Reeling from last night’s epic outing at Club Revel in Dubrovnik, the group didn’t let shame and a polite hangover from exploring their city on their own while I stuck behind at the hostel catching up on some studying (still in residency y’know).
At around 2:30pm we returned to our hostel and hailed 4 cabs back to the bus station to catch the 3:30pm Blue Line Bus from Dubrovnik to Kotor. We reached the Croatia/Montenegro border at around 4:30pm.
The crossing itself took awhile as they made us get out of the bus one by one to be stamped out of Croatia, and then repeating the process again to be stamped into Montenegro.
Hilariously (at least to us), Ujas almost slept through the entire bus crossing while we were being stamped into Montenegro, leading him to almost missing getting his entry stamp (he even contemplated getting back on the bus without his stamp!). Our bus driver and another traveler admonished him how he could’ve gotten arrested, which just added to our stereotype that Americans may not always be the most savvy travelers.
The best part of the ride was when our giant coach bus boarded an actual ferry at around 6pm and sailed us across the Bay of Kotor.
We eventually arrived into Kotor Bus Station at 7:30pm, walking up north 10 minutes from there to enter its Old Town through the Puerta Principal:
After checking into our hostel at Montenegro Hostel, located in the heart of Old Town, we then headed out to briefly explore old town itself, which took no more than 20 minutes to first get lost in nearly every little alleyway (of which there are around 9 total, believe or not when you’re here) and end up back where we were.
But what a memorable 20 minutes it was. . .
Cathedral of Saint Tryphon:
Saint Nicholas Church:
The main boulevard:
We then walked a bit farther out from old town to eat at Tanjga Family Restaurant, the universally (TripAdvisor, Google, locals, etc.) recommended place to eat in Kotor for quality, affordable local food.
Afterwards we bought wine and champagne at the grocery store across the street and walked about 10 minutes south on the opposite bay, coming upon the docks for a great view of Kotor at night.
The lit up fortress literally makes it look like the hills are on fire.
We stayed out for about an hour over good wine and conversations before returning to our hostel via the southern gate.
The next morning we woke up at 7am for the obligatory morning hike up Kotor’s fortifications that were built during the Venetian period. 1.2km long and 400m high, its 1,360 steps couldn’t stop us from getting these sick views from Kotor Fortress located at the very top:
Just go early as they start charging you to hike up as early as 7:30am until 8pm. And the crowds starts getingt ridiculous at around 8:30am. It took us about 30 minutes to get to the very top.
At around 9:15am we hired a speedboat driver for 15 euros per person to take us to Our Lady Of The Rocks, an artificial islet off the coast of Perast in Bay of Kotor, created by sinking old ships loaded with rocks.
On it is The Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Rocks:
Legend has it that the islet was built over the centuries by local seamen who kept an ancient oath after finding the icon of Madonna and Child on the rock in the sea on July 22, 1452. Upon returning from each successful voyage, they laid a rock in the Bay. Over time the islet gradually emerged from the sea and the custom of throwing rocks into the sea on every sunset of July 22 continues, where local residents take their boats and throw rocks into the sea, widening the surface of the island.
However, what otherwise has been a successful morning of sightseeing, bartering, speedboating and hiking, a few people in our group have been afflicted with seemed like a gastrointestinal virus characterized by symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea. The body count is up to 4 at the moment and we’re all worried who will be the next to fall in these Game of Groans (and if we’re in a pun mood, Game of Thrones works too, if you think long and porcelain about it…).
We’re now about to find our private 11:30am bus to Podgorica that was arranged by our hostel. Today we’re going through Lovcen National Park by the old Austria Hungarian road, Boka Bay, the Mausoleum on Lovcen, the Royal Capital City of Cetinjue, and Lake Skadar before finally arriving in Podgorica this evening to meet up with 2 other monsooners who had arrived the night before.
See you then and wish us luck.
– At time of posting in Kotor, Montenegro, it was 68 °F – Humidity: 60% | Wind Speed: 2km/hr | Cloud Cover: sunny