Today is my designated lazy day, as I’m tired from yesterday’s wonderful excursion. I got to sleep in, as the heat was somewhat more manageable when compared to the previous few days, so I’m counting my blessings. At any rate, I decided that after chilling in the hostel common room, I’d head off to nearby Perast. The town is about a 20 minute bus ride from Kotor, and it only costed 1.5€ for the ride there. So, it’s rather convenient.
To start the day’s events, I first asked one of the receptionists about the basic information. Thankfully, buses to Perast are pretty frequent (thanks to the need for such a small population to get around in a small country; there are only about 650,000 Montenegrins), so I sallied over to the bus stop and fortunately, only had to wait for about ten or so minutes. I met a Dutch couple who were going the same way, so we chatted for a bit. Finally, the bus came flying over to us-the driver opened the door 100 feet away from us. The ensuing boarding was hilariously fast, as all three of us crammed in in about ten seconds. Despite this first impression, the ride itself went by without incident, given how the road was literally a straight one. Perast seemed to be very small, as we had to go down under an overpass and walk for a few minutes to hit the pier. Once we all were there, we were treated to a spectacular view!
If you’ve ever searched for stuff about the country, chances are that the church in the middle of the bay pops up. Our Lady of the Rocks is the entirely man made church built by sailors who, legend has it, would drop a stone whenever they were passing by. Naturally, I had to check this out! When I reached the pier, two guys in a small boat beckoned to me and offered their naval services. As I was getting in, an Australian couple climbed in, meaning I would have much-appreciated company. They were super jovial and had the same itinerary in mind, which was awesome. The guys in the boat offered to take us by the two islands, the first being natural and the second being the aforementioned church, for the initial price of 5€; we would pay at the end. Not a bad deal right? I thought so. More on this later though. According to the younger of the two, the first island was privately owned and thus normally off limits, but they evidently knew the owner, so they broke the rules. There wasn’t much to see, but it was cool walking along it. Now, they jewel of the crown was next. The church was built on an immaculately pristine stone island, and words can’t do it justice-I’m still in awe! There was a small chapel, but the three of us opted not to go in, because, well, churches regardless of faith tend to be the same after a while. After strolling around for a bit, we headed back to the boat. I was ready to head back to Perast, but the younger guy asked (in a slightly mumbled voice) if we wanted to see the town next to Perast. Coupled with the fact that I wasn’t in a rush to do anything and the couple’s necessity to draw cash, we headed over to Risan. Risan was a fairly non-description place, but it did house a small exhibit of Roman textiles(!), which simply attested to the reach of the Romans. While it was cool, ten minutes is the most it took to see things. So, it was the definite time to turn back. Remember when I mentioned that the original price was only 5€? Now the guys wanted three times that for each passenger. On one hand, I get it that they took us further than originally intended, but I can’t help feeling like I was shaken down. The Australian couple actually apologized for what they saw as unintentionally driving up the price due to their need to get cash, but hey, it’s no biggie. Live and let learn, and I guess now I’ll know to insist on paying on the spot rather than later. Being said, they blessedly gave me a ride into Kotor, and I was able to show them around a bit, so things were evened out.
My evening, after all of that time spent outside the hostel, was simply spent hanging out in the common room with my fellow travelers, complete with some fun drinking games and games in general. To beat a dead horse about the positives of hostel lifestyles, I absolutely love meeting people on the road! Heck, I met a guy from DC! Small world, eh?
All in all, things went pretty well and I had a solid day, if not a bit slow. But hey, I have the luxury of vacation time to kill! And as a teaser for the next few days, I’m likely to visit Dubrovnik in neighboring Croatia, and hopefully one of Shkodër and/or Tirana in Albania. Stay tuned!