Dubrovnik (Croatia) and Montenegro

Posted July 1, 2014 at 22:12

We made another 4am start from Polace on Mljet and sailed past Dubrovnik to Cavtat where we checked out of Croatia around 9am, had a swim along the way in the deep blue sea, and motor-sailed along to Zelenika in the outer bay of Kotor and checked into Montenegro, where the border officials are always welcoming and very friendly.  From there we could continue on into the inner bay, do a bit of sightseeing along the way and dock at Kotor before evening. Everything, including 'downtown' docking (35E/night), car rental (40/day), diesel (1.25/L) is much cheaper than in Croatia.  And Dubrovnik is less than an hour away by car :-)

The people of Perast were creating this man-made island for 300yrs from 30m depths...

The next morning we rented a car for a couple of days from the nearby outfit, same guy we rented from two years ago.  He gave me a nice black Mini-Cooper with a fold-back UK flag top.  Dora was thrilled she finally got a Mini!  We all piled in, headed to the nearest gas station and filled up - we were sure to use it all in the coming days.  Just as we were leaving town on an uphill, there was a bit of stop and go traffic - and our Mini could not be put into first or second gear anymore!  You shifted into gear, released the clutch and it was still in neutral!   Tried second gear, same.  Finally in third it grabbed, but you won't start uphill in third.  Back to first and lo and behold, it went, but 500m further up it did it again, and then it became obvious you can't take a car like this to the top of Lovcen mountain across countless serpentines.   We turned around and rolled-back downhill to the rental place - the guy was already gone, but his helper talked to him and promised he'll give us another car...   and to make this short and exclude the details of tense negotiations about the fate of the full tank of gas we put in the Mini, by noon we had a Chrysler minivan again with barely any gas in it, with the promise of another car for tomorrow with 'enough' gas for the rest of our planned trips. Well this Chrysler wasn't made to climb the Lovcen serpentines either (too big & automatic & too thirsty), so we went to Dubrovnik instead to celebrate a B-day ;-)

There, just outside the old city gates we found a very nice restaurant on a terrace overlooking the area with excellent food and Dubrovnik prices. Filled with fresh energy source we toured the old city core waiting for the scorching sun to set a bit before we scaled the walls  eventually finding a sunbrella-shaded refreshment spot below.

'We could have drinks here' - Look, a girl in the air, just having leapt off the cliff into the sea below (she swam to safety a minute later).

The lights of Kotor and its walls up the hill reflected in the water

We returned to Kotor taking advantage of short ferry ride at the isthmus of Kotor bay (see Perast tower pano below) and the narrow one-lane old road leading back through numerous equally old villages along the inner bay of Kotor.
The next day was windy and overcast, not amenable to a mountaintop visit, so on T's wish we visited the town of Perast and its famous church on a man-made island.

Hey Rob,... this one is still fixable!  ;-)


...vertigo... will this ancient wall crumble just now?

Here's a pano of the inner Kotor bay from the Perast bell-tower:

This is where we heard the story of throwing stones, scrapping old boats, and all kinds of other junk over 300 years, also as a kind of yearly ritual by the villagers, to create this island on which the church was later built.  Inside the church there are hundreds of silver plaques, paintings and relics by survivors of storms, shipwrecks and sea battles.
Having finished the tour of Perast by noon, we decided to cruise south along the coastal highway and visit a few other scenic places of the Montenegrin seaside.  We drove all the way to 'Petrovac na Moru' ('Peter's by the Sea') and had a nice seaside lunch where the largest waves washed over the wall to our feet while we ate.  Later we visited Budva, the small-Dubrovnik of Montenegro.

It required careful timing to cross the quay

Those guys were jumping in the sea at the end and then using the waves to lift them back up onto the wall.

Enjoying a drink later in Budva

So many Russian girls were posing here...

... that our girls felt compelled to do the same.

And by the evening we were back at the 'dock' in Kotor ...

- Z -