It rained heavily and almost constantly since I got out of the train station at Bar. I was sodden by the time I’d made the short walk into the centre. I visited the old summer residence of King Nikola (which doubles up as a local museum), dried out a bit, went out and was soon drenched again. Went to a cafe, dried out, just in time to go back out into another shower and get drenched again. I’ve got a good waterproof jacket, and my rucksack is waterproof up to a point, but everything else (trainers, socks, trousers) is soaked through.
I was expecting, or hoping, for a relaxed day or two in a sunny seaside town, somewhere a bit sunnier than Belgrade at least. I also wanted to use this stop to find a laundrette to wash used socks/underwear/t-shirts and set me up for the rest of the journey. Instead everything I have is damp and I’ve got no clean clothes. Not a successful day.
I tried my best to dry out my clothes overnight. This morning it was still raining, if only lightly and intermittently.
I walked down to see the port, which firmly separates leisure and industry; beaches and a small marina on the northern side, a naval base and large commercial shipping to the south.1 The marina has a petrol station, it looks just like a normal petrol station for cars, except it’s at the end of a pier and it’s for filling up boats. That solves a question I never thought of before around how people get petrol to boats moored far away from the shore.
One of the main streets in the centre is named after Tito, and it got got my attention because of a new monument at the junction with Branka Čalovića.
According to this news story the monument was put up on 24th November 2021. I can’t see Tito had any special attachment to this town, so it’s curious to see a new monument built several decades after Yugoslavia was broken up.
Nearby are the ruins of an early christian church, dating back to the 5th Century.
Possibly related to the monument, the town library2 has an exhibition on the partisans which opens on the 24th November. Bad timing, I’m too early.
I could have gone to see the Stara Bar fortress and the old town up in the mountains, but I’m very wary of getting caught out in the rain for several hours like yesterday. I headed for the station to get the train up to Podgorica.
On the way back the train stopped at Viripazar, just before Lake Skadar. The rails runs on a raised bank through the marshland, from up here you can see the buildings backing straight onto the water.
I’d probably visit Viripazar if I came back again and had more time.
A note on commercial shipping out of Bar, this port was previously infamous as a key hub for cigarette smuggling, although the local government seems keen to tackle the problem. ↩
The town library is still named ‘house of the revolution’ (Дом револуције), which I consider a pretty cool name for a public library. ↩