Thursday, 17 October 2013

Making for Montenegro

Montenegro is a small country south of Croatia, with an area of about 5,000 square miles and a population of just over 600,000. As Dubrovnik is situated right at the bottom end of Croatia, it was only a short hop for us to visit Montenegro for a day.
One of its claims to fame is the Bay of Kotor. This is sometimes described as the Mediterranean's best fjord, and indeed it's characterised by steep mountain slopes dropping into inlets that go deep into the land. We wound our way around the beautiful scenery until we reached the small town of Perast, looking back at the entrance to the bay. From here you can gaze at two lovely islands in the middle of the bay. We had a trip booked on a boat out to one of them, called Our Lady of the Rocks (on the right in photo above).What a gorgeous spot! Tradition says that the island was built up over years by sailors bringing stones from their travels. There is a delightful small church and tiny museum of local life.
Back on the mainland we were soon at the furthest point into the bay, the town of Kotor itself (above). Like Dubrovnik, this has preserved its walls. I was a bit put off by a big cruise liner parked right outside the gate, but once inside the walls, we were all swallowed up in this old city. After lunch we were to celebrate Mass at a small church dedicated to Blessed Osanna, a local anchorite or hermit, rather similar to Dame Julian of Norwich. As we emerged the rains came. Some made a dash for the cathedral, others for the cafe. Having read a book about the cathedral... I dashed for the cafe!
We continued round the bay, through a tunnel and across the narrow entrance on a ferry, and we were soon back at the hotel.   My brother tells me that the former miniature capital of Cetinje is fascinating, if rather inaccessible. The modern capital is Podgorica. So we only had a taste of Montenegro - but it was a very tasty taste too.

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