It was 7.30am and I had been wandering the streets around Old Town Kotor Hostel for the best part of an hour on the hunt for coffee.
The hot night’s weather had woken me up early on my first morning in Kotor… at 6am. I’d got in late the night before and hadn’t put on the air conditioning, so this was entirely my fault.
So at 6.30am I took to the streets. I was 50% too excited to stay in bed on my first morning in a new city and 50% craving caffeine.
Needless to say, Kotor is magical at dawn…
I first headed down to the harbour where the cool blues lingered before the sun could properly rise over the mountains that shelter the bay.
Then I got a lost amongst the rambling Old Town streets of Kotor, always finding my way back eventually to the stunning Cathedral of Saint Tryphon…
But, I didn’t find coffee. I did spot a few terraces open outside some of the Old Town’s hotels, but I was looking for somewhere a bit more local. It turns out the local places aren’t quite prepared for a bleary-eyed British girl with caffeine withdrawals before 8am.
So I wandered back in the direction of Old Town Kotor Hostel and encountered an equally bleary-eyed guy about my age chilling in front of the hostel, clutching at some kind of Montenegrin energy drink. He looked like he had the time, and I had the desperation, so I cornered him.
“Hi, do you work here?”
Thankfully he did, and after assuring him that I was also staying at the hostel, and wasn’t just randomly stopping people on the street at ridiculous hours of the morning, I begged him to tell me where I could find coffee.
It turned out that the restaurant three doors down from Old Town Kotor Hostel would open at 8am. I had about fifteen minutes to wait, so I forced my chatty self on the hostel’s night receptionist. That’s the guy by the way, and his name was Moco.
We dived straight into small talk. Or I did, because I talk alot and Moco took it all in graciously. If he was annoyed at all he didn’t let it show, and just sat there and smiled. Like really smiled.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo of him but if you get to Old Town Kotor Hostel in the middle of the night and see a guy about my age with dark hair and a massive smile – that will be Moco.
At five minutes to 8am I smiled at Moco, thinking that would be the last time I saw him that morning, and took about ten steps to peer around the corner of the restaurant. Nope. Nothing.
I returned back to the front of the hostel, my arms swinging and Moco offered a little ray of hope.
“There’s a supermarket not far from here. You could buy some coffee and make it in the guest kitchen”
I thought about it, but calculated that the time it would take me to walk there, buy the coffee, walk back, make the coffee and drink it – well the restaurant might be open by then?
At five past, I stuck my head around the corner of the street and found that it was still closed. I walked back to Moco in defeat. Breakfast at the hostel would open in 25 minutes and I could wait until then.
And then he grinned at me. Another big full face smile. “Do you like Turkish coffee?”
“Aren’t we in Montenegro? Why do you drink Turkish coffee?” He ignored me as he began to walk away, smiling of course.
I waited. I looked so random just chilling on the steps of the hostel. But how could I not trust this guy? He’d put up with my incessant rambling and smiled through the torture. So I waited.
Moco came back, each hand wrapped around a massive mug and inside the mugs was the thickest, sweetest black Turkish coffee I had ever tasted in my life.
After half the mug I was on 100% energy and after the full mug I could have run to the top of the fortress steps and back in an hour. Okay, probably not…
But seriously, Moco’s coffee saved my morning. And I never would have experienced it if I hadn’t forgotten to switch on the air-conditioning and woken up so early. And I never would have experienced it if I hadn’t been staying at Old Town Kotor Hostel.
A Bit More About Old Town Kotor Hostel…
Now, I’m not telling you this story because I want you to turn up and hound Moco for coffee. It’s really not his job, and I think after having to listen to me talk for so long he was just taking pity on me.
I’m telling you because it’s just one example of how welcoming the staff were. And I mean all of the staff, including those that work across the road at 360 Monte (remember how I already told you how awesome Slavko is?).
But what else should you know?
Well, the Old Town Kotor Hostel nightly bar crawls are one of the liveliest events in town!
Their private rooms are spacious and super comfortable. Wait, did I mention that already?
And the hostel couldn’t be any more authentic to Old Town Kotor. Built within its city walls, the historic brickwork pops up all over the place and the design around it is is stunning…
The hostel also runs fantastic tours, guided directly from their front door! I took the Great Montenegro Tour and found it fascinating, so I’m really hoping to return to take the North Montenegro Tour!
They also run a white-water Rafting Tour on the Tara River. I ended up doing this privately, but I met Marko who runs the rafting on Sundays and trust me, he’s a lot of fun!
Oh, and one final thing – breakfast starts at 8.30am. So if you’re only half-conscious without coffee to start your day make sure to whack on the air conditioning and sleep through until breakfast…
Where to find the Old Town Kotor Hostel
Address: Stari Grad 284, Old Town, Kotor 85339, Montenegro
How to book the Old Town Kotor Hostel
*prices for August 2016
Lots of love,