Showing posts from September, 2015

Croatia and a couple of Balkans, day 3, day trip to Montenegro, Perast

The morning of our 3rd day in Dubrovnik we got up early and left for Montenegro and the Bay of Kotor, a scenic drive along the Adriatic Coast. We had with us Anne's copy of the excellent guide to Croatia by Rick Steves which I would highly recommend to anyone going there. He includes this drive in the Dubrovnik section as both are so close to the border.
As we went south the sky was a stunning blue with hardly a hint of cloud. We followed a minor road, crossing the border unhindered and getting a stamp in our passports.

We drove passed the large town of Herceg Novi. We would have liked to have stopped but time was short to achieve all that we wanted out of the day.
The bay is almost cut off from the sea and boats have to negotiate a narrow but deep channel known as the Verige Straits, marked on one side by a white steel structure.

Coffee time came and now in the bay proper, we stopped in the little, historic town of Perast. The sea was incredibly clear and Anne nearly made a desce…

Croatia and a couple of Balkans, Day 3 , Montenegro Kotor and the trip back to Dubrovnik

Kotor is yet another walled city sitting at the end of it's bay. We parked by the dock where an enormous cruise liner, the Viking Star which we had seen in Dubrovnik, was sitting while it's occupants were presumably taking in the sights of the old town. On the barren hill of St John rising behind Kotor was a steeply rising set of walls and forts which would have been interesting to have a look around, given enough time and stamina.They were first constructed by the Romans and been used by the Illyrians, the Venetians, the Ottomans, the Hapsburgs, Napoleonic France and even the Russians.

We looked around the city which is much smaller and scruffier than Dubrovnik. It contains a Roman Catholic cathedral, St Tryphon and two Greek Orthodox churches, St Luke and St Nicholas, both sitting in the same square. St Luke's is a very small rounded affair which we went inside before having a welcome drink at one of the cafés. It was built as a Catholic church and at one time both Roman…

Croatia and a couple of Balkans, Day 3 Montenegro, a little ham and cheese above Kotor

Carrying on our trip around the bay we decided to ignore the main town of Kotor for the moment and climb Mount Lovçen which lies at the end of the bay, directly behind Kotor. This is done in a series of 25 hairpin bends over 17km of narrow road which Anne negotiated with aplomb.
We stopped in a lay-by close to the top of the ascent to have some lunch and were enjoying the view until a coach of tourists stopped and engulfed us. We stopped and waited until they had driven away and we could continue our journey.

The top of the mountain broadens out into a green plain dotted with small farms and alpine-like houses. We carried on along the main road until we shortly came to the village of Pršut. Little did we know that this is the ham capital of Montenegro. We could see the small smokehouses and several homes were advertising ham and cheese for sale. We stopped at one and bought a couple of bags of sliced ham and an extremely tasty cheese. The mother who served us was extremely brusque bu…

Croatia and a couple of Balkans, day 2, a trip round the walls

We got back from Lockrum Island around 4.00pm, just in time to do the tourist trip of the walls of Dubrovnik.
The walls stand entirely encircling the old city and, although they were battered during the war they have been restored entirely. As you look down on the roofs from above you notice that most of the Roman tiling is new. In only a couple of places has the damage to the town been left untouched.
We walked up to the top of the walls at the Ploce Gate and went all the way round descending just before 6.00pm when they closed for the day. In the warm afternoon light the stone glowed beautifully.
Here are the pictures. At the end is a section featuring the washing of the city, of which I was now getting slightly obsessed! They are in the order of the trip apart from the 'washing' section where they are grouped together.