Monday, September 24, 2012

holidays 2012- day 04: Dobrodošli u Crnu Goru

while i am up early and follow the cat walk of fame

cat(-)walk of fame, plat, croatia

to the beach in order to wake up properly, heinz turns over and sleeps some more. we're off towards the border around a quarter to nine, and along the way the scenery changes - more hills, mountains in view, cypresses stand like neatly folded dark green umbrellas. just like the guide books said, the croatians seem reluctant to let anybody go. why the procedures of checking passports for about 15 cars takes about an hour, is anyone's guess. a little further down the road, entering montenegro takes mere minutes.

our first stop is herceg novi, gateway to the bay of kotor. it's hot and sunny, and we park the car at the foot of some serious stone steps. think dubrovnik has many of them? think again! there simply isn't much space between the sea and the ubiquitous mountains, so it's up and down steps practically all the time. good and cheap workout! no wonder montenegrins can eat all those huge portions of food and still stay slim.

we wander around the old town, have a drink in the shade on trg herceg stjepana, opposite archangel michael's church, then head down to the sea for a walk along the beach.

njegoševa, herceg novi

eventually we find kayak montenegro, where we want to book a kayak tour for the next day. but - the friendly guy informs us that the weather forecast for the next day or even the next two days is bad, and we'd better come back or call after that. valuable information, though not quite what we wanted to hear.

so we drive on along the terribly beautiful road that runs along the fiord-like bay of kotor, stopping now and again to take a few pictures.

boka kotorska

due to the way it was formed, the bay is not a fiord, but it does remind me of both norway and new zealand, with the dark water and the mountains rising from it wherever you look.

we find a neat camp in a tiny place called morinj and set up our tent beneath mandarin trees. the awful weather forecast is confirmed by the owner, who urges us to look for a sheltered spot. the camp is situated next to a creek that serves as a natural fridge - it's a rather chilly 10 degrees! the small local beach is barely 5 minutes away, and while heinz spends most of the time there resting, i go for a long swim, while overhead clouds move in and darken the already grim-looking peaks even more. i even spot a perfectly duck-shaped cloud!

later that afternoon, we drive further along the bay to kotor. lovely views of the tiny islands just off perast and the bay itself.
our lady of the rock, off perast

kotor, proud of its UNESCO heritage listing, boasts an old town that is a maze of narrow lanes with tucked-away piazzas and plenty of old buildings, which remind me of parts of venice. the place is also full of stray cats, and a little ginger one seems to have adopted me, as it begins to follow me around.

my little feline friend, kotor

all this exploring makes us hungry, so we have a fabulous dinner of risotto with saffron and shrimps (me) and fish with potatoes (heinz). afterwards, we take another stroll to make some room for delicious ice cream, before taking some more pictures of nighttime kotor

square of arms, kotor

and the yachts of the super-rich down by the sea.

seriously big boat, kotor

photos of day 04

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