Along the Montenegrin coast

The coast of Montenegro is inspiring and magical, and beckons you to stay for a week, a month, forever. The towns and villages are hardy stone communities protected by thick walls and hilltop fortresses. The terracotta roof tiles stand out from the white stone mountain slopes rising high above the water, in steep, uninhabitable slopes. It is stark and so very beautiful; the white slopes falling steeply into the calm blue waters.

I visited a few places along the coast, taking it slowly, reading my book on the beach, meandering though old cities, dodging the throngs of tourists off the cruise ships, and marveling at the great effort, skill and patience it took to build these tremendous stone structures.

My first stop was Budva, an easy place to reach but essentially a cheap and nasty resort town.

20120913-121004.jpg

20120913-121030.jpg

20120913-121041.jpg

20120913-121159.jpg
Budva Stari Grad (Old Town) and fish market.

Away from the crowded beach I ran and caught a bus to Kotor, on the Bay of Kotor, a large fjord ringed by steep mountains. The Old Town is magical and invokes images of the Venetian heydays, a walled city of winding streets and narrow steps leading up, up, up. High above the city is the fortress whose thick walls run up the rocky slopes to the edge of the canyon, creating a strategic military wonder.

20120913-122001.jpg

20120913-122028.jpg

20120913-122058.jpg

20120913-122105.jpg

20120913-122140.jpg

20120913-122236.jpg

20120913-122255.jpg

20120913-122528.jpg
Kotor Stari Grad.

The walk up to the fortress is a long and sweaty one, up stone steps and over crumbling pathways, but the view from the top is worth it. There are a few ways to get up and down, and I came down on a seldom used path on the west side, and had that side of the slope all to myself. Summer is dry here, the grass is yellow, the leaves brittle, and the stone walls of the fortress blend into the dry hillside.

20120913-123236.jpg

20120913-123249.jpg

20120913-123319.jpg

20120913-123339.jpg

20120913-123349.jpg

20120913-123425.jpg

20120913-123438.jpg

20120913-123453.jpg

20120913-123502.jpg
Kotor fortress.

The Bay of Kotor is ringed by many small villages, each squeezed between the sea and mountains, and each a living monument. Perast is one of the these. It breathes history and charm and called me to come in for a coffee, to put up my feet, to enjoy the view of the two monastic islands in the bay and stop for a while.

20120913-124048.jpg

20120913-124102.jpg

20120913-124112.jpg

20120913-124136.jpg

20120913-124151.jpg

20120913-124205.jpg

20120913-124211.jpg

20120913-124226.jpg

20120913-124236.jpg

20120913-124253.jpg

20120913-124306.jpg
Perast.

My suggestion: save up some Euros, find a room with a view of the bay, pack your book, learn how to brew strong Turkish coffee, get yourself here and stay for a while…

Advertisements

2 responses to “Along the Montenegrin coast

  1. Stacey, I am glad I was able to be a part of those meanderings along the shores of Kotor Bay. I hope you made it to Croatia safely – and I also hope our paths cross again! Perhaps in South Africa…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s