After our mediocre breakfast, we walked up the steep steps to the castle that overlooks the city of Ljubljana. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky — it was a perfect morning. We had toured the castle last year, and so just wandered around the outside area taking photos of the city below. Our stroll took us through the market area again and then back to the hotel. We checked out and left our bags whilst we went for another walk — we had almost two hours left before we needed to head to the bus station. By now it was quite hot outside in the full sunshine.
On our wander over to Tivoli Park, we checked out a gallery of old Roman relics, learning a little more about the history of those who once inhabited the area. We stopped at a few galleries, but the entrance fees were too high, given that we had such limited time available.
Just before 2pm, we collected our bags and set off on the 20-minute walk to the bus station, arriving with 15 minutes to spare. (According to the digital sign on the bus, the outside temperature was now a hot 33C.) Everything went smoothly, and we were soon at the airport where we checked in and found our way to a small, basic lounge to which our Priority Passes give us complimentary access. We managed to entertain ourselves on our iPads for the 90-minute wait here, and then headed to the gate, passing through immigration on the way.
The one-hour flight took us over Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina and into Montenegro, landing at the capital, Podgorica at about 6:30pm. We collected our bags and proceeded outside to catch a taxi. Michael had done his homework and was adamant that we weren’t going to be ripped off by the taxi drivers at the airport who were all charging a fixed rate of 12 euros when he knew the metered rate should be between 6 and 7 euros.
I wasn’t sure that it was such a good idea to be fussing over 5 euros, but Michael was adamant. We enquired from the young woman working at an information desk as to how we could get a metered taxi, but she was hesitant to provide us with any information, other than to say we would need to phone the company. (Michael had read that people working at the airport are reluctant to provide you with any information about alternatives to the taxi company that clearly has the main rights to operate in the airport area.) We had debated whether to pre-order one online before leaving Ljubljana, but had decided we’d wait until we arrived. Unfortunately, once we’d arrived, we couldn’t get the webpage to lodge our booking! Michael was convinced that if we left the airport area, we would easily be able to pick up a metered taxi. And so off we traipsed through the small airport carpark and on to the main road in, with me wondering whether this was such a good idea.
We had barely reached the main road when a taxi drove past, did a quick U-turn and pulled up next to us. Yes, he had a metered taxi and it would probably cost us between 6 and 7 euros!
The drive into the city took us past some old, rundown buildings. The landscape looked quite dry, with many pencil pine trees being the most notable vegetation.
With the fare being about 6.40, Michael rounded it up to 8 euros — so we’d made a saving of 4 euros (just over $6)! We checked in to the Centreville Hotel (the number 1 hotel in Podgorica which is costing us $120/night). It is a fairly new building with modern decor. We had dinner in the outside bar area — delicious hamburgers and chips for about $10 each. Wine was a little pricey, especially compared to prices in Ljubljana, and so we settled for some sparkling water. After a very short walk to the corner of our street (I declared that I was too tired to explore the city — it was 9pm!), we called it a day.