As my time living in Rome draws to a close, I decided to travel to see other parts of the former Roman empire. One such place was just across the water in Budva, Montenegro. Budva was part of ancient Greece and it became part of the Roman empire in 200 BCE (150 years before Caesar, 200 years before Jesus).
If you want to avoid the crowds of Dubrovnik, visit Budva in the off season. I recommend staying at La Villa boutique hotel. Be silly and enjoy yourself making your own Game of Thrones video clips. Even if you have never seen GOT, Budva will charm you.
The old town of Budva is a walled medieval city sitting on a peninsula in the harbor of Budva. It’s a tiny walled town with paved streets that match the same taupe stone buildings. Most of what one can see today in the old walled town of Budva was build in the 15th century CE (500 years ago).
Montenegro is part of the European Union. If you enter by land from Albania, the border crossing may take you over an hour. Once we got on the road, Budva was only a couple of hours away (if you land in Albania), mainly because there is a stretch of road that is not highway. One gets a nice “local” route, bumping through neighborhoods and increasingly beautiful views. It all seems like potential for commercialism. Budva seems to be all resort hotels and construction, which contrasts so nicely with the old walled town. The staff at La Villa gave us good advice to park in the public parking and pay for a day pass (minimum is two day pass at 20 Euro) because otherwise the rate is per hour!
On your way in or out, visit the other towns of Sveti Stefan and Bar. Sveti Stefan is another tiny jewel of a town. It was bought by a private resort so no longer open to the public during tourist season. Can you imagine?
I think that Vancouver is too nice for me. It’s more than first world. It’s first plus world. Clean, modern, cosmopolitan, green, environmentally friendly, and surrounded by gorgeous nature. Sure, it rains a lot. Like every day. It’s a bit pricey. But, life is good in Vancouver. Vancouver is serious about recycling (and cycling) and the traffic lights blink — even on the green — when a pedestrian is nearby. The restaurants are good, the food is good, and there’s Granville Island market. And the Caesar.
Sure, there are downsides to life in Van. It’s got fast drivers. There are shaming commercials on television to force you to recycle. Apparently the taxes can be high… but the food is good (some sort of good fish with local vegetables grown with moon beans and poetry, shown here).