Day 16 – My Life, My Love and My Lady is the Sea

This morning we slept in a little bit, had our hotel’s delicious breakfast, called a cab and headed to the beach. We hadn’t seen Ulcinj’s beach yet, so we were excited to see it and how different it was from Petrovac.

Our hotel owns its own slice of the 13kms of sandy beach called MCM Beach. They have lounge chairs, umbrellas, a playground and a restaurant. As it’s late in the season, we had our pick of lounge chairs, so we grabbed some, lotioned up and laid in the sun…

…all day.

Day 14 – Was a Sunny Day

Today was another day where we planted our butts at the beach for the majority of the day, so there’s not too much to tell. I would definitely come back to Petrovac just to relax on the beach and drink grapefruit radler.

A note of what we have decided is the theme song of Petrovac – screaming crying children. It’s everywhere. And it’s almost constant.

Day 11 – If I Had A Boat

Yesterday morning we got up at a decent time as we had a boat to catch. At 1000hrs we headed down to the pier and climbed aboard a disheveled old tour boat that would take us past Sveti Stefan, then dock in Budva for 2 1/2 hours, then past a few other sights.

As mentioned, the boat was in rough shape – carpet pulling up, steering wheel held together with duct tape, garbage crammed under the skipper’s chair. We boarded with mostly Russians, a Scottish couple and a few German ladies, and were off, northbound towards Sveti Stefan.

Sveti Stefan is a peninsula at the end of a long sand spit. It’s a walled city that was originally a Venetian protectorate in the 15th century, was turned into a villa in the 1930s, a resort and casino by the communists in the 1970s, and is now a 5-star resort that can only be entered by guests of the resort. A one night stay starts at $1,500 per night.

Motoring further north we entered the Bay of Budva. Budva is not only the name of the town, but also the municipality that Petrovac was a part of. Budva City is a party town, like a post-communist Ibiza, but does have an old town that we were interested in seeing. However, the boat dropped us off in the middle of the beach, packed with sunbathers and far from the old town. We shrugged our shoulders, found a table at a beach side bar and enjoyed a pint. The beaches were absolutely packed, much more of a young people night club atmosphere, and apparently the party continues well into the night. We continued along the promenade, made friends with a few cats, watched parasailers and then back to the boat.

Our next stop was a little island off of Budva called Sveti Nikola Island (Saint Nicholas). The island houses a few pebble beaches, bars, a little church, and apparently, deer. We stomped around the beaches a bit, but mostly tried to stay out of the sun, as it was getting quite hot. Again, the water against the white pebbles was impossibly blue.

After seeing a total of zero deer, we were back on the boat and heading south towards Petrovac. The heat and rocking of the boat lulled me to sleep, only to be woken up by a rush of people to one side of the boat to get photos of Sveta Nedelja – a church perched on top of a rock on a small island.

We went past the church and to a beach farther south than the Petrovac one. The boat got closer and closer to shore, and soon we ran aground, which made Ma cringe. Two tourists hopped off, and back we headed to Petrovac, where we dined and headed to bed.

Day 10 – I’m Gonna Soak Up the Sun

This morning we woke up with not a lot of plans in mind – just head to the beach and lay there. We had a decent breakfast, walked to the far end of the promenade and back, changed into our bathing suits, bought some beach towels and a shitty little beach umbrella and found a square of sand.

The shitty umbrella was almost predictably an instant fail, so we decided to pay the Euros and use the lounge chairs and cemented-in umbrellas instead. Pa and I had bought a few cans of beer from a nearby kiosk, and the conversation went like this:

Me: are we allowed to drink beer on the beach?

Cashier on the phone: YES.

I cracked open a grapefruit radler, laid back with my big bitch hat and 2 piece on and just revelled in how relaxed I was. It’s been a long time since I felt that calm.

The sand at the beach is coarse and red, and the water is clear and only slightly chilly. I went in for a dip, the small rocks shredding my feet in the shallow water, but finally got to some large smooth ones where I could stand and float about.

