It is hard to know where to start with my Montenegrin blog posts because I ended up spending a lot more time there than I anticipated and it ended up being quite hard for me to leave. I had booked a flight home for the 1st of June from Athens to Melbourne and I was intending to travel down the coast towards Athens at a leisurely pace throughout May.
My plan was to have an interlude to rest at home and spend some time with family and friends before heading off again. In the wise words of John Lennon, ‘Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans’. Life happened.
On a chance night out in a nightclub in Belgrade (anyone who knows me knows nightclubs aren’t my scene), I met a Montenegrin guy, Predrag who is a friend of one of my friends. We stayed in touch and he kindly offered to let me know where I should visit when I head to Montenegro, he recommended I visit his hometown, Herceg Novi.
When I arrived in Herceg Novi, Predrag connected me to his good friend, Marko, so that he could show me around. I met Marko after he finished work, in front of the clock tower in the old town and he showed me around his town. This led to us hanging out for some ridiculous amount of time like 13 hours. Marko introduced me to his friends and took me to every place worth visiting in and around Herceg Novi over the next few days.
A lot of weird and wonderful things happened while I was in Herceg Novi. My ‘Hvala’ (translation: thank you) got to a native level to the point where some people thought I was a local, I swam in the depths of the ocean for the first time ever (yes, I am a dud Australian), I witnessed an overzealous priest in training launch at another priest to kiss his hand and watched a very strange concert on a basketball court. My biggest highlight was being warmly welcomed by a group of locals who I can’t wait to see again. For me, there is no greater honour and pleasure than being invited to see behind the curtain, beyond the tourist attractions and instead delving into local life as I did.
If you are wondering how the story ends, well, it doesn’t, I will be back in Montenegro in late August and in September I will be doing my first ever non-solo trip, with my boyfriend, Marko.
I will be sharing more from Herceg Novi later in the year so stay tuned for that.