Disappointing bus to amazing Kosovo

  What the hell outta a journey that was. I am not keen on overnight buses, but I did not expect this at all. I traveled by public transport in Nepal (from Kathmandu to Pokhara), just 2 days after the main earthquake and during the aftershocks, through a very tiny roads in Himalayas. I did the whole South and Central America by bus, even the most uncomfortable and dangerous road (well, not even a road-a stony path) from Sucre to Cochabamba in Bolivia. Yet, this one was the worst, I think, I have ever experienced.IMG_2054I have to start with the fact that I’ve had no choice, but just to take an overnight bus from Podgorica (Montenegro) in order to reach Pristina, in Kosovo. There is only one transport a day that connects these two capitals, and it departs from Podgorica’s main bus station at 21.30. I really would not recommend to do so, as at the terminal I have spotted a very nice connection to Prizren in an early morning. I think at 7 am, as far as I remember. I have heard a great things from other travelers about this place, but was  a bit late for me, as I already bought a ticket.

  So why was it so bad? Well, I guess it wasn’t only the bus itself, but also other circumstances reflected on the level of discomfort, I have experienced. But starting from the beginning, I departed from lovely town on the cost of Montenegro, called Budva. I caught the bus at 11.15 am (they depart very often, at least every 1h) from the main station there, and I arrived to Podgorica around 14.00. This leg of my journey was a real pleasure, as the whole road was trough the high range of mountains. The view was just breathtaking. Once I arrived at the capital of Montenegro, I bought a ticket for 21.30 departure, so I’ve had some spare time to look around. As much as I truly felt in love with this country, Podgorica, I am afraid, hasn’t got much to offer to the travelers. Well, maybe just a good dinner in the city center, but that’s about it. Instead of visiting things, I was just reading a book in the park. Not much of excitement for the place, I have never seen before. Around 19.00 I went to the main bus station to wait. It is a very small one, so you will get really bored by waiting, but what else I’ve had to do? At 20.30 I went to sit by the bus stand, and as always, drunk jerk had to sit next to me to bother me all the way trough. Unlucky, he had the same bus, but was so drank, he got eventually kicked somewhere on the way. Or he kicked himself? Perhaps, as I haven’t whiteness any force involved in his termination. Anyway, while waiting, there were 2 incidents at the station where police had to be involved. First one was as of result of a violent fight between two guys. Second one I did not see, but heard. All that made me feel a bit unsafe. Finally the bus arrived, and, as I could not ask for more (😂), it was just filed with male local passengers. I was under the watch all the time, human cctv. It was like back in Nicaragua…I was a black sheep again.

 All the way trough the border I was hoping Kosovar control will not stamp my passport, as I was going to Serbia next. Of course they did, and that fact made me even more stressed. Here, I will just add that later on I crossed the border to Serbia from Macedonia with no issues. Finally we arrived, and I was the last of 2 passengers remaining in the bus…what can I say.  It was still an early hour (5 am), so I had to wait at Pristina cold bus station before heading to my hotel.

   Well, the point of my pointless blog is that as bad as my journey was, as good I found the other side. I absolutely love people of Kosovo. They are very helpful, very kind, open to tourists and friendly. The owner of my hotel was amazing too, he even mad a traditional food for me, and we sat together and discuss the current situation, economy and problems of this, once again, independent country.

 Sometimes while traveling you have to experience worst, to receive something unforgettable and to fell the kind heart at the end, or maybe that helps to appreciate it more!

 

Sunset over Budva

I could not dreamed of a better day in Budva that luckily I experienced. Everything was just perfect…the weather, atmosphere and off-season time, I have always cherished. But to be honest, mostly it was down to a great walking route I did that day. So if it happens that you will pop in to Budva, I would highly recommend to fallow that path too.img_1941.jpg

Budva is a town located on the Adriatic Sea cost of Montenegro. The country name, actually, perfectly describes the landscape of this magnificent Balkans area. Once you will cross the border, the stunning mountain range will surround you, no matter on location you will visit. I have to say that it is kind of a perfect environment for me to be, as of my love for high hills conjured with waters like lakes, rivers and endless sea. I just possibly could not ask for more. And all that stunning land came with one of the friendliest and nicest nation ever.img_1964.jpg

Before starting, I would like to recommend visiting also a Kotor, another coast town just 30 minutes to the north way from Budva. I am afraid, I didn’t get a chance to see it, as of my busy schedule, but every possible backpacker, I have met (along with all locals), agreed that it is a must see place too!IMG_1960.JPG

So coming back to my perfect day, the start wasn’t the easiest, as we came back late from night out. It was cool, as Budva is a perfect place for good long night out, but the next day headache wasn’t the best thing to start my day with. Despite that,  I looked on the map of surrounded area, and I quickly made my mind on activity, I was going to do.  IMG_1966.JPGThis time I decided to have a long walk by the cost up to the stunning place called Sveti Stefan. It is a 22 kilometers in total, so if you are not keen on long walk, you can hire a bike or take a bus. Please note that with the last option, you will not see the beautiful beaches on your way there. My other thought is also to stay till sunset, as it is truly magic moment to watch, then after take a bus back to Budva. I knew that we will go there again by car with other people from hostel, so I didn’t have to stay till late.

The whole way is easy and very straight forward, located right by the cost line.IMG_1959.JPG You will just have to head south and fallow the path. On your way you will see loads of beautiful places to stop, eat or drink. Every beach will be a bit different, either because of a shelf density and shape, flora full of different kind of trees or just the rocks placed around. You will past trough 2 tunnels too on your way and a national park where you can wander around and get on a cliff.  The whole walk (with no stops) should take you around 2 h each, but please note that you really need to put a sun protection, as you will be facing the sunlight trough the whole way.img_1985.jpg

As mentioning at the beginning, the sunset over Sveti Stefan is something you just have to whiteness. I would recommend going up to the parking lot of the motorway above for the best view of it. There is also a restaurant where you can sit, eat or drink during that spectacular time. Once the sun will disappear in to the sea, you can either walk back, but not recommended in the dark, or you can take a bus from the stop located not far from there. I haven’t used it, so I can’t tell you the price for the ticket, but I really doubt it’s more than 2 Euro. So, not writing to many useless thoughts at the end, that was my peaceful journey, I wanted to share.