To say that  it was total chaos at the ferry terminal in Bari was an understatement.   We had caught ferries from Germany, Holland, England and Ireland and it has been a simple process of driving up to the booth, showing our passports and our numberplate has already been recorded.  We only needed to be there 3/4 hour beforehand.  NOT in Italy!  We had to be at Bari port 3hours prior to embarkation.  We had to show our vehicle registration papers and passports and get separate tickets for the boat.  We went to board the ship and small cars had to board first (and they had not yet turned up) so we had to wait an hour and then we had to back into the ship (as it wasn’t a roll on roll off ship with entries at both ends!) and then the huge semi trailers also had to back in!  There were many busloads of tourists who boarded on foot and they looked like refugees with lots of bags for the 1night crossing leaving at 10pm.  We have always had a two berth cabin with bathroom but this ship only had four berth cabins left with only a washbasin.  The crossing was fairly rough and we didn’t get much sleep but we had a good breakfast at 6am before we docked.

The advantage to arriving  in Dubrovnik, Croatia (Hrvatska to the natives) at 7am was that  by 8.30 (having found 1parking garage which would accommodate us) we were walking around the old city walls virtually on our own which was wonderful.  It cost us $20 each or 100 kuna to do this but as they receptionist explained, Dubrovnik is one of the 10most visited sites in the world and that explained the price.  The restoration of the old city was evident with many workmen replacing roofs . By the time the busloads of tourists were arriving we were leaving Dubrovnik and were on our way to Montenegro.  The scenery on this side of the Adriatic is much more spectacular than the southern Italian side which is quite flat by comparison.  The drive down to the Montenegran border took us about an hour driving  at a leisurely pace but then we had an hours wait to get to the border control and we only had a dozen cars ahead of us.  Apparently in high season it sometimes takes all day to be processed.  As our insurance company did not cover the car for Montenegro, we paid 36euros for a week’s insurance and after we had told the officials where we were going in the country they let us proceed.  All the officials were very pleasant which was also a surprise.

There are only about 600,000 people in all of Montenegro and this is very evident with the vast areas of natural forest with only a few houses dotted everywhere.  We drove almost the length of Montenegro along the spectacular coastline and around the vast inlet which resembled a cross between Lake Como and the Norwegian fjords.  It only took us about 3hours to reach Ulcinj at the southern end of Montenegro.

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