Greetings from Montenegro aka ItalianOOo for the Black Mountains. I've been bumming around and showing off my bum at some nude beaches, getting some R&R, while also trying to beat the heat. Despite barely being 100KM from end to end, the coast is amazingly beautiful. I can't say I've done a ton here, other than fry my brain, but I've enjoyed the country immensely. Fun fact: Montenegro is the second newest country in the world. South Sudan is the newest :)
Before heading to Montenegro, I made a quick stop back to Mostar, which i had previously visited with my mom. I stayed at the nicest, homiest hostel, Majdas, and took one of the best tours I've ever taken with her brother, Bata. The tour is simply called, Bata's Crazy Tour, and it was absolutely bonkers. He's been taking backpackers around Bosnia for 10 years, making them laugh hysterically at one moment and have them in tears the next due to some moving story about the war. He told us about his life and how a Croat neighbor knocked on his door in the weee hours of the morning to let him know they were going to come to take him away and send him to a detention camp, so they hid him and his parents. They eventually snuck out of the country and made their way to Sweden, which was one of the only places that were accepting refugees.
We visited Kravice waterfalls, which was super cool since we were able to swim behind the falls and climb into some caves. We also saw some old ruins from the Bosnian War. I would have spent more time in Mostar, but Majdas was closed since she was celebrating the end of Ramadan with her family. Luckily Bata was able to drive me and some other people to Kotor the next day so we didn't have to figure out the whoel bus situation... my brain was totaly fried since it was over 100 degrees.
I've been pretty exhausted from all my travels as of late.. which seems sort of ironic since this is essentially a long holiday, but my body is really feeling it. Kotor was really fun.. i met up with Sebastian, a friend I made in Sarajevo. i stayed at the most frattiest hostel.. (there were recent colgate grads... CLOE!).. there was lots of swimming and tanning by the water.. some skinny dipping late at night and a bit of hiking up the old fortress for some beautiful views. There was also tons of drinking... as well as a BBQ where I proceeded to eat a whole cow. MOOOO.
After a few days in Kotor, I was ready to take it easy, which brought me down to Ulcinj, a coastal city right by the Albanian border. It's a really nice beach town filled with loads of vacationing Albanians.. despite the loud Turbofolk, dark tans, big muscles, and super high heels, which i've been avoiding, it's been super relaxing. I've been staying at the nicest hostel, Hostel Pirate, which has been super comfy and homey. There's been a ton of great people staying there as well.. and we've all become fast friends... maybe because we've seen all bits and pieces of one another at various nude beaches.. including the ladies beach which was filled with babes of all ages, shapes and sizes who exuded confidence and an actual nude beach in Ada Bojana, which was where the pirates use to crash. and also where i got reprimanded for having clothes on (I was about to leave!)
As soon as i got to the nude beach, some guy offered to give me a piggy back ride across the sand because it was so damn hot and it was burning through my flip flops. i politely declined in a voice 5 octaves higher than usual.. the nude beach turned out to be not sketchy at all. it was actually really family friendly. I kept smiling the whole time because I just felt so happy and free, which may have freaked some people out, partially because the people in the Balkans aren't the most smiley.. I hitchhiked back with the Danish guy I went with, along with an Albanian dude who spoke no English. It was pretty interesting since the guys who picked us up were saying they were saying they were Serbian, but the other guy who hitchhiked with us said "No... it's Kosovo." There's still obviously some tension between the different groups. When we got back to town, we had a nice seafood dinner. It was a really nice day.. just pure, innocent naked enjoyment.
It's been really refreshing and exactly the recharge I needed.. so excited for the next adventures which include Serbia, back to Budapest, then Israel!!! WooHooo :)