The Old Town Of Budva, Montenegro
On the way to Budva from Ulcinj, we visited the big Serbian church in Bar, dedicated to Anna and Joachim, who were the grandparents of Jesus and the parents of Mary.
This was the first time I had heard of these saintly Jewish grandparents who apparently prayed for a child for many years, and then gave birth to Mary.
I am not sure why giving birth to Mary gave them the status of saints, since very little is known about their lives.
The paintings on the walls of the church tell the story of Saint Jovan Vladimir, who ruled a large part of Montenegro in the year 1000, and was beheaded.
At the time, Montenegro was a part of Medieval Serbia.
From there, we continued driving, and next stopped at the scenic stone-built Reževići Monastery.
The Monastery of Rezevići is a medieval Serbian Orthodox monastery located in the small village of Katun Reževići, near the town of Petrovac.
The monastery was built in the year 1200.
The monks, all dressed in black, tend to the garden, clean the grounds and work in the small shop selling souvenirs.
The monk in the shop looked like a humble monk, suffering from some skin dis-ease, that left brown scabs on his arms.
He was self-conscious and quickly covered his arms with his robe, as soon as he saw me notice his affliction.
Nearby, the picturesque island of Sveti Stefan is now a luxury Aman Resort and access to the entire island is restricted, so we continued on to Budva.
We had booked a sunny room with a lovely patio at Hotel Budva, just a short walk from the Old Town Of Budva.
I was happy that we had decided to book it, despite some negative reviews saying that a disco nearby was too loud.
We did not hear nor see any disco, and the room we were given was as quiet as if we were sleeping on a mountain top.
Other than that, the hotel had a lovely patio by the pool, where we reclined on comfortable chairs and read our books for a few hours.
Traveling can be intense, and it is a good idea to simply waste time while on a trip.
Jules said that he thought that this was one of the differences between being a tourist and being a traveler, a person who roves and roams.
A tourist is focused on seeing all there is to see at a destination he visits, while a traveler seeks the feeling of a place, trying to get to know the spirit of a place.
The walk to the old town of Budva is along a boardwalk that is lined with stalls and shops selling clothing, fast food, toys, ice cream and souvenirs.
In October, they packed away their beachwear and are now selling coats, warm hats and warm sweaters.
Budva is a part of the Montenegro Riviera and it is known for its sandy beaches and nightlife.
Stone walls built by the Venetians surround the narrow streets of the medieval old town (called Stari Grad).
This historic district now has many shops and eateries inside the old stone buildings.
Scholars and historians believe that the old town may have originally been an island, which later joined with the shore to form a sandy isthmus.
The Old Town, along with the city of Budva, was said to have been discovered by a Greek sailor and later the Roman Empire took over the whole of the Montenegro coast.
Much of the architecture in the Old Town is of Venetian design.
The wooden doors, the hinges, the windows, the balconies and many other design elements seem to be in the Roman style of the Republic of Venice.
There are three main churches in the old town.
St. Ivan’s Church was built in the 7th century, St. Mary’s of Punta was built in 840 and the Holy Trinity was built in 1804.
The Venetian walls surrounding the old town of Budua were reconstructed in 1979, after a major earthquake destroyed big parts of the city and the whole town had to be rebuilt.
We went for a long walk and saw a sign citing “fun facts about Budva you probably don’t know.”
The one that struck me the most was the fact that during the busy summer season, this small town gets up to 90,000 visitors in ONE day…
I was happy we were not visiting during the peak of the summer, when a sea of people descends upon these humble sea town.
My warmest wishes,