Montenegro + Croatia: Travel Diary Part 3 | Footnotes and Finds

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Montenegro + Croatia: Travel Diary Part 3



Day 5: A casual day in Herceg Novi



Tia and I woke up really early to join Kasey and Nila at their last breakfast as they were returning back to England. We took in the view at the Gradska Kafana one last time at 7am as a group of four and reflected back on how perfect our time together had been. We travelled seamlessly together, no hiccups, no fights or passive aggressive behaviour. It was almost as if the four of us were made to travel with each other. In the end, memories like waiting for the return bus from Kotor To Herceg Novi at the bus station for 2.5 hours where we entertained a few staff members with Kasey's ability to win us each a matching stuffed animal from one of those claw machines, only made us stronger!

Enough of the sentimental stuff! Tia and I came back to her house and went back to sleep. We then walked to Manastir Savina. It is a Monastery complex that is comprised of three churches. It was so peaceful and serene. I was instantly taken by this large tree that reached up to the sky with a story to tell. The Monastery itself was surrounded by a green haven that made it feel as if it were in its own world far from the bustling town. 




We then returned home as it began raining. The weather was always confusing. Some days it was so hot that I got a tan and other days it was so cold and rainy! We decided that since we were wrung out from 5 days of crazy and intense travel and that since emotionally we already missed Kasey and Nila, we should take the rest of the day off, snuggle in bed and watch movies. Tia's aunt was so kind and made us a delicious pasta that I was sure to get the recipe of!


Day 6: Another casual day in Herceg Novi


After Kasey and Nila left, I got to know Tia's family a lot better...I also learned a lot of Serbian (or so it felt like--although her family made me feel like my Serbian learning capacity was spectacular!). I spent a lot of time learning a lot about Tia and her family history, about Serbia and its culture and history and about the geography and people. What made it for me was that I not only had Tia, but her family that was so kind it makes my heart melt even today.

So on this day, Tia's cousin wanted to take us out for breakfast along the seaside, it was a good change up from our staple Gradska Kafana. We walked the seawall and up to the Homeland Museum. This museum is in a baroque style house that once belonged to a previous mayor, Marko Komnenovic. It was converted at the request of the family into a museum that holds prehistoric archaeological remains to folk and cultural artefacts. Our visit to the museum was especially informative as the woman who is in charge of the museum explained everything to us with great care, passion and detail. I love meeting such passionate people, puts life into perspective!





We then went back down to the seawall and had a tea break at the Jazz cafe, where I finally found tea that I loved! We sat outside and took in the view of another rainy day forming on top of the sea. We walked some more along the seawall and as if it was out of the movies we took in two men playing moon river on the mandolin as the waves crashed against the seawall. We walked to Igalo the town next to Herceg Novi and then made the long walk back and up the ~200 stairs up to Tia's home. We took the evening off and went for dinner at Da Vinci for some yummy Italian!



Day 7 & 8: Rain and pyjamas


For two days we remained indoors as it rained and rained and rained. Tia's cousin from Serbia arrived and he joined us for the rest of the trip. We basically ate, didn't change from our pyjamas,  and watched things. We left for dinner for one of the days where we went to Picnic, a lovely restaurant that had delicious pizza. The other day we made soup and Tia's aunt made us tasty pasta again.

Day 9: Herceg Novi from above


After a few days off and a few days before that of taking it casual, we were ready to actually get going and see things. We decided to hike up to the Španjola fortress for a view. Tia and her cousin hadn't done this since they were kids so they sold it as a light hike that wasn't very difficult. Well...that was not the case, halfway up we realized how unfit we were, but we made it and it is definitely worth going!







At night we went to a traditional taverna where Tia and her cousin finally got their grilled food that they had been on about since his arrival. Because I was vegetarian I had to eat elsewhere as there weren't any options for me! I mention this because I wanted readers to see and know what the traditional food of this area can be like, even though it was not vegetarian friendly, it looks delicious.


We came back home and decided to get into contact with Tia's family in Split to see if that was a possibility. After much convincing from me and her cousin Tia finally agreed as she felt that it was very far to go to for just a day or two. After getting in contact with her cousin there who was more than elated to have us, we decided we would leave the next morning for 2 days, which actually turned into 5 days.

Split will be the subject of next week's travel diary!
Catch up with the Travel itinerary, Travel Diary part 1 and part 2.





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3 comments

  1. Gorgeous photos! I visited Croatia when I studied abroad, but it's definitely on my list to go back!

    Mary Kate
    www.mynewchicagolife.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Really nice travel photos! Croatia is the number one country on my list of countries where I´d like to go this year (:
    http://wanted9097.blogspot.fi/

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  3. I loved visiting Montenegro, we only spent half a day or so in Herceg Novi but loved it!

    Becky | accoohtrements life, travel & design blog

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