We were staying in the Montenegrin coastal town of Ulcinj at the hotel Palata Venezia up in the old town. Generally, we turned left out of the hotel and headed down the many steps towards the coast and main town, but having time to explore, we turned the other way.
After walking through a maze of narrow cobbled paths, we came across the Stari Grad Museum. We’d not originally planned on visiting it as I’d thought it would be hard to find in the labyrinth of alleys and our guidebook didn’t exactly sell it. However, as we were outside, we paid €2.50 each to a bored lady and exploring the ruins, found a bigger complex than we’d anticipated. Firstly, there was a series of stone arches built into the wall, with locked wire grills, containing cannon balls and stone remnants from the various ages.
Continuing through what appeared to be a storage area with tables and chairs, we found stone ruins surrounded by wildflowers and grasses with great views over the town. Here we saw the SV Nikola Orthodox Church, surrounded by olive trees, the cemetery and Pasha Mosque.
Next was a gallery in a tall tower, although the ground floor had only one large picture of the long beach and a stack of photos. However, we climbed two more floors containing information boards about historical finds. The Ethnographic Museum had two floors with traditional costumes, household and occupational items and a traditional room displayed. There was also a further archaeological museum with lots of small items including artefacts from digs in the region. We’d not paid an extra €2 for an audio guide and were pleased as so many of the small items were tagged (usually it’s only the most significant) and we saw numbers up to at least 116. All in all, it was interesting, and we spent around an hour there.
We then walked down to the Serbian Orthodox church we’d seen from on high, where despite having long shorts on, I had to transform my scarf into a skirt. But at least we could take photos. As we’d got used to by now, the walls and ceiling were covered with frescoes, with blue being the predominant colour. Fortunately, they were not as glitzy as the gold leaf ones we’d seen in Podgorica.
From here we walked down towards the newer part of town, passing the mosque, bars and shops full of beach paraphernalia. We paused at the beach to look back up at our hotel in the old town before continuing past the small harbour. It was now hot, and needing to cool down, decided to try the sunset bar we’d seen the night before from Terra Promessa. This meant climbing the steps once more, but this time amongst the tour groups heading into the old town.
The bar was huge and on a promontory with the waves lapping up the surrounding stones. However, it looked as though the season was just beginning as it was in dire need of maintenance. We managed to get chairs in the shade (the struts for the awning were in place but there was no top) and had beers and sparkling water and, to aid our relaxation, suggested to the owner’s sons, we’d like the music turned down. This they did with a cheeky grin.