A Detour

Everywhere I go, most travellers I meet have a similar mentality: don’t plan too far ahead– or rather, be willing to change your plans for the issues and opportunities which inevitably arise.

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Through a series of events which revolved around Dubrovnik’s absurdly crowded summer scene, the spirit of this ideal encouraged me to take an unplanned detour to Montenegro. Further flexibility was needed when my bus pulled wearily into the station minutes after the last connection to my final destination. After one haphazard bus journey, a ferry boat ride, a failed attempt at hitching, and a cabby adventure involving some furious searches for ATMs and small-note-change, I arrived in Kotor, the eponymous fairytale town tucked in the innermost corner of Montenegro’s idyllic bay.

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Walking through pristinely-kept, flag-stone alleys within the medieval boundaries of Kotor’s Old Town was surreal, worthy of magicians, dragons, and stone-bound swords. I was blown away; on the other hand, a traveller who arrived with me was a bit disgruntled by the manicured little town. He felt it lacked the off-the-beaten-track rusticity many backpackers favour. The Old Town may try too hard for some, and while it was dominated by holiday-seekers during daylight hours, there is a reason people flock to some places.

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I easily avoided the passengers who disembarked from the cruise ships which shuffled daily into harbour. There are several towns around the bay one can escape to for a swim or change of scene; I chose to simply walk along water. If you ever develop a desire to set foot in this neighbourhood of the world though, you must climb the city walls. Make sure you go all the way up; it’s an intense climb -especially under a summer sun- but the view is magnificent.

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