Monday, February 17, 2020

Budva- The Pulchritudinous Town

Budva- Harbour
The best in Montenegro was yet to happen. A whirlwind trip of Kotor and its beauty was still fresh in mind as our guide in the van informed that we will now head to Budva, just 22 km away from Kotor. The little town is also referred to as 'Miami of Montenegro'. Excited as a bunch of school children headed for a picnic we peered out of the window to admire the breathtaking scenery all around this Adriatic region. Undoubtedly, the best way to explore this little country is on a road trip, with well-connected and maintained highways.  Budva is a rare gem which is not very well known except by Europeans who throng this little town during the summer months.

The Beach Promenade
Budva has some of the finest beaches, an old fortified town, promenades overlooking the sand beaches, coffee parlours, casinos and nightlife which is comparable with the best. The minuscule population of fewer than 20000 people inhabit this little town. After a drive lasting about 45 minutes the van pulled up near a huge parking area and the guide took us for a short walk along the sea-coast. She insisted that the food was not only cheap but very delicious in a nearby restaurant. We decided to skip it and headed for the Old town, instead which was just a short walk.
Fortification-The Square of Salt
Budva is the only town apart from Kotor that has fortifications all along with the Old town with narrow streets and small squares. It is one of the oldest urban centres in Adriatic, over 2500 years old. A lot of monumental and cultural heritages from Antique and Middle Ages is proof of continuing active life in this town. The charm of this little town is so compelling that a number of Hollywood movies like Force 10 from Navarone, The November Man, Pappilion, Nymph and Casino Royale were filmed here. 
A view from the Walls
Our van driver stopped by a bridge to tell us that the famous car chase scene in Casino Royale was shot at the site. Earlier Budva was a part of Yugoslavia but since Montenegro attained its independence the tag of communism has been obliterated.

The Old Town(Alstadt)-The Square of Palm
Alstadt( Old Town) with narrow streets, charming shops, coffee bars, incredible blue sky and sea is very fascinating. Located in the most prominent part of the Old Town, Citadel includes several squares, military barracks, terraced gates and remains of St Mary’s Church.
The Old Town Alleyways
The views from the City Walls are splendid especially when one looks out towards the blue sea, isolated sailboats and distant limestone mountains. Kamenovo Beach and Sveti Stefan are akin to slices from heaven on an island just a short distance away. The Mogren beach is very close to the Old Town. These places need more time to enjoy and immerse in their beauty, so I had to make do with just a glimpse.
The Church of Holy Trinity
Church of Holy Trinity very close to Citadel has a nice mosaic work on top of the entry door. It has a typical three bells tower above it. This is an orthodox church with lovely frescoes inside. Not far from here is the St Ivan Church that was renovated after the great earthquake
Interior of the Church of Holy Trinity
There are a number of squares in the Old Town like The Square of Poets, The Square of Salt, The Square of Palms with interesting stories around them.

Narrow Streets
Budva is also renowned for music concerts and theatre. The celebrities from all over the world travel here for their performances. There are many hotels around the seafront and their occupancy is very high during the summer months. There are regular flights from Moscow and Belgrade to the nearby airport.
The Citadel
Among the traditional food of the region available here are Priganice( fried doughnut balls served with jam). Burek( pastry filled with cheese or meat), Ribija Corba( FishSoup, Shopska Salad( popular all over Balkans) to name a few.

St Ivan's Church
The quick tour of this little town was an exciting one. I had never imagined that I would be rolling in luck to see so much in Montenegro in such a short time. Later in the evening, we headed for Dubrovnik, with an interesting ride of the van on the catamaran with the sun setting in the west.
The Setting sun-Shot from the Barge
PS- All pics are mine. Next week will take you on a journey through Bosnia and Herzegovina

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