Sunday 8 May 2016

EsTrails: Montenegro Day Trip & Dinner at DBV

Church of Our Lady of the Rock in Perast, Montenegro
Hello beautiful earthlings~

We decided before going to Dubrovnik that we would like to visit one of Croatia's neighbouring country Montenegro for a day trip on our second day of vacation.  We booked our day trip with Viator and it cost us about €50-€55.  The day trip to Montenegro was a private tour with the travel agency called Super Tours and it was with a small group.

When my friend Louise confirmed our day trip, the company sent her the details of where we were going be picked up which was a bus stop near our accommodation.  They also provided a photo just in case we would end up lost.  Going from Croatia to Montenegro meant crossing country borders so you must bring your passport with you if you are thinking of doing this tour.

Photo creds to Louise (@claralouisa)
We were picked up by a air conditioned mini-van and were welcomed by our tour guide Marinella.  She asked for our passports before entering the van.  It was probably for security purposes.

Before heading straight to Montenegro, our tour guide brough us to the viewpoint of Dubrovnik where you could see a great view of Dubrovnik's walled Old Town and also Lokrum Island.

Man-made islets in Perast called Sveti Đorđe (St. George on the right)
and Gospa od Škrpjela (
Our Lady of the Rock on the left)
This day trip to Montenegro was not just a drive to the destination.  It was an actual tour where the tour guide explains history of each of the places we were about to visit and also the points of interest of each places.

Our tour guide told us that Montenegro's name means black mountain as the country is surrounded with black/dark mountans like the photo above.  Monte meaning mountain and negro meaning black.  Our first stop in Montenegro was the town called Perast.  One of its main attraction is their man-made island calld Our Lady of the Rocks.

When we got to Perast, we had about 2 hours to roam around and sight see.  There was a boat that brought us to Our Lady of the Rocks.  The boat ride was just 5 minutes and it cost €5 for a return trip.

I suggest for people who are considering to do this trip is to remember your boat (the colour or the boat number) as the boat drivers only allow people who rode their boat in the first ride to avoid confusion with other tour groups.

When we got off the boat, we were amazed with the church's architecture and also with the scenery it is surrounded with.

The church is active and still serves mass to the locals.  The ceiling's artwork is amazing.

According to legend, this islet was made by local seamen who kept a promise when they found an image of the Madonna and Child.

The above photo was a door frame decorated with the offerings from the local seaman for protection while out on the sea.

Again, get your cameras ready for a mini photoshoot as the scenery was just Instagram worthy.

Steffi (@stef.xo) trying out a Montenegrin legend
After Perast, we headed to Kotor.  We were given another local guide to show us the points of interest in Kotor's Old Town.

The tour guide told us an old legend that whoever enters the Wall of Kotor can have a wish.  They must their hand in a rectangular hole on a wall where they must place their hands as they make a wish.  According to the legend, if you are a good person, your wish will be granted. If not, the lion in that wall will know eat your hands off!

Kotor is another old town that has quite the charm with its old buildings and also with its narrow alley way with small side shops.

Cathedral of Saint Tryphon
St. Nicholas Eastern Orthodox Church in Nicholas Square
Kotor's Old Town has a number of squares with its own churches.  St. Nicholas is an Eastern Orthodox church that still has its service.

The tour guide explained the difference between an Eastern Orthodox church and Catholic church in terms of its appearance and also the services they hold.  In an Eastern Orthodox church, they don't have benches for people to sit on.  Everybody stands during their mass.  The tour guide mentioned about the difference in wedding services too.

We were also told that cats are seen as precious animals to Montenegrins as the cats were the reason that drove off the plague as they ate the mice during the plague.  They have a Cats Museum in Kotor that cat lovers would definitely love.  We happen to not go to the museum.

This was us all happy and smiling when we got ourselves into an incident.  My best friend Rich's wallet was stolen and it did not occur to us that pick pocketing was an issue in Montenegro.  Well we know it is everywhere but we did not think that it would affect us.

This scenery is just beautiful.  Rich and I would have missed it if her wallet was not stolen.

Look at the poor face
We went to the police station due to the incident and reported what was stolen.  We were kinda glad that we were okay and that her passport was still with her and was not stolen.  It would have been difficult for us to leave Montenegro if it did.

Just be extra careful when it comes to your personal belongings as Rich was not the only person who got stolen from.  We met another tourist who had a friend that had her wallet stolen too.

Promenade of Budva
Mogren Beach in Budva
After Kotor, we headed to Budva.  It is a coastal town that is located on the Adriatic Sea.

Budva's Ballerina
Budva's famous landmark is its Ballerina.  It had a great view and behind it is the walled town of Budva. Budva's Old Town is small compared to Kotor with smaller alleyways and smaller squares.

Walking through the alleyways, we came across this souvenir shop.  I was charmed by it as it seemed like something you would just see on Tumblr!

Sveti Stefan
The above photo is the island of Sveti Stefan (St. Stephen).  We did not get the chance to enter the island but our tour guide brought us to the viewpoint where we could take good photos.

After Sveti Stefan we took a 5 minute ferry journey instead of driving all the way back to the towns we have passed to go back to Dubrovnik.

After the tour, our tour guide asked us to fill our a feedback form of what we thought about the day trip and also any suggestions we may have for them.

As part of the package, the tour guide had to bring us back to our accommodation but we asked if we could be dropped off at Old Town as we were going have dinner there and it was not a problem for them.

We decided to have dinner at Cele.  This place was just fantastic.  The waiter was so nice and very patient with our group as it took us a while to think of what we wanted for dinner.  He just had a smile on his face the entire time and another thing we liked about this restaurant was that they played Michael Buble songs!

The girls ordered two seafood platter and extra oysters that were sold indivdually.  I had a little taste of their salmon and it was good.

I ordered their pizza with salted/smoked meat, cheese and arugula.

We always have room for dessert so I shared a banana split with my sister.

It was raining the entire day when we were in Montenegro and also when we came back to Dubrovnik.  The rainy weather there is kinder than the rainy weather here in Dublin.

Walking in Stradun on a rainy weather was quite pleasant.  There was something endearing with the wet Stradun streets with water reflecting light.

Watch my vlog below:

That's it for me for now. I'll see you in my next blog post! It has something to do with Game of Thrones!

Peace & Love,
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