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Entries about adriatic

Dubrovnik, Croatia

semi-overcast 14 °C

We took a bus through the twisting mountain roads south from Sarajevo to Croatia.
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I do not watch Game of Thrones but the setting in Dubrovnik's walled old town has added more tourists to an already popular destination. Even in October the streets of the old town are filled with sightseers, many from the cruise ships docked nearby.
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Our apartment has a balcony and a million dollar view:
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The well appointed apartment seems a bargain at 61 Canadian Dollars per night.
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There are 76 steps from the street to our accommodation and the only shops, such as grocers and coffee shops, are right outside the old town. We walk down - downhill, and catch the number 8 bus back. It is another 500 steps uphill from the bus stop to the base of our apartment building, so Jeff makes the grocery run!
Our thoughts here are not of war and its consequences but of tourists and the impact of too much of a good thing!
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There are 235 km between Sarajevo and Dubrovnik but they seem a world apart. The scars of war are less visible here - happy tourists throng through the narrow streets and busy squares snapping selfies against the castle walls.
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The jewel-toned Adriatic is the backdrop to a fantasy-world old town.


It is one of the top tourist destinations in Europe with an enviable location on the Adriatic Sea.
Dubrovnik’s picture perfect old town that has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979.
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Jeff has been here before, but it is my first visit. I know other people who have been here and know even more who have Dubrovnik on their bucket list.
There are a lot of stairs:
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Frankly I am not a fan of crowds and still prefer the fairy tale old town of Tallin Estonia. I guess I like the road less travelled.

We did not pay the approximately twenty-five dollar entrance fee to be jostled along the city walls - the views would be spectacular but it was an overcast day, a bit chilly and there was a crowd on the walls. Instead we roamed the narrow streets and alleys and stopped for coffee a few times along the way.

Croatia, or at least Dubrovnik, is the most expensive area of the Balkans.

Our apartment was very good value even though the landlord was a bit aggressive in trying to sell us side trips. He offered to drive us to our next destination in Montenegro for twice the price of bus fare. We did use his service for ten euros one way to get to and from the bus station as it was so much easier than dealing with transit.

The sheer beauty of this setting is hard to beat. I am glad I came - ‘Yes’, I will say when the topic comes up, ‘yes I have been to Dubrovnik. Magical’.

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Posted by CherylGypsyRose 09:38 Archived in Croatia Tagged architecture city adriatic budget stairs unesco croatia walls dubrovnik Comments (0)

Budva, Montenegro, People of the Black Mountains

sunny 20 °C

On 26 October we travelled by bus from Dubrovnik, Croatia to Budva, Montenegro.

The road wound through mountains but the Adriatic coast was nearby. A very scenic trip!

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The three hour journey was delayed by a serious accident just past the Montenegrin border. On the two lane highway a car on its roof took up the entire oncoming lane. We only waited about twenty minutes and police directed traffic around the wreck.
It was a sobering event - there is nowhere to swerve off - one side of the road is usually a mountain and the other side is a steep drop off into the sea.
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Most of the passengers got off the bus at Kotor which is a UNESCO World Heritage sight.

Half an hour later we were in Budva.
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Budva, population 14000, hugs the Adriatic coast and has a walled old town.

Budva has been around since the fourth century BC and is one of the Balkan's oldest settlements.

Legend has it that when the Greek god, Cadmus and his wife Harmonia were banned from Thebes, they founded Budva.

Budva, the most popular resort town of Montenegro, is not crowded in October. The 'season' is over. So much so the tourist office is out of maps!!

The city wall was built in the Middle Ages by the Venetians as protection against Ottoman invaders
The Citadela is thought to be built on the site of the Greek Acropolis.
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Budva was hit hard by an earthquake in 1979 and most of the old town was damaged. What we see today, save for 8 buildings, is a restoration.

St John's Catholic Church which has been rebuilt over the years, is suppose to date back to the seventh century and is the oldest church in the region. However, Orthodox Christians outnumber Catholics in Montenegro.
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The old town, Stari Grad, was a ten minute walk from our apartment, an easy, flat terrain walk?.
It sits on a small Penninsula on the Montenegrin 'Riviera'.

Sea Wall:
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It was 22 degrees C and very calm. The beaches were not crowded but people were swimming and enjoying the sunshine.

Mogren Beach:
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The Budva Dancer:
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We love Budva. It is a quiet place this time of year, and still the temperature hovers around 20 degrees C.
We are an easy walk to the mostly deserted beach:
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By 2 pm there were a few more people, but Jeff was first in the water today! I lay on a lounge chair and soaked up some Vitamin D.
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Prices here, along the beach and in the old town, are roughly half the prices in Dubrovnik.
In our neighbourhood the cost of restaurant food is even cheaper. Our one bedroom apartment is 35 dollars per night.

We are living above a green grocer and dine often at a nice restaurant across the street:
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We are glad we came to Budva! It is the poor man's Dubrovnik and much more suited to stiff joints!
All through the Balkans food has been influenced by the Ottoman Empire. Baklava type desserts are common:
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Montenegro split from Serbia in 2006.

Montenegro has a population of just under 700,000. They speak a Serbian dialect. Not yet an EU member, their currency is the Euro.
Tourism is an important industry - and it is growing!! Come, before it is overtaken by too many tourists.

Even Lord Byron, the English poet, said 'the most beautiful merging of land and sea' was the Montenegrin coastline.

Just before the border I snapped a decent picture of wildlife as the bus careened past. We are going to Shkroda Albania.

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Posted by CherylGypsyRose 09:37 Archived in Montenegro Tagged beach coastline adriatic budget cheap balkans yugoslavia montenegro budva Comments (0)

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