Bay of Kotor Cruise
Thurs.7th.June, Sipan – Dubrovnik – Kotor
The long journey to Kotor in Montenegro required an early start at 6.00, although breakfast was at 8.00 as usual. We arrived soon afterwards in Dubrovnik to complete the customs formalities which took 45min. The first part of the cruise gave views of Dubrovnik from the sea, but against the sunlight in hazy weather the visibility was not good. The absence of islands along this part of the coast makes the sea journey somewhat monotonous but finally at 13.30 we arrived at Zelenika for the Montenegro customs control, having passed through the entrance to the Bay of Kotor flanked by ruined forts shortly beforehand. The cruise within the bay is spectacular since it is divided into several arms separated by quite narrow passages and the mountains rise steeply from the water to heights of over 100m in places especially towards the end near Kotor itself. There we were surprised to see two enormous cruise liners at anchor dwarfing our little ship. We finally docked at 17.00 but could have done so at least an hour earlier if the berth had been available sooner. Still there was time before and after dinner for exploration of the old city which had seen occupation by many different powers over the centuries.
Fri.8th.June, Cetinje, Budva and Perast
On this day a land excursion had been arranged with a local travel agency, starting of course with a city tour of Kotor. We heard detailed descriptions of the major buildings many of which had been restored if not rebuilt following a devastating earthquake in 1979. Following this Kotor was declared a world cultural heritage center. A bus drove us up a steeply winding road with impressive views of the Bay of Kotor over the Krstac pass to the village of Negushi. We sampled the locally produced ham and sheep’s cheese for an early lunch before continuing to Cetinje, once the capital of Montenegro. A visit to the palace of the last king Nikolas I was well worthwile because of the original furniture having been preserved. The final destination was much visited holiday resort of Budva. After a short walk in the tiny old town by the sea most of us transferred to the adjacent Mogron beach. This is well known and therefore crowded but is indeed attractive. The return drive brought us to our ship anchored further down the bay at Perast, once a fishing village. There was a farewell dinner, for the first time on deck, and presentations of tips to the crew of the ship. The other passengers would spend another night on the ship in Dubrovnik but I was disembarking early the next morning.