Kotor, Montenegro – a hidden gem

The secluded Bay of Kotor, winding deep into Montenegro, is considered a fjord.  Mountains line the waterway to the ancient walled city of Kotor.  It was beautiful sailing into the bay in the early morning.

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We sailed past the tiny islands of St George and Our Lady of the Rocks.

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St George was part of the fortifications of the Bay, protecting the area from ever being invaded.  The Rock (on the left) is the result of 500 years of rocks being dumped there.  The church was built in the 17th century and is used as a conference center today.

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We sailed past the small town of Perast, hugging the base of the mountains.

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See the rainbow?

At the end of the bay, Kotor is nestled at the base of a steep cliff.  It has never been damaged by war but has suffered several devastating earthquakes, the latest in 1979.  The city walls, almost 3 miles long, climb steeply up the cliff.  We did not walk these upper walls but we did see a few people from our ship make their way up.

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The main town gate leads in to the Square of Arms.  It is lined with little cafes. 

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The Bell Tower was once the location of the town pillory

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There are views of the wall, zig-zagging up the mountain, from many places in town.  

DSC02768 C The Wall above Kotor

The old town is quite small and we enjoyed wandering through the little haphazard streets. 

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DSC02788 C Town Band  DSC02792 -3 C Stitch

This was a treat, the town band marched by and stopped for a short concert on St Luke’s Square.  They played Souza band music!

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DSC02799 C  DSC02784 C St Luke's

Little St Luke’s church is from the 12th century.

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St Nicholas Church, built in the early 20th century, was having a service.  We were able to catch a glimpse of the priests in their finery.

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DSC02802 C  DSC02803 C St Nicholas

 

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This tiny church, St Michael’s, was built at the end of the 14th century.

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This is the Cats Museum of Kotor.  It gets awful reviews on trip advisor and the area smelled like a cat box so we did not go in!

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Are these“docents” sleeping on the job or are they an escaped exhibit?

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In mid-afternoon our ship sailed back through the winding Bay of Kotor, out to the Adriatic.  

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DSC02862 C Verige Strait

DSC02865 C  Lovely afternoon light.

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Dubrovnik – Postcard Perfect

The first port of call on our fall cruise was Dubrovnik, Croatia.  We hired a taxi with an English speaking driver who gave us a quick tour up to the top of Mount Srd where we had a fabulous view of the old walled city. 

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Old Dubrovnik is a fairytale town with only about 5000 inhabitants.  Modern Dubrovnik is outside the walls.  

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Our cab dropped us at the Pile Gate, the east entrance.  Inside we walked down the busy main street, the Stradun.   Shops and restaurants line this promenade.

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At the end of the street is Luza Square and the Bell Tower from 1444. 

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Also on the Square is Orlando’s Column, erected in 1417.  It was used as a platform for the town crier.  The Sponza Palace is from 1522.   

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This is St Blaise’s Church.  St Blaise is the patron saint of Dubrovnik.  He is always depicted holding a model of the city.  There is a legend that St Blaise came to a Dubrovnik priest in a dream and warned him of an attack on the city by the Venetians.  The city had time to prepare and the day was saved, hence his statue is all over town.

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There are several museums in old Dubrovnik but we chose instead to spend our time wandering the picturesque streets.

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DSC02643 C Rector's Palace  DSC02645 C

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DSC02661 C Serbian Orthodox Church  DSC02668 C Bell Tower

 

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A major “site” is the medieval wall.  You can walk along the top of the wall all the way around the city.  We waited for the crowds to thin in the late afternoon and walked the sea side of the wall. 

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Old Dubrovnik is a sea of orange tiled roofs.  The bright new ones are on buildings that were damaged in the war with Serbia in 1991.  Almost two thirds of the town was damaged or destroyed by cannons and mortars – it’s hard to imagine!

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The old port is on the west side of the city, now filled with pleasure boats.

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The wall walk continues along the high side of town but we were walked out and out of time.  So we made our way back to the ship to rest up for the next port.

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