May 7, 2022. Our European journey continues from Sarajevo, Bosnia. That post can be found here: From Hungary to Serbia to Bosnia; Sarajevo and Mostar
Our G Adventures Balkan adventure continues!
The first border we approached from Bosnia to Montenegro was closed as there was a demonstration further up the road or something so our driver took a different route. The scenery along the road from Mostar is amazing!! Green mountains, snow capped mountains and some barren, rocky slopes all make the landscape amazing. The road snakes around mountains and through them. The approach to Kotor is spectacular and just when you think you’ve arrived, there’s another hour of driving around the bay.
The afternoon was spent just wandering the old town and getting to know it. Although small, it’s got little streets everywhere so we continued to get lost repeatedly. We checked out the hike to the fortress and walked along the city walls. That night we met with Slobodan, a friend of our guide Filip, who gave us great advice on tacking the whole fortress hike as we’d opted to do that rather than kayaking in the bay. He offered us trekking poles too which we gladly accepted.
The next morning after a hearty breakfast at the Hotel Marija, we met the taxi in front of the old town gate and drove the 30 minutes to the top of the hill. Many people think that going down is easier. When you’re really hiking it is not. I much prefer going up. However, Slobodan’s reasoning made sense. Going down we’d always have the view in front of us. He was right.
At first we had to pick our way down the hill as the path was mixed rocks and kind of treacherous. It gradually changed to more even rocks through a pine forest and became more of a switchback trail rather than straight down. Later the trees disappeared and the trail was in full sun. The switchbacks continued with a stone wall on the side and spectacular views of Kotor bay and all the way to the Adriatic Sea. That continued for 3 or 4 km and the fortress came into view. We came upon the house he told us about where they sell juices, beer, pop, prosciutto and cheese. A nice cold pomegranate juice was just the ticket as we sat and enjoyed the view. The girl pointed us in the direction of the fortress and we carried on. Slobodan said we could climb a ladder and go through a window but there was a sign there saying that was forbidden. Besides, it looked treacherous. So we contemplated it for a while till we saw a few others go through. It wasn’t pretty but we managed to scramble up and navigate the ladder and the window without hurting ourselves too badly. Many photos later (the fortress is very photogenic!) we continued down the 1,450 steps to town. That took us 4.5 hours. We didn’t rush it but our knees and toes were not happy. Ice cream helps.
Next we left the old city looking for a boat tour, ice cream in hand. The first fellow who asked us if we wanted a boat tour got our business. LOL. We opted for the 3 hour tour and saw the blue cave, the submarine tunnel, the Lady of the rock church and just enjoyed being a speed boat on the water. Oh! And we saw dolphins!
For dinner we treated ourselves to Cesarica where we both had squid done traditionally which means it was stuffed with squid. It came with a potato and chard mixture and all was delicious. Their house red wine is good too.
Twas a good day. Next stop, Dubrovnik!