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Unexpected and Underrated Kotor, Montenegro

We relaxed, recharged, and got some serious exercise in Montenegro

Day 8 - Drive to Montenegro

We reluctantly left our apartment in Dubrovnik after another morning swim. DD#2 and I did the most swimming so far. We said our goodbyes to our kind hosts, somehow packed a very full car, and headed south. We picked Sokol Grad for a nice stop along the way. The old fortified castle was off the beaten path and we nearly had it to ourselves. We stretched our legs, read about its history, and took more pictures, of course.
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These skinny tall trees are so interesting.
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We continued on to the border crossing to Montenegro. We had to show our passports two times in the hour wait.
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We were getting pretty hungry so I used tripadvisor to lead us to a restaurant in the town of Igalo, the first town we reached in the Bay of Kotor. We lucked out with a huge and tasty meal. Pastas, more cevapi, salads, and a burger. Yum! It was a late lunch so we knew a light dinner would be in order.
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Communist-style high rises in Igalo
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DH skillfully drove the twisty and narrow road to Kotor. Cars were parked randomly along the road making the narrow road even skinnier. Everything felt so busy! It turns out that we hit a Montenegrian national holiday that would last two days. Families hit the beaches in droves and parked wherever something slightly resembled a spot or a wide section in the road. After a little angst, we found Hotel Alkima, our home for the next three nights.

The room was small but had a separate bedroom for the kids. The AC worked remarkably well and the room felt brand new. We had a nice view of the mountains and the small seaside was very close. The kids were happy to have a pool - our only one of the trip. The view from our windows.
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DH and I went for a walk in search of happy hour, of course. We found a beachside bar with way too many people smoking. It was hot once again but a cold beer helped.
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DD#2 and I borrowed bikes from the hotel and set out to explore. We rode to the old town and watched the many families picnicking and enjoying themselves on this holiday. We found a Turkish restaurant very close to our hotel, shared a Turkish pizza and called it a day.
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Day Nine - Exploring Old Town Kotor

I started the day with a run along the water. After hilly Dubrovnik, it was nice to have a flat place to run. Our hotel included breakfast so we filled up for the day. The automatic coffee machine was a big hit.
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We took a taxi to the old town for just a few Euros. I forgot the mention that even though Montenegro is not part of the EU, they use the Euros for their currency. We wandered the old lanes, took way too many pictures, petted so many cats (Kotor is known for its friendly cats), and started sweating. We found a shady place for a cold drink and relaxed and watched people. Kids found 2 Euro pizza slices at Pizzeria Pronto. Delicious!
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We finally took a taxi back the hotel (about 2 km away from old town) to recharge. The kids went swimming and we enjoyed the AC in the room.
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After a break, we took a taxi back to old town for dinner. We knew we wanted to try Tanjga BBQ. We had watched vlogs and read reviews about the amazing food. We were not disappointed. We order a mixed meat plate to share and were blown away by the delicious food. The sauces and side salads were incredible too. The place was incredibly casual and cheap. If you find yourself in Kotor, eat here.
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Before and after we polished off the mixed meat platter.
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After dinner, we wandered the old town once again. It was another very hot day so we were enjoying the evening shade. We found ice cream and enjoyed the relaxed vibe in old town. The twisty lanes were a contrast to Dubrovnik's grid-like street plan.

Day 10 - Hiking to the fortress and side-trip to Budva

We began our day early in hopes of beating the heat before climbing 1,350 stairs up to the fortress overlooking the town. We had heard that if you arrive before 8am, you don't have to pay the admittance fee. We were wrong. They moved the hours to begin collecting fees to 7am. Oh well. We paid the fee and starting sweating our way up the stairs to the top. I loved it but may have heard some grumbling from other families members. No one could deny the great views and one-of-a-kind experience. I am so happy we did this early in the day.
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After all that, DD#2 was ready for some shade!
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We made it back to our hotel for breakfast and decided to make the most of our day by checking out nearby Budva. Budva is a resort town that is on the coast. From a distance, it looked a little like Honolulu with its many modern high-rises. The kids and I were on a mission to check out Aqua Park Budva. DH was kind enough to drop us off while he explored Budva. We raced down a ton of fast and slightly dangerous slides. We had a great time but I'm not sure I'd recommend this water park to others. The slides were a bit dangerous, the decor/ambiance almost non-existent, and the stones on the ground were so hot to walk on. We made the most of it though. Some of the slides felt like roller coasters on water! I figure that I only have so many waterpark experiences left before the kids will be grown so why not?
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No guns allowed in the park.
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Nice view of Budva from the park.
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We hit a very busy hyper-supermarket on the way back to Kotor to refuel with cold drinks and snacks. I still can't get over how much fun it is to wander stores in other countries. So many different snacks and foods. The bulk baklava counter was the winner this time. Yum!

We headed back to the apartment to relax and recharge. It had been quite a day so far!

Finally we cooled off and headed back into old town Kotor for the last time. Taking the taxi into town cost between 2.5 - 5 Euros. Seemed like a bargain considering the headache parking would have been. We opted for an easy pizza dinner for our last evening in Montenegro. We couldn't help but snap a few last pictures.
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The little stores were so beautiful.
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Goodbye Bay of Kotor, Montenegro.
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Posted by familyineurope 20:49 Tagged cats fortress montenegro kotor budva Comments (0)

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