As I previously said, official bus routes and schedules are difficult to find online in the Balkans, so prior to my journey to Kotor I popped over to the bus station in Pristina and secured my bus journey. I left on the 19:00 bus from Pristina, which got me into Podgorica at half 3…in the morning (I like the time saving aspect of overnight buses, but I can imagine the views during the day on this bus journey are spectacular as you drive up and over a massive mountain). The Kosova man sitting next to me who spoke English warned me that the last time he made this journey, he could swear the bus station wasn’t open. GREAT. So, I’m picturing myself sitting outside a bus station in the middle of the night, by myself, freezing my bum off, with rabid dogs running about.
I was massively relieved to find the bus station was indeed open (though I will admit, not much of an improvement from sitting outside), but hey, one of the cab drivers did invite me for coffee using broken English and hand gestures. I politely declined and continued sitting on a bench next to an old man who alternated between smoking and snoring. Fast forward three hours to my next bus’ arrival. This bit took under three hours and got me to the Kotor bus station by 7am. I’d made friends with a Swedish couple and invited them to join me in the short walk to my hostel inside the old city walls. We grabbed a make shift breakfast from a little shop and awaited the hostel opening whilst sipping our macchiatos in the early morning chill.
Where I Stayed:
Old Town Hostel Kotor. This little number quickly became one of my top 5 favourite hostels (and I’ve stayed in my faiiiir share of hostels). The staff was so welcoming that I quickly felt part of the hostel family. The hostel was recently refurbished, but feels like a beautiful old castle with it’s exposed stone walls. The room I stayed in had an en suite bathroom as well as a little kitchenette, large locker space, and bottom bunks donning privacy curtains. I highly recommend this establishment!
What I Did:
Due to staying in Kosovo longer than I had planned, I only had one full day in Kotor and boy did I fill it to the fullest (after I grabbed a quick nap. Come on, I’d been up all night. I was knackered yeah?).
Perast. My dear friend recommended I hop on a bus to Perast – a 25 minute bus ride round to the other side of the Bay of Kotor on a little weaving road that hugged the curves of the shore. The view on the drive wasn’t half bad. Perast is a beautiful old town where I had a wander, happened upon a little rocky beach and had myself a nice little swim in the crystal clear (slightly chilly) waters.
Castle of San Giovanni (St John). I was a bit pressed for time so I asked the ticket man just how long it should take me to get to the top. “Forty minutes if you are quick,” he replied. Challenge accepted. I hustled up the crumbling steps in my poorly chosen foot wear (sandals) and dress, pausing periodically to take in the amazing vistas a.k.a catching my breath. I made it to the top in twenty eight minutes – needless to say my legs were like jello and I’m pretty sure I strained my left calf on the descent in an effort to protect my right knee. Old age right? The views are truly breath taking at the top – something one should not miss whilst in Kotor!
Picnic dinner on the bay. After rushing back from the castle, I met up with a group from the hostel for a little BBQ the hostel put together. We grabbed some ciders and took the 5 minute walk down to a jetty in the bay. So peaceful (Minus the bats. There seemed to be a lot of bats.).