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127: to Bar+ Stari Bar, Montenegro. 2012/9/5

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[Great first impressions on Montenegro = pics.]

No, I didn’t feel like starting the day, which may or may not have something to do with being traumatized by having my wallet picked, if I would be traumatized.  But there was no reason not to.

Breakfast included two very oily fried eggs, which were otherwise not bad.  As soon as a waiter turned on some Euro trash techno on the radio I wanted to strangle someone but of course didn’t.  And when the waiter came with the plate, he made sure that I moved my computer away so he could place the plate where he wanted, which was right in front of me.  This is not an isolated case; somehow a lot of these people here don’t know how to turn their heads.

Anyway.

On the way to the square right in front of the theater, which is very close, some taxi drivers were calling “Montenegro!” and tried to get business.  Yesterday it was the same, only that there were much more such drivers.  I ignored them and went to find the regular-size, reasonably run-down bus.  I think it was a Benz – many of them are, and maybe that’s why they still work no matter how ancient they may be.

On the bus was an Asian guy, who asked where I come from.  Upon hearing my answer, he told me in serviceable Chinese that he’s a second-generation Chinese in Australia, has been traveling in various Eastern and Central European countries, and will eventually go to England to try to get some interior designer job.  Somehow his route in these Eastern European countries is VERY zigzagging, which is unfathomable to me.  Well, at least it was nice to have human contact, and as long as all that zigzagging suits him…

The funny thing about border control is that, when I came to Albania from Macedonia, I didn’t get an entry stamp; and today as I was leaving, I also didn’t get an exit stamp.  But at least I got the Cyrillic Montenegro stamp without any trouble.  We on the bus were kept waiting for forty minutes, and I don’t know if that had anything to do with one of us having a Taiwanese passport.

Early in the bus ride an old lady boarded the bus, and while there were lots of seats everywhere, she gestured me to give her the seat beside me.  That was unfathomable.  I simply gestured her to go away.  (Yeah, I’m like this these days.)

The bus came to Ulcinj, and I had to change for a bus to Bar.  Yes, the city is called “Bar.” There’s nothing to see; the only attraction, a very good one actually, is Stari Bar, two kilometers away from city center.  (“Stari” means “old,” so that’s the old town of Bar.)

When the bus reached the road along Adriatic Sea, I was pretty much impressed with how blue, how sapphire blue the blue the sea is, I should say.  Oh, the water is so clear and so BLUE that it gleams with a gem-like quality.

The woman in the tourist info right at the bus station didn’t speak English well, and she said that there aren’t very cheap rooms in city center; in any case she said that they don’t have internet anyway.  I asked her to help me call a place I checked the other day so that the owner could come pick me up.  She showed me lots of brochures with beautiful photos.

The owner came, insisted to lift and put the suitcase to the trunk, but I took over, and he marveled “how strong I am.” Then he asked whether I am Japanese.

The place is pretty nice.  After I settled down, the owner already went out, but I found his young daughter, who could read a map only if she turned the map a certain way, so she turned the map back and forth for a dozen times.  And before that, she took me outside the house, pointed to the road, and told me to go THAT WAY, “just straight” (that’s what they all say in English here in the Balkans), and just turn right and then turn left and turn right and turn left.  I had to persist for a while before I could coerce her to come inside the house and actually take a look at the map.

I went to a nearby restaurant hoping to have some seafood.  I wanted to have air-conditioning, so I was led to a separate room with the door shut, and then the waiter turned on the air-con.  I ordered roasted squid, but since I asked what a “Mixed Meat” plate is, the waiter mistakenly put that on the order as well, so I was quite surprised when I saw him come with a huge plate with four or more kinds of meat.  I asked him what that was, and he immediately acknowledged that it was his mistake.  I told him that it’s ok and just go cancel that squid.  I could barely finish half of the plate and had to ask him to pack the rest for me.

I then headed for the bus stop to go to Stari Bar.  It’s quite an atmospheric site.  I asked a Ukrainan couple to take photos for me, and they asked where I was from.  “Are you American?” the man asked.  I laughed and told him I am Taiwanese.  They then told me that they saw on TV that Taiwan is very beautiful.

Oh, and Bar has a very big “Maxi” Supermarket.  Somehow I was happy to see that.  As I mentioned in earlier entries, Albania (at least in various city centers) hardy has any proper shops, and I could hardly find anything I wanted.  As for Serbia, the Belgrade (again, I saw the center only) has quite a number of “mini Maxi,” but no “Maxi” proper.  That was quite beyond me.

I forgot to take any photos of the room, but let’s say it’s a room with a double bed (actually with two separate single mattresses under the sheets) and another single bed.  There’s also a table and a big closet.  Bathroom en suite.  In short, luxury to me.

9/5記帳:
Shkodra – Ulcinj – Bar公車:5+ 2.5= 7.5
中餐:9.7
超市:0.9+ 2.53= 3.43
Bar – Stari Bar市公車:1*2= 2
Stari Bar門票:2
咖啡:0.6
住宿:15
總計:40.23EUR

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