Monday, September 30, 2019

Kotor, Montenegro - A Picturesque Wonderland


Kotor, Montenegro was the last port of our amazing Mediterranean cruise vacation.  We were excited to see this beautiful country in the waters of Boka Kotorska, a bay of the Adriatic Sea, surrounded by the Lovecen and Orjen mountains.  We planned on waking up early to enjoy the view of the magnificent fjord as the ship cruised through it to get to the port.  We weren't able to see much though because it was raining and overcast as we pulled in.


On the top of our must-see list, and the first sight on our itinerary of the day, was St. John's Fortress.  The view from the fortress was not to be missed, we heard, but because of the rain, we thought that climbing the 1,350 steps to get to St. John's might be a little difficult and very hazardous.  So we bought Soko an umbrella at the first shop we came to. he always forgets to pack one, and made our way to the Old Town of Kotor.  We would spend time looking around here until it stopped raining.  We didn't need to find transportation to get into the town as it was within walking distance of the port.


Lonely Planet named Kotor "#1 city to visit in the world" in 2016.  We could see why.


We headed to Saint Tryphon's Cathedral.  We had this cathedral on our list of places to see but we weren't sure if we would have time to go inside when we were making our plans.  It didn't look like we would make it to the fortress today so we decided that we would definitely be going in to get out of the rain for awhile.


We were so glad that we did go in.  This cathedral was very beautiful.


On the second floor of the cathedral, there was a balcony where we had a view of the town and saw that it was still raining.



Also on the second floor of Saint Tryphon's, named for the protector of Kotor, there was a museum where we found a collection of local dress, weapons and artifacts.  We were lucky that we found somewhere interesting to be while we waited, and hoped, for the rain to stop.  



The rain did eventually stop and the sun came out but it was still a bit wet outside so we stopped to enjoy a cup of coffee and hot chocolate at a cute little cafe while we waited for the sun to dry the stone steps leading to St. John's Fortress.


Kotor is the home of hundreds of cats, descendants of seafaring felines.  The first cat we bumped into here joined us as we climbed the first 50 of over 1,000 stone steps on our way up to the fortress.


I have to admit I was very happy to see the Church of Our Lady of Health on our way up.  I was hoping for a pew to sit on for a few minutes but there was no pew to be found here.


After our brief stop at the church, we were on our way to conquer the hundreds of steps we still had to go on our way up.  We encountered the ruins of many fortifications along the way and I hoped that they were actually the fortress itself and even tried to convince Soko that we had made it.  He didn't fall for it.


Soko found another friend here.


I am so glad that Soko did push me to not give up.  We finally got to the top, only because Soko helped me by carrying my bag and jacket. 


 The view of the fjord that we missed in the morning was spectacular.  


There wasn't very much of the fortress left to see but we are happy to know we did make it to the top to see it.


The trip down was a pretty hairy experience.  Even though it stopped raining, the stone steps were still damp.  I felt a little bit of slipperiness on the way up but the steps felt steeper and wetter on the way down.  I made sure that I had a hold of Soko for most of the way down and if I hadn't had him on one side and a small wall on my other side I would have gotten really hurt sliding off the steps.  My left arm was killing me after I grabbed the wall to keep from falling though.  My advice is not to attempt to climb on these stone steps if they are wet.  Unless you are an athletic, young person.  I couldn't believe these two young guys I saw running down the steep stone steps in flip flops!


I was so glad to get back to Old Town without another close call.  Now it was time to find the Church of St. Mary Collegiata in Wood Square.  (It was a good thing that we printed up directions from Google maps before our trip.  We were just getting the hang of using the GPS on my phone but the European sim card we bought before we left didn't work here so we couldn't use it.)  We heard that many of the cats of Kotor congregate at St. Mary's and I couldn't wait to see them all.   What a sight to see!  We had never seen so many adorable cats in one place like that before.  


We had a little time left before we had to get back to the ship so we stopped at Bokun, a little cafe where we had pizza.  The personal size pizza was a lot larger than we thought they would be.  They were absolutely delicious, but we should have only ordered one to share!


Lunch took a little longer than we expected so we now had to hurry a bit to get back to the ship on time.  Well, we thought we knew where we were going and then realized we were walking around in circles.  We did panic for a while but then I remembered my sister's advice to ask someone for directions if we got lost.  Lots of people around the world speak English she told me.  So that's what we did and we were pointed in the right direction towards the cruise ship port.

I took one last picture with a cute little kitty before we left.


And then we took one last look at beautiful Kotor, Montenegro as our ship left the port. 


The Mediterranean cruise that we dreamed about taking for many years is just a memory now but a memory that we will cherish forever!

8 comments:

  1. What an interesting and scenic place! Beautiful architecture. And awesome kitties! I’ll admit my knees hurt just reading your account of traversing the 1000 steps to the old fortress.

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    1. Hahaha! Yes! So glad we got plenty of pictures so I will not have to ever climb those steps again!

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  2. That view! It's completely incredible. And what a way to end your cruise. It looks steeped in history and seemingly unspoilt by tourism. What a gem. Thanks for sharing with the #DreamTeam.

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    1. It was incredible! Thank you for stopping by and for hosting your nice party every week!!

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  3. Looks like an interesting place to visit! Thanks so much for linking up at the #UnlimitedMonthlyLinkParty 5. Shared.

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    1. It was someplace we would love to return to one day!

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  4. WOW! what an incredible trip! So beautiful! And that pizza looks amazing.

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