After about a half hour I got out of the water and plopped myself down in my lounger and promptly fell asleep in the sun.

Now allow me a moment to pontificate. I haven’t worn a bathing suit in public in many many years. This year through the help and support of some pretty special people I worked up the courage and bought not one but TWO two piece (high waisted) bathing suits. It was the first time today that I’ve ever worn a two-piece in public, and I actually felt pretty great about it. Part of the reason is that here, every woman and man of every shape, size and age are wearing bathing suits of every shape, size and colour. Women who would be body shamed in North America are wearing whatever they please and not giving one single fuck. I saw an older man standing by the beach, back to the sun, reading his book with one hand, cigarette in the other, teeny tiny speedo. I saw a woman literally slathering butter on her husband. I felt confident to not only be seen in a two piece, but felt like I looked good in my two piece.

After beach time we changed back into our civvies and hit the promenade for dinner and tres leches cake for dessert.

Day 9 – Good Day Sunshine

This morning we ate our last breakfast at the Conte Hotel, perched over the languid blue that is the Bay of Kotor, packed our bags and were picked up by a man named Padrag and his black Mercedes. We hired Padrag through a car service to drive us from Perast to our next destination, an hour and a bit south on the coast and out of the bay to a town called Petrovac in the Municipality of Budva. The city of Budva itself is a party town, so we decided to stay at her sleepy neighbour.

The car ride was uneventful, but the beautiful scenery kept it interesting. Montenegro is definitely one of the more naturally beautiful spots on Earth that I’ve visited so far.

We drove through Budva city, past Sveti Stefan and arrived in Petrovac. We were met there by a whirlwind of a man named Djordje whose English is just as good as our Serbo-Croatian. He called a friend to translate and took us up to our beautiful apartment, took us on the tour of the apartment, and as mysteriously as he appeared, he was gone.

Petrovac is a beautiful little bay surrounded by red sand beach and and a promenade filled with restaurants and beachy shops. We walked along some of the promenade, ooh-ing and aah-ing over the beautiful sea

Pa went to the little kiosk by our apartment and picked up some beers, so we drank a few Leffe and relaxed in our new place.

We had skipped lunch, so headed next door to the pizzeria for an early dinner and more relaxing time. We had been told by our driver that most of the visitors were Russians and Serbs, and this was obvious by the amount of signage in Cyrillic.

We went back to our apartment where we listened to the ocean outside our windows and fell asleep, excited for our time ahead in another utopian Montenegrin town.

Day 8 – If I Leave Here Tomorrow

Today was our last full day in Perast, so we wanted to relax, take it easy, walk the length of the village from watering hole to watering hole.

I tried in vain to capture how clear and blue the water is here, but still it eludes me!

It was the hottest day so far at 31 degrees, so we had to take it easy, my ugly heat rash spreading.

Probably my funniest interaction of the day was at the post office buying stamps. The post office in this tiny town is not a slick Deutsche Post-like operation, but a small room in one of the ancient stone buildings manned by a middle aged lady at a table. Our conversation went like this:

Me: hello! I need to buy some stamps to send post cards to Canada.

Her: Canada. Yes.

Me: uh, there’s a bunny in here.

Her: yes. Eet’s bunny. How many stamps?

Me: twelve. Does the bunny live here?

Her: eet’s not my bunny *rolls eyes*

I sent off some more postcards after my thrilling mail bunny encounter, grabbed a 1€ lavender ice cream and went back to taking more snaps.

We decided on our local favourite restaurant for dinner where we had chicken on the grill and local orange liqueur (Pa had two) and returned to our hotel room.

Perast is super lovely and exceeded my expectations for its stunning natural beauty alone. Although it suffers from apparently typical Montenegrin lack of detail (a lot of broken park benches, garbage cans overflowing), I would definitely come back to spend a week in this gorgeous seaside town.