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Kotor

Places I've Been

5 days in Kotor

July 30, 2015

 

To be honest, I have no idea how we decided to stay in Kotor. We knew we had 14 days, 2 of which we wanted to spend in Dubrovnik right before going home and we felt like 12 days in just one place would be too much. We want to see, experience, discover! We first thought of staying around Tivat but somehow settled on Kotor instead. We also decided that while staying here, we would go river rafting in Bosnia one day and visit the luxurious emerging city Porto Montenegro one day.

Anyway, here’s my conclusion on this little city:

 

BEACHES

Because there is no beach in Kotor, and the little bay gets polluted by the many cruise ships who dock here during summer, we needed to find another place to bathe. The day after we arrived, we headed to Jaz Beach just outside of Budva and had a little lunch at a local hotel restaurant, before we decked in the comfy sunbeds by the beach. Jaz beach, like almost all beaches on the Adriatic cost, is pebbly and takes some time getting used to for your feet but the water is clear and clean.

Chillin' at Jaz Beach with a fresh lemonade.

Chillin’ at Jaz Beach with a fresh lemonade.

We also visited Porto Montenegro, which I will tell you more about in my next post, and a beach club called Almara beach club. Almara Beach Club could be so perfect but honestly was ruined due to an extremely unpolite hostess at their restaurant. It takes a lot to piss me off and she managed to do so exactly 2 seconds upon greeting me. I won’t go into why right here, but rule number one for any hostess should be not to offend your customers. Apart from this excuse of a hostess, the other staff were nice and polite and the food was good, but at that point I was so pissed off and focused on keeping my cool that I couldn’t enjoy anything.

Jacob at Almara Beach Club

Jacob at Almara Beach Club

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Pouty face!

FOOD

Overall, the food in Kotor is great and the restaurants offer a varied menu with something for everyone – even us vegetarians (for vegans, it might be a bit harder as much of the non-meat dishes contain cheese instead). The best restaurants we ate at and that I can recommend are:

Konoba Boka Bay

This is a true little gem, hidden away from Kotor. We drove here on some very narrow roads and it took around 15 minutes from Kotor. We got a table right by the ocean just after the sun had set behind the mountains. We ordered bruschettas to start with, because we were very hungry and they were one of the best bruschettas I’ve ever had. I took a pasta with  spinach in white wine sauce, if I’m not mistaken and it was a great meal as well. Prices are cheaper than the good restaurants in Kotor, staff is friendly and efficient, and the setting is magic. Definitely go there.

View from our table at Konoba Boka Bay

View from our table at Konoba Boka Bay

Bruschetta.

Bruschetta.

Konoba Boka Bay in Montenegro

Pasta with spinach in white wine sauce, walnuts, fresh herbs and parmesan.

Like a painting

Like a painting

Hotel Hippocampus

This boutique hotel turned out to have some amazing food. From the outside, it doesn’t look like much with only a few (empty) tables greeting you. So go in through the reception and take the small elevator up to the fourth floor where there is a small roof-terrace with only four tables. Only one of the tables was occupied and we were a bit nervous as to why this restaurant had so few guests. Turns out, we needn’t worry as the food was absolutely delicious. The fresh stone-oven baked bread was still hot when we got it and it I don’t think I’ve had better bread ever. I had a mushroom risotto and Jacob had something with truffles and we were both impressed of the food as well as the service.

My risotto was reaallly good, especially paired with that bread!

My risotto was reaallly good, especially paired with that bread! Risottos never look good on camera, do they?

Lido Mar

Lido Mar is the yacht club in Porto Montenegro, which I will write about in my next post and it took us around 20-25 minutes to get there by car. While hanging out by the gorgeous infinity pool we ordered some lunch. A chicken burger for Jacob, which he swears is one of the best burgers he’s ever had, and a delicious salad for me. I’ll tell you more about the place further on, but just wanted to say that the food here is pretty darn good! (And the mojitos, too).

Delicious salad with the creamiest feta cheese I've ever had...

