That time I learned that I was a wimp in Montenegro

How to get incredible photos of yourself while traveling solo in Kotor, Montenegro!

Catchy title, right? I am apparently a wimp in more ways than I realized but more on that in a second. You may remember where I left off in my travel story – traveling from Bosnia to Montenegro. So much rocky terrain, mountains, and gorgeous landscapes. The curves were very curvy, the roads were scary with the drop offs, and the weather was a-brewin’ getting ready for a good rain. I mean check out the road in the photo below. It was terrifying and an adrenaline rush!

moutainous road on the way to the Bay of Kotor, Montenegro

View of the Bay of Kotor, Montenegro

View of the Bay of Kotor, Montenegro

View of the Bay of Kotor, Montenegro

When I was about 30 minutes outside of my destination of Kotor in Montenegro, I noticed on my GPS that the road I was about to embark on was very, very zig-zagged. I mean, look at it! I honestly didn’t think anything about it. However, I kid you not, the road changed very rapidly from the paved roads I had been driving to a washed out dirt road. I think I inched down the road at 10 mph because the road was hardly wide enough for my car, the drop offs around the curves were insanely steep, and my heart was working overtime. I have a crazy fear for falling to my death so I was not in my rational mind. Hence me being a wimp. After a good 15 minutes, I finally made it to the bottom of the zig-zag road but the rest of the mountain was just as crazy. I drove through a tiny little mountain town that had roads like tiny steep alleys. I don’t think I pressed the gas once because it was all downhill. I may have sad some choice words over and over again like a little mantra.

But the first view of the Bay of Kotor was worth it. Surrounded by majestic looking mountains, the glassy water landscape was breathtaking. The sun was about to set behind the mountain so there was a warm glow which made it even more perfect. When I first decided to go to Montenegro 6 months back, I pulled up a map and just google-searched some of the towns I saw. When I stumbled upon Kotor on Google images, I knew that I had to go there.

Bay of Kotor, Montenegro

Bay of Kotor, Montenegro

Bay of Kotor, Montenegro

Bay of Kotor, Montenegro

Bay of Kotor, Montenegro


Researching lodging in a place you are not familiar with is perhaps one of the most difficult parts about traveling in my opinion – especially when it is in cities that none of your family or friends have any tips, you are just kind of flying blind. Knowing where to stay, whether the place is nice, and if there is easy access to restaurants is part of the adventure. I learned this the hard way in Kotor. Typically, I am a huge fan of Airbnb because they offer different experiences than the average hotel stay. I love staying in the heart of the cities and not in the tourist areas. Airbnb had never let me down before. I found the perfect little bed-and-breakfast type hotel to stay at in Kotor that was across the bay from the Old Town and right on the water. I had a rental car so I wasn’t worried about the distance from everything. It had raving reviews and was only $70 for two nights. I thought I scored the deal of the century! By the time I reached the place, it was dark and very cold hovering around 50 degrees. Nevertheless, I was tired from driving all day and so hungry. I met the sweet landlady, checked in, and we walked up the steps to my room.

If you know me at all, you know that I am always cold. Walking into my little room, I immediately noticed that it was a very dated room and that it was just as cold inside it as it was outside the lodging. The dated decor was not an issue – it added to the quaintness of the place. I turned to the sweet landlady and asked her if the heat worked. She nodded her head yes and then she left. Thinking back, I am not sure she really understood me which is a very real likelihood going to not as touristy town. I immediately turned the heat on the very basic thermostat and left to go grab dinner. By the time I got back, it was close to 9:00pm. I walked into the room and if it was possible, it was even colder. I could not understand why and I went to the thermostat thinking perhaps I put it on AC instead of heating but unfortunately it was still on heat. I tried to find the sweet landlady but she was nowhere to be found so I sent her a quick message on Airbnb where we had been communicating. Nevertheless, I hunkered down in bed with two blankets as it creeped closer to 40 degrees outside.

After trying to fall asleep for a good half-hour, I gave up the goose. I was literally shivering and I realized once again that day, I am a wimp. Immediately, I pulled out my iPad and messaged the landlady on my Airbnb app again hoping to get an answer. After hearing nothing from her, I decided that I could not stay in a place this cold. Wimp Alert. At 10:00pm, I booked a hotel for the duration of my stay, packed up my car, and made my way across the Bay. When I arrived at Casa del Mare Amfora, I immediately relaxed and immediately felt the warmth of the lobby. Not only was the decor gorgeous and the staff was so incredibly wonderful, the room was heated! Call me a spoiled American if you want, but at that moment, nothing else could have been more perfect except maybe that incredible rain fall shower that I took advantage of immediately so that I could
warm up. My move to Casa del Mare was the best decision I made the whole trip. Although I didn’t realize it until the morning, but the view from my balcony was jaw dropping. But perhaps the BEST part of the lovely hotel was the luxury service I was offered, especially at breakfast. I am not used to being waiting on for *included* hotel breakfasts in such a fashion. I was definitely spoiled beyond anything else. I mean look at all the insane food I got! I felt fancy and I am not going to lie, I wouldn’t mind that kind of treatment every now and then. Makes a girl feel fancy! Montenegro treated me so well despite the hiccups and was one of my favorite destinations not only on this trip, but ever. I don’t know what draws me to this gorgeous place, but I know I am definitely going to go back!

If you are ever in the Kotor area, you NEED to stay at Casa del Mare Amfora. They are seriously the sweetest and made me feel like I was staying in a 5 star resort!

Bay of Kotor, Montenegro

Stay tuned for more of my 2017 European Adventure – next up is the roadtrip adventure to an Albanian castle.



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Visiting the Bay of Kotor, Montenegro

Sami Mastrario

A small town, plus-sized Southern girl that loves to travel to cool places, eat unadventurous food, and take pretty pictures.

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