Sunday, November 20, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011 – Kotor, Montenegro – Mostly Sunny - 70s

Distance from Brindisi to Kotor: 115 Nautical Miles

A nice day on the Dalmatian Coast – Our first time here…

While the ship made its way into the Bay of Kotor, a local guide described some of the sites.

Entering Bay of Kotor (Small)

Entering the Bay of Kotor

E and Bay of Kotor (Small)

Ellen on deck – Bay of Kotor

The Church of the Lady of the Rock sits on an artificial island in the Adriatic.  Sailors, responding to the discovery of a religious icon on a rock in the Sea (in 1452), started dropping rocks in the spot until an island was formed.  The island has certainly been improved using modern technology and today houses a church.  Rocks are only deposited annually these days.

A real island, St. George, houses a monastery and sports some trees.

Church of the Lady of the  Rock - Bay of Kotor (Small)

Church of the Lady of the Rock

St. George Island - Bay of Kotor (Small)

St. George Island

Cheking thngs out w guide (Small)

Ellen has questions for the on-board Guide

H and E approaching Kotor (Small)

On deck during the Sail In

Korot just around the bend (Small)

Korot just around the bend 1 (Small)

Kotor is just around the final corner

Already docked in Kotor is the Seabourn Odyssey.  We are going to be anchoring for most of the day.

Approaching Kotor and Seabourn Odyssey (Small)

Seabourn Odyssey docked in Kotor

Tenders getting ready in Kotor (Small)

Lifeboats being readied to tender passengers

Montenegro, a former republic of Yugoslavia, became an independent state on May 21, 2006 – one of the newest countries on the planet. 

Kotor, a walled city, is located at the end of the Bay of Kotor.  The ship will anchor for most of the day and then anchor around 6 PM and stay there until departure at 6 AM.

We are both on tour today – Ellen has a long tour and I have a short one – good for me because I need to catch up on my blog and pictures.

I reported to the Cabaret Lounge at 10:15 AM for my tour.  One of the Shorex folks came up to me and asked me where Ellen was.  He told me I need to take her tour and head for the tender now.  I hustled and did make the tender before it left. 

The guide for my tour - “Montenegro Highlights and Cuisine” was Ilia, who looked like Javier Bardem’s better looking brother. 

The bus is scheduled to climb the Lovcen Mountains for about 70 minutes making about 25 hairpin turns.  It does exactly that – backing up in some cases to allow opposing traffic to squeeze by. 

We stop to get some awesome panoramic pictures of the Bay of Kotor and the Adriatic.

 2011-11-11 Kotor International Airport (Small)

The International Airport (see the runway)

2011-11-11 Kotor Bay Quest and Seaborn Odyssey (Small)

View of Koror Bay (Small)

Bay of Kotor – Quest and Odyssey

2011-11-11 Bay of Kotor and Adriatic (Small)

Bay of Kotor and the Adriatic

2011-11-11 I was there (Small)

The graffiti really adds to this photo

Our first stop, in the mountain valley, is the village of Njegusi.  We are scheduled to have lunch in the restaurant below.  It’s a full lunch of salad, bread, veal, potatoes, donut holes (yes), cabbage, wine, dessert, and water.

 2011-11-11 Lunch Stop Kotor (Small)

Lunch in Njegusi

I asked the guide to see if I could get something not involving meat and the owner suggested a grilled vegetable plate.  Grilled zucchini and peppers, along with cabbage and some potatoes.  I also got a nice salad and wine and bread.  I actually liked the food – very tasty for all veggie.  I also had a nice cake for dessert and the red wine was very good.  I lucked out.

2011-11-11 Lunch on Tour Kotor (Small)

My lunch – yummy

We had a little time to check out a local vendor selling hats and other clothing – too pricey.

Vendors in Lunch Stop Kotor (Small)

Vendor shop near restaurant

Village for Lunch in Kotor (Small)

Houses in Njegusi

Our next stop, still in the valley, is the Old Royal Capitol of Cetinje.  This is the site of the Palace of Nikola, one of the kings of Montenegro (he was a contemporary of Tsar Nicholas II).  His Palace is now a museum.

Old Royal Capital Montenegro (Small)

Old Royal Capital Montenegro 1 (Small)

King Nikola Castle (Small)

Cetinje – Church, Statue, and Palace (top to bottom)

We spent about an hour in the Palace hearing about Nikola and viewing paintings and photographs of the Montenegrin royals of the time. 

From Cetinje, we started downhill toward the Adriatic Coast and the resort city of Budva.  Budva has an old town but has become a favorite tourist destination and party town.

2011-11-11 Down the hill to Budva (Small)

Down the mountain side to Budva

Adriatic Kotor Tour (Small)

2011-11-11 Adriatic and Budva (Small)  

Budva and the Adriatic

The bus let us off a few blocks from the old city and we walk to the walls and entrance.

2011-11-11 Budva Walking Tour (Small)

Fortification and adjacent restaurant

2011-11-11 Budva Narrow Streets (Small)

Narrow streets of Budva

2011-11-11 Ancient Basilica Budva (Small)

Ruins of an ancient Basilica in Budva

2011-11-11 Budva Citadel (Small) 

Budva Citadel

2011-11-11 Fortification in Budva (Small)

Fortifications and the Adriatic

2011-11-11 Marina in Budva (Small)

The Budva Marina

2011-11-11 Big Bell of Budva (Small)    

The Big Bell of Budva

2011-11-11 Sunset in Budva (Small)

Sunset in Budva

The ride back to Kotor was quite a bit shorter and faster since we went through a tunnel in the mountain.  The tunnel made me a bit antsy since it was very long, full of smoke, and in the middle of a seismic area (reminding me of driving through the Caldecott Tunnel in Berkeley).

It was dark now but I still got a picture of the Kotor Walls (ground level and up on the hill) and the Skurda River (below).

  2011-11-11 Kotor and fortifications at night (Small)

City walls and Skurda River

Kotor City Gate (Small)

Main Gate

Clock Tower Kotor - 1602 (Small)

Clock Tower (1602)

 2011-11-11 church from 1168 I think (Small)

Oldest church (1168 I think)

The centerpiece of the Old Town is probably the Cathedral of St. Tryphon.  The structure dates back to the mid 1100s and contains the remains of saints (according to our guide).  This is one of the oldest churches in Europe (older than Notre Dame).

Cathedral of Saint Tryphon (Small)

Cathedral of Saint Tryphon

Our tour ended at about 5:30 PM just about the time the Seabourn Odyssey was leaving the dock and our ship would be taking its place.  With some time on our hands, I checked for any WiFi signal.  I picked up a couple of free sites and was able to get on an check and send e-mails back home.

When I was done, all I had to was walk across the street to the ship.  It had docked but the gangway was not quite ready.

Once on, I was happy to find out that Ellen had gotten on a different long excursion.  (It turned out that the schedules changed overnight and we were operating on the original times).

For entertainment, we spent time with Jim Badger and saw part of the Folkloric show (Montenegrin choral singers).

   2011-11-11 Montenegrin Folklorico Group (Small)  

Montenegrin Folkloric Show

A really long but interesting day in Kotor, Montenegro.     

Pedometer: 6609 Steps; 3.13 miles; 324 calories

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