Albanian Adventure Day 3: Dubrovnik to Ulcinj, Montenegro

Day three began with an attempt to shed our final Croatian Kuna by buying an extraordinary amount of snacks for the bus journey. The first bus we caught from Dubrovnik was a relatively comfortable double decker coach that took us through Budva in Montenegro and onto another bus station. The next bus was much smaller and very hot; the on-board thermometer read 45 degrees celcius. The clever ones of the group sat next to open windows. I wasn’t one of the clever ones, so I closed my eyes and didn’t move for the next two or three hours.

When we arrived at our accommodation in Ulcinj our room was like a self-contained studio flat with its own kitchen and most wonderfully its own fridge/freezer, not to mention a balcony with a view of the beach and the sea! Hooray! After an hour or so of chilling and drinking ice cold coke we set out for an orientation walk and a brief history of the town.

Ulcinj TownBefore medieval times Ulcinj was one of the pirate capitals of the Adriatic Sea and a shipwreck carrying African Slaves meant that the surviving Africans became an integral part of the town. In recent history the town was badly damaged in 1979 by an earthquake and you can still find rubble and ruins if you walk around the old town.

Dinner was in the most marvellous location up through the castle walls and into a seafood restaurant by the sea with a view of the sun setting. The owner of the restaurant caught the fish himself that day so you couldn’t get much fresher than that without catching the fish yourself. I had king prawns which were gently marinated in garlic and absolutely divine.

Ulcinj SunsetUlcinj has a high Albanian population (around 72%) so it gave us our first taste of the country and the people.

After dinner we learnt about the Giro-Giro. It’s what the locals do in this part of the world in the evenings and involves walking up and down the promenade and sitting people-watching, usually with all the family too. We did the giro-giro for a while, had a beer and went back to the apartment for a cold shower (I hadn’t thought to turn the boiler on) and a chat until late because my roommate had had too much Red Bull and couldn’t sleep. I wish we were in Ulcinj for longer than one night, I really like it here.

 

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