Kotor Travel Blog› entry 5 of 23 › view all entries
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 .
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.
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.
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.