Day Tripper

Kotor Travel Blog

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Best View Of Bay Of Kotor

Up at 7am and fired down a few cups of tea to bring myself to, and armed with a bottle of Irn Bru we left about quarter to eight to make out way up to the car park where we were told we would be leaving from . There was a minibus there waiting for us and the girl that we had booked the trip with was there as well. We piled onto the minibus and made a couple of stops at hotels to pick folk up and in the end there were 10 of us heading for Montenegro,the 4 of us, a Greek woman, a Japanese couple and 3 Swedish women.Our driver and guide was a guy called Mikael,who was an old guy who said he had worked in the tourist business in the former Yugoslavia, but now just helped out when required.  

Drove out of Dubrovnik, back in the direction of the airport, and Mikael stopped the bus just up in one of the parking bays overlooking the Old Town for us all to get a few snaps.

Stari Grad Of Dubrovnik
That done it was back on the bus and about a 30min  drive to the border. All the way, and for the whole of the day, Mikael gave a running commentary of the places and history of the places we were passing. It was then another 30 minutes to get throught the Croatian check point, and unusually, for these border crossings, it was about a 2 mile drive until we reached the Montenegran border control where we had another 30 minute wait. Paperwork all duely completed and passports stamped we headed into Montenegro and the first place we came to was Herceg Novi a not particularly nice looking town on the coast. Luckily we weren't stopping, though like almost everywhere else it did have a Stari Grad signposted, so no doubt it would have been nicer there.
Chapel of Our Lady Of The Rocks
Mikael did point out the Bloody Tower, dating back from Turkish times, and with a history appropriate to the name given to it.

Onwards we went and through the town of Kamenari, where there was a ferry crossing that would cut out the drive round the bay, but Mikael said you could wait as long for the ferry as it would to drive, so we pressed on. A bit further along in the bay we pulled in and got out to take in the two churches built on islands in the bay. One is a natural island, the other man made, by sailors apparently. The natural island has the Orthodox church of St George and on the man made one is the Catholic Chapel of Our Lady Of The Rocks, and they look impressive sitting side by side in the water.

A few miles on we hit Kotor, which actually is a 'thin' town that stretches along the coast for about 5km.

St Tryphon's Cathedral
We parked close to the main town centre, and Mikael said he wasn't supposed to but, he would guide us around the town. Something to do with the company having agreements with local guides and vice versa for them going to Dubrovnik, but he didn't care what his boss said :-D. As we walked round towards the Old Town here you could see the City Walls built all the way up the steep mountain behind the town. At the gate to the Stari Grad there is a communist memorial to the liberation of the town in 1944 .

Once inside the Old Town, those that wanted to do their own thing went off while we stayed to try and make the most of our time with Mikael showing us around. We walked though the narrow streets and round to St Tryphon's Cathedral with it's two odd towers, as one is original going back to about 1200 and the other was destroyed in an earthquake in 1667 and replaced with a completely different style.

Kotor Orthodox Cathedral
We went round the town and Mikael was really annoyed as he pointed out a Venitian style house where there had been a lion decorating the wall above it, and had been there for over 500 years and that Partisans had taked a hammer and chisel to it all after the war as there was latin writing underneath it :-O. To him it was criminal.

Next we wandered round to another square where at one end there is the Orthodox Cathedral and dwarfed beside it the Catholis St Luka church. Apperently during the height of the trouble in the region the Orthodox Church threw everything out of St Luka and took it over, though it has now been returned to the Catholics. Mikael then took us out of the city walls and into the local market which was in full swing.

St Luka Catholic Church
Loads of fresh fruit and veg on sale and then in the inside market was cheese and fish, with fishmongers gutting and skinning the fish in front of you. Wandered back past the main port area and there was a big cruise ship, MSC Armonia, that had passed us in the bay, docked in the harbour. We would later catch up with the ship in Venice :-D. With everyone back together we headed for the minibus and drove another 30 mintues to the town of Budva.

We went off on our own this time, with my wife and son wanting to go to the beach here,and my daughter and I went looking around the Old Town which was very small and didn't take to long. Came out of the walls there and found a big bell, which I thought very interesting, but found out it is actually made of wood and comes from a 1960's 'The Long Ships' movie set .

