Spectacular European architecture and brilliant blue oceans.
We arrived Viking-like by sea, and at dawn, and it was the most spectacular entrance into the Bay of Kotor.
All the little coastal towns along this winding and protected part of the Adriatic Sea have a similar theme. Orange rooftops stacked from the shore to the amazingly high and rugged mountains.
The fortified town of Kotor itself, thought to be built in 168 BC and later fortified in the early Middle Ages, is equally as spectacular as the entrance of the bay. A few steps through the ancient arched gateway we found Kotor’s Cathedral of St Tryphon standing proudly in the centre of the main square and surrounded by quaint cafés and restaurants.
We stopped for a coffee in the square for a rest and one of my favourite pastimes – people watching. Afterwards, we headed into the labyrinth of cobbled streets and laneways. Discovering tiny spaces for doorways and stairs to where the locals live and even tinier spaces for street-level shops below. Offering everything from ‘I Love’ t-shirts and souvenirs to antique rugs.
If you love cats, then this medieval town is the place for you. They’re not my favourite animal, but how can you resist the descendants of seafaring felines that bask in their hundreds beneath the morning sun. Balancing lazily on tiny windowsills or lolling around on cool cobblestones in the shadow of wedged-together buildings and towering church steeples.
After our maze adventure amongst the narrow thoroughfares with lines of fluttering laundry above, we went to the lido where we discovered a bustling boat-hire trade. Available by the hour, half-day, or full-day. We opted for a half-day speedboat tour with our very own handsome Montenegrin skipper. He sped us away to the Blue Cave on the Lustica Peninsula, a few hours boat ride from the Old Town.
The iridescent blue in the cave is created from sunlight hitting the sandy seabed and reflecting up through the oh so clear water, just divine to dive into.
We then sped back to Perast, a tiny township not far along the coast from Kotor. With its palm tree-lined lido and lively restaurants and cafés along the waterfront. We were there to visit the unique and quaint Our Lady of the Rocks church – jutting out of the sea on a man-made islet a literal stone’s throw from Perast’s waterfront. With the first stone thought to have been laid in 1452, the little church and museum sporting vibrant blue domes, were a welcome calm away from the busy tourist crowds on the mainland.
Montenegro, meaning black mountain, is anything but … its mountains are rugged and majestic, its shoreline villages vibrant and bustling. It’s a must-do destination where old is cool – and cats are cooler!
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