Monday, 3 August 2015

Montenegro – Sittin’ on the dock of the bay (of Kotor)

August 1-2

Hello everyone!

Next stop on the Balkan adventure is another country which is very young, becoming independent in 2006. Montenegro.






 The country is known for its stunning coastline (warning: most of the pictures you will see involve water). It is different from Albania and Kosovo as it is a well-established tourist destination. Places such as Budva and Sveti Stefan are packed with people from all corners soaking up the Adriatic sunshine.




Sveti Stefan


I passed these places in the morning on my way to the port of Kotor. Seeing Budva and Sveti Stefan from a distance was enough for me, particularly as you need to pay to visit the latter. I thus didn’t need to worry about travelling from town to town and was able to relax and fully appreciate Kotor.

Budva


An ideal relaxation method in Kotor
  
What is there to appreciate here? Well, look at the landscape and tell me if you’ve ever seen anything like it. Kotor is situated in a bay which is almost entirely surrounded by giant mountains. Their steep, rugged exteriors bound down sharply to the glistening water below. I don’t recall seeing a fjord before but this is the picture I have in my mind of what one is like. It has certainly set a high standard for any others to follow.

The Bay of Kotor


The stunning view of Kotor from the western mountain


 The old town, cordoned off by a wall which I expected to be higher, sits in the corner of the bay. The stone alleyways, smoothed by the pounding of people’s feet over centuries, are lovely to walk through. Shaded areas are preferable.

One of the three entrances


The smooth streets of the Old Town
  
The walls enclose a hotbed of modernity: restaurants, souvenir shops and ice-cream stalls, amongst various and B&B’s. Prices are, compared to my previous destinations, prohibitive: the cost of food wouldn’t be out of place in many western European cities. Kotor knows it is popular with tourists and has adjusted its prices accordingly.

Key languages: English and Russian


Kotor is also popular with cruise liners
  
Then again, places such as Kotor become tourist attractions with good reason. Just look at the panorama from the fortress. Simply breathtaking, and not just because it involves a steep hike in sweltering heat to get there.

Kotor's Old Town from the fortress


View from Kotor fortress
  
There isn’t really much else to say. My time in Montenegro has been short but very sweet. I’m interested to see how Kotor compares to my next destination, a place which seems remarkably similar but with remarkably more tourists: Dubrovnik, Croatia.





Love you all


Matt

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