Stari Grad Of Budva
We carried on and walked up into the new town, before eventually heading back down to find the others on the beach. They weren't overly impressed with the stoney beach and only my son went  in the water and found it kind of slimey. Lay about on the beach for a while, with me and the kids getting bored and gently lobbing stones at each other, as you do :-D. Decided to go and get something to eat and drink and headed up to a cafe at the front and got some hamburgers. Met up with the Swedish women in here and at 4pm we had to make our way back to the bus and the drive back to Dubrovnik.

Took the back road out of Budva and Mikael drove up through the hills and stopped above Kotor. Has to be one of the most stunning bits of scenery I have ever seen.

Bell In Budva
Even looking at the photos, which I think are amongst the best I've ever taken, it still doesn't do it justice as it misses out all the other sensory aspects of being there.

Drive back wasn't to bad and the wait at both the border control posts wasn't as bad as in the morning. Once back into Croatia Mikael went off on one, berating the things that were wrong with Croatia these days, citing various instances of government corruption, and like many we came across actually hankering for a return to the days under Tito, which for many in the former Yugoslavia seems to be considered a Golden Age, with practically free movement, little unemployment and major social improvements in housing and infrastructure.  We got back to Dubrovnik and went in through the far end of town,as we dropped off the Greek woman,Helle, at the Bus Station, before being dropped off ourselves back at the car park where we started around 7pm.

At Dinner In Dubrovnik

Went back to the apartment to get changed and headed out for something to eat. Went to the nearest restaurant to the apartment and turned out to be a good shout. Food was really good, they had full length glass windows and doors, so we got to sit and eat outside and I could still look in and see the telly and watch the World Cup 8-). Weren't in any great rush since we had planned a later start for the following day.     

andytite says:
I'm going to Coroatia and hoped to do this excursion - thanks for the information, it sounds great! Thanks for this.
Posted on: Aug 02, 2010
Marius1981 says:
i need to get back to montenegro and see kotor as well
Posted on: Jul 19, 2010
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Best View Of Bay Of Kotor
Best View Of Bay Of Kotor
Stari Grad Of Dubrovnik
Stari Grad Of Dubrovnik
Chapel of Our Lady Of The Rocks
Chapel of Our Lady Of The Rocks
St Tryphons Cathedral
St Tryphon's Cathedral
Kotor Orthodox Cathedral
Kotor Orthodox Cathedral
St Luka Catholic Church
St Luka Catholic Church
Stari Grad Of Budva
Stari Grad Of Budva
Bell In Budva
Bell In Budva
At Dinner In Dubrovnik
At Dinner In Dubrovnik
Fort On Lokrum
Fort On Lokrum
Croatian Border Post
Croatian Border Post
Entering Montenegro
Entering Montenegro
Ferries At Kamenari
Ferries At Kamenari
Cruise Ship In Bay Of Kotor
Cruise Ship In Bay Of Kotor
St Georges Orthodox Church
St George's Orthodox Church
Island Churches Side By Side
Island Churches Side By Side
Bay Of Kotor
Bay Of Kotor
Turret At Sea End Of Kotor walls
Turret At Sea End Of Kotor walls
North Gate To Kotor Stari grad
North Gate To Kotor Stari grad
Ugly Puppets In Kotor
Ugly Puppets In Kotor
Clock Tower In Kotor
Clock Tower In Kotor
Front Of St Tryphons
Front Of St Tryphon's
House Where Patisans Chiseled Away…
House Where Patisans Chiseled Awa…
Hill Over Kotor
Hill Over Kotor
Kotor Market
Kotor Market
Fish Stall In Kotor Market
Fish Stall In Kotor Market
MSC Armonia In Kotor Port
MSC Armonia In Kotor Port
View Of Bay From Kotor Harbour
View Of Bay From Kotor Harbour
Budva Marina
Budva Marina
Walls Of Budva Stari Grad
Walls Of Budva Stari Grad
Budva Gate
Budva Gate
Clock In Budva
Clock In Budva
Sveti Nikola Island Off Budva
Sveti Nikola Island Off Budva
Kotor Harbour From Above
Kotor Harbour From Above
Hills Above Kotor
Hills Above Kotor
Leaving Montenegro
Leaving Montenegro
Kotor
photo by: benwielenga