Dubrovnik, Kotor, Budva: gems on the Adriatic

If the coast is the promised land, then what’s to say about Dubrovnik?  That it makes many folks’ 10-things-to-see-before-I-die list is no secret.  Pearl of the Adriatic.  A medieval town with polished marble streets and the shimmering sea as the backdrop.  Baroque buildings, arches, and a maze of narrow, twisting alleys.  Uh, like many people have said before,  wow!

DSCN7192 by bryandkeith on flickr

Wojtek and Siena by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN7246 by bryandkeith on flickr

But what really surprised me, perhaps more than Dubrovnik because of expectations, was Kotor and Budva.  From my photos it’s actually very difficult to tell these three cities apart.

DSCN7211 by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN7297 by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN7328 by bryandkeith on flickr

Budva also has a stunning seaside setting.  Kotor, on the other hand, is set way back in a deep fjord with towering mountains looming down on the old city.  Impressive.

DSCN7197 by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN7288 by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN7315 by bryandkeith on flickr

Getting water at the fountain at the west entrance to Dubrovnik’s old city, I hear, “Bryan?  hey, Bryan!”  It’s Wojtek (from Sarajevo)!  Busy preparing for trips to Italy and NW Africa, he sold us the last of his Croatian money, but here he was back in Croatia.  Ah, what a woman will do!  He had met Sienna (from Cody, WY) a few days earlier and joined her on her travels.  I can imagine Wojtek deciding, “well, even if it doesn’t work out with the woman, I get to visit Dubrovnik!”  Not a bad worst case scenario.

Wojtek, Snežana, Siena by bryandkeith on flickr

The four of us wandered around the city for an hour or so together before Wojtek caught a bus to Sarajevo (sans Sienna), and Snežana and I went off to get a new rear shifter for Snežana’s bicycle.  She had been limping along the hilly Dalmation Coast (incorrectly redundant?) on a three-speed.

The only bicycle mechanic in Dubrovnik? by bryandkeith on flickr

A few days later was one of the most spectacular flat bicycle rides I’ve ever done.  Bokokotorski zaliv is southern Europe’s deepest fjord, and it’s surrounded by rocky escarpments rising 1000m straight out of the water.  We spent a whole day riding around about half of the inlet.  Perast has a great setting at the mouth of the most inner part of the fjord, and Kotor, well, I already mentioned Kotor.  This area is unbelievable.

DSCN7282 by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN7275 by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN7289 by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN7306 by bryandkeith on flickr

A little more riding, a night in an abandoned building, too much traffic on Montenegro’s coastal road, and we were in Budva.  Fancy yachts, casinos, winding mountain roads, and expensive cars.  The only thing missing was James Bond.  Russians have discovered Budva, and there were also tour buses arriving from Croatia and Albania.  I cycled 900m up the coastal mountains on one of our rest days in Budva.

DSCN7313 by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN7331 by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN7334 by bryandkeith on flickr

Short days, a little rain, and plenty to see.  We’re not setting any speed records.

DSCN7267 by bryandkeith on flickr

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9 Responses to Dubrovnik, Kotor, Budva: gems on the Adriatic

  1. andrew keith says:

    skazochno, Bry! Hope you had a great Christmas. Love the installments from your travels.

  2. Shelly says:

    Really great pics!
    Shelly & Mark

  3. Kevin says:

    Some outstanding photos – I think I particularly like the one of Kotor reflected in the water (or is that Budva?).

  4. Christine says:

    I am in love with your blog. I think the photographs are spectacular and I am amazed at how many places there are in the world that seem so bikeable. Or maybe you are just leaving out the treacherous parts! Keep em coming! Those of us back in the rat race are living vicariously..

    • Bryan Keith says:


      Thanks for the compliment on the photos. I suppose I do leave out the treacherous parts, but mostly I try to avoid the treacherous parts. One of the worst roads of the trip was coming into Athens a few days ago. I was sure there had to be something better, but then we kept seeing local cyclists on the same busy, loud, and sometimes narrow section of highway.

      You also don’t see photos of the treacherous parts because that’s the worst time to try and pull out the camera. Still, I have rarely been on roads as bad as Indiana which was part of my Lakewood-Boulder bicycle commute a year ago. The rat race is dangerous!

  5. Doug Keith says:

    I am late coming to the party, but I am loving catching up. Do you ever feel like you have found a place where you would like to settle in for a while?

    • Bryan Keith says:

      Hi Doug,

      Great to hear you’re catching up! I hadn’t considered that until you asked so I gave it some thought.

      Braşov. If I had to choose one place to spend a year, it’d be Braşov. Four seasons; big enough, but not huge; fantastic cycling nearby; the skiing ought to be good; it’s on the edge of the mountains; there’s a bit of wildlife nearby. Hmmm, sounds like I’m describing Boulder.

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