We left Sicily and cruised overnight around the boot of Italy towards the eastern coast of the Adriatic. Nothing was to prepare us for the stunning cruise up the Bay of Kotor. It was a perfect sunny day as we wound our way up through magnificent twists and turns. Click on the play button below as you brouse the slideshow, you will relive the experience we had complete with classical music. Oceania out did themselves that day!
Kotor, pop. 14,000, is a small city in Montenegro with one of the best preserved medieval old towns in the Adriatic. It is at the head of an ancient submerged river canyon, cut deep into steep limestone cliffs. Of interest to tourists arriving on cruise ships, it has a long history: from Roman times; Venetian and Ottoman rule; annexation by Italy during WWII; and being part of Yugoslavia. Montenegro now is an independent country, pop. 650,000 after peacefully separating from Serbia by referendum in 2006. It has it’s own language – Montenegrin. The Serbian Orthodox Church is its largest religious institution with Islam being next. Relations are peaceful.
We certainly enjoyed our visit there. We explored the town square before hiking up the steep rocky path to the old walls, the Castle of San Giovanni and St. John’s fortress high above the city. It was a very steep climb with narrow with broken steps here and there. You had to be very careful and in reasonably good shape. The views of Kotor and Kotor Bay from the top were breathtaking.
On our way back down we stopped to rest. It was here that we received a message that Dave’s nephew Nicholas and wife Shelly had just had their first child – Alexander – and everyone was doing well. What a nice place to receive such good news!
When we got down we noticed a lot of stray cats around. They have become a symbol of the city. Kotor has several cat stores and a cat museum, as well as the Cats’ Square. Water and food is left throughout the city for the cats to feed on, and cardboard boxes are often arranged to be a place for the cats to sleep in.
We continued wondereing through the narrow streets of old town marveling at the beauty, peacefulness and long history there.
Then it was time for some shopping and refreshments before heading back to Nautica in the evening.
Only one more stop before Venice.