A few days of Montenegro ended with half a day in Budva. €40,000 buys you a half built holiday villa!
It’s a seaside town with a stony beach that was beginning to set itself up for a new tourist season. Half the bars and restaurants were closed, many enjoying drills putting in exciting new features like tables.
It’s also the setting for Daniel Craig’s first Bond film, Casino Royale. And there are numerous casinos in the area. I enjoyed driving through tunnels that have entertained a Bond car, only to be disappointed to discover that while they were set here they were filmed entirely in the Czech Republic.
The focus seems to be on Russians and Serbs but my English experience of ordering a latte at one place and a steak at another was positive. Indeed, the Montenegran steak speciality dish of cow stuffed with cheese and dead pig wrapped in streaky dead pig was rather tasty. It’ll send me to an early grave.
Given the damage I’d done to the wing mirror on my hire car I decided to get to the airport over three hours before my flight. The Avis man tutted, shook his head, “Mr Dave should have had the insurance like I said” and after a lot of pressing buttons issued me with a bill for €225.80.
I took all the reports and proofs needed and look forward to AMEX settling that claim and pinching a few quid for converting the payout to Sterling.
I wandered over to the Aer Montenegro desk to arrange my lounge access. A kurt lady sent me to international departures security. They said “Too early Manchester” and sent me to the coffee shop to spend €4.20 on a Pepsi. The waiter said “You fly Manchester?”. “Yes” I replied. “City or United?”. “Oldham Athletic”, I responded. That was the end of that conversation.
Two hours pre-flight I finished my hour old Pepsi and returned to security. Patted down by a bloke in jeans and T shirt. Drug swabbed by a large lady in jeans and jumper. Through I went to seek out the lounge. The smallest gate area I’ve ever seen in my life welcomed me. Seats. Duty free. No lounge.
I fought the wifi and eventually got a signal. Check the web site! I’d correctly gone to the Aer Montenegro desk. But the Priority Pass site says I should have gone through the Business Class security area. Not that I’d seen a sign for this. Not that I was travelling business class.
Ah well, ninety minutes of boredom surrounded by my fellow proles. At least the sketchy wifi held up. And I sniggered as the easy boarding customers were invited to stand up for half an hour before the doors opened. Seriously, they were made to queue for ages without moving for the privilege of sitting down first! Me? Walked straight on and got a row of exit seats to myself. Heaven.
Farewell Montenegro. Beautiful place. I hope they don’t spoil you as they develop you. Even if they do need to sort out your roads!