Day 10 – Montenegro 🇲🇪

Denise and I have been passionate about riding motorcycles ever since we first met. Even before that… I bought a Honda CT 70 dirtbike when I was 12 or 13 years old and put many miles on it around potato fields and back roads in Fort Kent.  When I first worked potato harvest for Denise’s dad around 1977, I found out that they also had a CT 70 and Denise had been riding it up and down farm roads for years.

When Denise and I first started dating our senior year in high school, I had just bought a Honda CB 400 road bike from Tommy Dumond. That spring Denise got her motorcycle learning permit and shortly after that, got her motorcycle license on my bike. Since we’ve been married, we’ve always had a motorcycle. Although for the years that our kids were young, we may have only ridden it 300 or 400 miles a year. 

When the kids were older, and in high school, we had more opportunity to ride and bought ourselves a couple of Honda Shadows to see if we would like touring with them. We owned them for a couple of years and then made the “mistake” of renting a couple of Harleys in San Diego, and riding through Arizona and New Mexico for a couple of weeks. By the time we came back from the trip, we were both convinced that we really wanted a couple of Harley touring bikes.

A month later, we had two Harley Road King‘s sitting in our barn when lightning struck and burned it flat to the ground…including the motorcycles. We started rebuilding the barn and ordered two more motorcycles from the same dealership in Lewiston. Four motorcycles in two months…they were really starting to like us! 😂

For the 10 years following, almost all of our traveling was by motorcycle. Including…a two month “round the country” trip in 2009. Since then, our travels have included riding motorcycles in other countries like we are doing here in Croatia. 

Now…motorcycle laws are a little different everywhere we go. One of the things that’s allowed here in Croatia, and many other countries in Europe, is something called “lane splitting“. This means that you are allowed to navigate around other cars almost anywhere you see fit. That includes passing cars driving down the center of the road with traffic going in both directions! 😳 At first that really seemed insane to us. But there was a study done a few years ago that showed that countries or states (California) that allowed lane splitting had fewer motorcycle accidents than countries that didn’t.

I mentioned this because today we rode out of Dubrovnik and shortly after, we were crossing the border into Montenegro.

Took a short ferry ride

The traffic at the border was backed up for well over half a mile. It included trucks campers cars, scooters…you name it. 

Anyway…today was quite warm and after sitting there for a few minutes in the hot sun…we decided to give lane splitting a try. We were able to ride down the center of the road and passed almost every single vehicle in that line and pulled in to customs with just a couple vehicles ahead of us. None of the drivers seemed to care, and no one honked their horns at us either.

I think countries who allow it are trying to encourage people to ride, scooters and motorcycles, instead of adding more cars and trucks on the road. It allows most scooters and motorcycles to bypass almost any traffic jam and get to where you’re going much more quickly.

Today…Montenegro turned into a huge traffic jam everywhere we went. Our first stop was in the town of Kotor and the place was mobbed with tourists and cars and tons of tour buses. We were able to just whisk around almost everything and continue on our way. 

Harbor in Kotor

Fresh market in Kotor 

After leaving Kotor…the road switchbacks its way up the mountainside for several miles. There were many tour buses jamming the tight turns going up the mountain. Some were completely stopped because they had to wait until no traffic was coming for them to be able to make the turn . Again, we were able to get by all of that. We did it very carefully and very methodically and always at low speeds. 

I’m not sure if we’re convinced that lane splitting is a good idea, but it seems OK when done in the right manner. One other note on motorcycles, particularly in Croatia. You are allowed to park them almost anywhere. Including up on sidewalks and under trees at the edge of parks or even areas that are crossed out in parking lots. Pretty cool! That gives us a lot of advantages when trying to park in many of the cities that we’ve been to.

We arrived in Budva, Montenegro, and headed towards the old city. We had rented an apartment within the whole city walls. Sometimes these places can be really hard to find in the narrow streets. For some reason, we lost service and our phones were not working so we weren’t able to contact, the host for the apartment. 

Entering the old town in Budva

I found an English Pub and the lady who was bartending, was kind enough to let me use their Wi-Fi so I could make a call. Eventually we were able to connect, and while we waited for the host to arrive…we had a Guinness to thank them for their help… Lol. 😂

Things are a little more “rough-and-tumble“ here in Montenegro. It was a beach, just a short distance from the apartment so we went over for a nice swim. The water was pristine, but the beach was quite dirty and the facilities there looked “Cold War-ish“.

                Enjoying a swim in Budva

We had a nice dinner in the old town and then headed back to our apartment to make plans for tomorrow.

Almir had plans for us to go to Sarajevo, Bosnia tomorrow, but it is a 6 drive with no much to see all by the way. I think we’re going to shorten it up a bit and go to a town called Mostar also in Bosnia. Jake told us that it’s a very nice town and worth going to. I think we’ll give it a try!



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