|Our ship entered the narrow Gulf of Kotor at the point of the arrow|
As we entered the mouth of the Gulf of Kotor, I saw the lights of the first Montenegrin city, Herceg Novi, "founded in 1382 and occupied at various times by Turks, Spaniards, Venetians, Russians, French, and Austrians." As we silently glided between the fog shrouded base of the mountains, stone houses with tile roofs appeared on the shore. A large sign saying "Land for Sale" in English appeared on one stone house facing the water, obviously meant to entice a visitor. I had read that Kotor has become a magnet for foreigners buying up land and homes from the "cash poor, land rich" people of Montenegro. Since the break up of Yugoslavia and Montenegro's vote for independence from Serbia in 2006, the main industry for Montenegro is tourism and cruise ships are bringing a lot more attention to this lovely area. Kotor is an UNESCO World Heritage Site for it's cultural and historical significance.
After going through a narrow strait into the Bay of Kotor, we finally arrived at Kotor.
|The fortified city of Kotor|
|The walls and the many steps up to the Castle of Saint Giovanni (St. John)|
and the Church of Our Lady of Health on St. John's mountain
|Our ship tied up just across from the ancient walled city|
|One of the gates into the Old Town|
|The stone walls|
|A Madonna and Child bas-relief on the the walls characteristic of the Christian settlement in the 15th century|
|Looking up toward St. John's Mountain|
|One of the many cafes in Old Town|
|A view of the narrow stone streets|
|Venetian-style buildings rise along narrow lanes.|
|The moat outside the walls of the old city|
|The walls going up the mountain behind the old city|
|Water of the moat|
|One of the many cats of Kotor atop a fountain|
|The Cathedral of Saint Tryphon|
|A Serbian flag flies from the window of an apartment|
We arrived at the village of Perast which is located on a little cape separating the Bay of Kotor from the Bay of Risan. Our driver recommended we take the water taxi to the little church (Our Lady of the Rocks) on a man-made stone islet for 5 euro. He would wait for us taking a coffee in the cafe.
|The Church of Our Lady of the Rocks on a stone island|
From the wikipedia page: "According to legend, the islet was made over the centuries by the 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. The custom of throwing rocks into the sea is alive even nowadays. Every year on the sunset of July 22, an event called fašinada, when local residents take their boats and throw rocks into the sea, widening the surface of the island, takes place.The first known church was built on the islet in 1452 and it was Serbian Orthodox. It was taken over by Roman Catholics and in 1632 the present Church of Our Lady of the Rocks was built.
|A staircase up to the second floor of the church|
|The bell tower of the church|
|St. George Islet with the St. George Benedictine Monastery|
as seen from Our Lady of the Rocks Church
|View of Perast from the islet|
|Venetian-style houses in Perast which was under the Venetian Republic for several hundred years|
|The view from Galion Restaurant|
|View of the restaurant and of our ship in the harbor|
After a leisurely dinner, we walked back to the ship by 9:30PM.
The ship left port for our next stop, Dubrovnik, Croatia, just 51 nautical miles north.