KOTOR MONTENEGRO

KOTOR MONTENEGRO

Sunday September 24th

After we departed Venice, past the cruise ships, gondolas and other variety of boats out of the harbor we cruised at a slow 10 knots.We sailed the Adriatic towards Kotor Montenegro, our first port of call. The seas were virtually flat calm and the weather warm. There was nothing to do except, nap, read and eat. The food on this ship is superb so I've been eating twice as much as I usually do or so it seems. I've learned from our past three sailings on the Seabourn that many of the passengers tend to be retired, wealthy conservative Republicans. As a result, Lita arranges a table for just the two of us and keeps me separated from most guests. But, last night was our formal dinner and I wore my tuxedo to the captain's reception. Apparently, mistaking me for a fellow conservative Republican two other couples sat with us. Or perhaps there was no other room. This was first real conversation I've had since being on the ship and the woman next to me fit the usual suspect role. I'm afraid we didn't get on all that well, but I think I can avoid her or perhaps she will work hard to avoid me. I think this is the last time I wear the tuxedo on the cruise.

We had a full day at sea and a night before arriving early this morning at the entrance to Kogtor Bay, a lovely fjord with tall green hills and small villages along the water. All the buildings are cream colored with red tiled roofs. This fjord extends 17 miles inland. The waters are green colored and clear.

The town of Kotor has tall mountains behind and is walled from the water up the mountain and around back to the sea, a distance of over five miles. The guide books says if you walk to the top (which seems to be the only way  to get there) allow 3.5 hours minimum. It's rock walls are 50 feet thick in places. On the way up there is a church and at the top a castle or fortress which is 850 feet above the bay. It was built over centuries to defend against such invaders as the Turks. There was a disastrous earthquake in 1979 that created a lot of destruction, but under the UNESCO World Heritage it was restored.

Our guide met us at the dock and we walked through the main gate for a tour inside the town. There are multiple squares with shops and narrow streets. Two other cruise ships are in town, but we seemed to have avoided them on this morning tour. After that we drove to the nearby village of Perast 8 miles away. He drove on the water side road and not the highway. This is the very narrow winding road along the shore line with houses on one side and stone piers on the water side. Boats are tied there and people are fishing from the piers or sitting under umbrellas reading. There are large palm trees and flowers and it is lovely.

In  the bay outside the town there are two islands side by side. One has tall trees growing all around a large church like structure. The other has a larger church on it. This island is man made and the church is Our Lady of the Rock. Built in the 15th century. The other island is St George and the building is a Benedictine abbey founded in the 11th century. On the shore of the village is a church with an extremely tall and narrow steeple. Cars are not allowed along the only street along the water. It is very beautiful to see.

We drove back to Kotor and continued  through the town up the mountain to a view point looking out over the bay. Our ship was at anchor. Her sister ship, the Seabourn Odyssey, a much larger ship is tied to the dock and anchored further out is a large six masted sailing ship which is also a cruise ship. The narrow fjor extended out and around the corner out of sight. It was a wonderful way to end our visit.

We leave today at 4:00 for Greece.

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