mount Lovčen, which if I am not mistaken, is the Black Mountain (Monte Negro) itself. You can buy some souvenirs at the giftshop, and after you climb 400 or so steps through the tunnel in the mountain, you'll arrive to the monument to Njegoš, the last Prince-Bishop of Montenegro, by Ivan Meštrović, and you can see Njegoš's tomb by going down the steps in the memorial. Meštrović is also the author of the sculptures of the women outside, which are apparently modeled on his mother. After the memorial, you can look around at the mountains, and on clear days you can apparently see Albania and lake Shkoder.
Montenegro's capital, Podgorica, is somewhat bland and boring visually, and what I saw of it was mostly new buildings. It was also slightly on fire when I was there - we could see the forest fire in the suburbs from our hotel window. I'll recommend hotel Crna Gora to stay in, because it's definitely nice-looking inside.
Don't forget that Montenegro's (unofficial) currency is Euro, and not Yugoslav Dinar. Make sure to bring smaller bills. Food and alcohol seemed to bit expensive, but we mostly visited touristy places, and maybe it was because of that. The food was mostly good. The public toilets often seemed to be of the squatting variety, and lacked toilet paper, so that's something you should bring with you. What can be termed the highway is barely wider then a normal street in US and is one-lane each way. There's a lot of passing done, since if you don't pass you'll be stuck behind the trucks and busses all day. There are two warnings about passing. One - the locals get away with illegal passing more than tourists do. Two - often, one side of the highway has little to no guard rail on the side of the big canyon, and if you make a wrong turn, you will be bouncing off the mountain for a while before your car explodes... I think that's it. Anyways, you reminded me to post my Montenegro pics, which you can see in the next community post.
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