Delicious salad with the creamiest feta cheese I’ve ever had…

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS

All in all, we stayed in Kotor for 5 days and in hindsight it’s far too long. Sure, the old town is quite picturesque and you can easily wander around the cobblestoned streets and find small shops or little bars to have a cold drink at. But other than the old town, Kotor is to be perfectly honest, a bit underwhelming. You could easily skip it or just visit it for one night/day. If you do stop by, I would recommend climbin the 1400-something stairs up to the top of Kotor’s city walls. We didn’t do this, because we’re lazy, but I wish we had. From the top you’ll get a breathtaking view of the bay and I hear the sunrise/sunset watching from here is worth every step.

The apartment we rented was, as I mentioned in my last post, quite perfect and they even had two cats and a dog, which if you know me at all is always considered a plus in my book. The reason I love staying in apartments in the Balkans, as opposed to hotels, is that they are often of higher quality, in better locations and you get to meet the locals. We arrived early to our apartment but were let in by the hostess’ mother because the hostess wasn’t there at the time. This was much appreciated considering the heat outside and we were let into the chilled apartment and offered a cold drink while waiting. This is just one example of the hospitality down here – people are generally very open and social.

Places I've Been

Off to Montenegro…first stop Kotor

July 29, 2015

After dropping our cats off at a friends’ house for “catation” (cat+vacation… it’s a thing) we set the clock to 04:00, but only managed to get 3-4 hours of sleep. Copenhagen was cold, but the sun had just risen and cast its rays on us as we made our way down to Frederiksberg metro station to go to the airport. There, we had our traditional vacation breakfast at the bakery Lagkagehuset before boarding the plane and jetting off to Dubrovnik, as there are no flights from Copenhagen to Montenegro. Two hours later, we set foot in Dubrovnik airport and went to the place were we had reserved a car for our stay.

“How cold is it where you’re from?” the lady behind the desk asked. “18 degrees”, I answered and waited for the usual “Oh my god! In July? Are there icebears?!” that I normally get from people south of Austria but instead she replied “Oh… that is perfect! It should never be hotter than that” and informed us that it had been 34 degrees Celsius at 8:00 that same morning. We hopped in our Ford Fiesta, a printed Google map at hand and began driving south to the border that separates Croatia and Montenegro.

I had feared the border control as I know they can be royal a-holes down here, despite my mom’s reassuring that it was no longer that way. See, whenever we visited family in Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia when I was younger the border control would always mess with us. Sitting in a car without air condition in scorching sun 35 degrees Celsius wasn’t that appealing and after being stopped for the umph-tieth time one summer, my dad had enough, opened the trunk of our car, grabbed a bottle of wine and 100 deutsche marks and was away for five minutes. Magically, we were allowed to finally move along.

This time though, my mom was right and they barely glanced at our passports as they let us through. We arrived in Kotor two hours later and after some time find the place where we were staying. It was just outside the Old Town of Kotor and was newly refurbished, clean, with a balcony overlooking the small town, which according to Wikipedia first was mentioned in 168 BC… older than Jesus that is!

We quickly learned that there are no beaches in Kotor and we were so tired that day that we stayed inside, parked below the airconditioner, sometimes getting out to the balcony to, once again, conclude that yes, it’s still freakin’ hot – 40 degres that day.

In the evening, we went out to grab a bite at a restaurant located in the old town called Luna Rossa with picturesque surroundings and a fan spraying water to cool us down. I had a tasty risotto with vegetables accompanied by white bread. Later, we decided to try one of the local bars and found one which had 5 different types of mojitos on their menu. We thought, that since they bragged so much about these mojitos we would try them. They were absolutely horrible.

Luna Rossa in Kotor

Luna Rossa in Kotor

 

Mojito is my absolute favorite cocktail and if I could drink it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and while I sleep, I would but I don’t because…well, social acceptance, alcolism and so on. Jacob has also learned to like mojitos and so whenever we’re travelling we like to try mojitos to see where we can get the best one. So far, we’ve tasted many good mojitos, the best in Berlin, and many bad mojitos but this was beyond anything bad we’ve ever tasted. Normally, the bad ones are still drinkable, but this…if I’d describe it, I’d say it tasted something like gas mixed with sugar. White sugar. We left our glasses half-full, bought some Coca-Cola and went home to our airconditioner.

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Risotto with vegetables

PS: Sorry about the poor image quality, I’ve just gotten a new camera lens and am still working it out…