Sailing into the Bay of Kotor, in the front of Zelenika, the first Montenegro customs port, by radio, we tried to announce our arrival, but to no avail. Montenegro flag on the right and yellow, in maritime jargon called “Q” flag, were fluttered on the first cross of the mast, therefore we freely agreed to the customs pier. Wind and waves pounded out the ship to the shore, which was a problem for a longer retention on the dock. It was four o’clock in the afternoon. Peter immediately grabbed a folder with documents prepared and went to the harbormaster’s office, customs administration and the police. The procedure is protracted and waiting seemed endless. During that time I watched the ship and its safety. My husband is very familiar with Montenegro, so he had a great desire to sail into Boka. When he showed up with a red label and a smile on his face, I knew everything was all right. Releasing the ropes with cleats dock, we sailed to Tivat.
If I had to describe Montenegro with only two words, surely it were the words: Mountains and Sea. Montenegro is a small Mediterranean country with fascinating mountains, beautiful coastline, very old towns and famous history, while the Montenegrins recognized by a caring relationship with a woman and love for his sister and mother.
Porto Montenegro in Tivat, located in the city center. Blinded us to its modern and luxurious look. Palm trees that have seen already from the entrance to the marina, reminded the tropics. Hotels, promenade, shops and services are provided high standard. “J 09” was a mark of our pier along which we easily tied. After kebab, fried potato and tomato salad, which I prepared for dinner, we took a walk along the waterfront, sat down in a restaurant and had a drink. Tivat is nice place and it is not surprising me, as many of kotor’s nobility had their summerhouses here. One of the most famous is summer residence of the family Buca. On weekends, in those beautiful summer nights on the waterfront, is organizing an exhibition and handicraft market in which we particularly enjoyed. We met and became friends with a few people who are proudly exhibited their works of art. One of the most impressive, for Peter, was Montenegrin folk fiddle, musical instrument. Happy and full of impressions we returned to the boat and went to sleep.
At the entrance to the Bay of Kotor there is the Austro-Hungarian fortress Punta Ostro, which dates back to the 19th Century. She’s about fifty meters, and an imposing stone building, which was once, defended the monarchy against attacks from land and sea. Boka Kotorska is an ambient of great contrast. He left a strong impact on me and I experienced it in my own way. While in one part the rocky mountains rising up from the sea, in the second part there are botanical gardens. Historical sites of ancient civilizations have been merged into a single fund. Mimosa, camellias, palms, pomegranate, agave and lemon, are only part of a wide range of plants in this area.
While Meermowe slightly sailed inside the part of the Bay of Kotor, by view we followed the winding highway that linked the chain of small towns and cities along the coastline. Whichever part of this magnificent mosaics that I looked at, always seemed to me more beautiful than the last. At that moment, I wanted to have a great camera, that those hundreds of pictures, which I did with my little Sonny camera, to unite in a single and evoke that magical beauty.
On the way to Morinj, where we decided to anchor and spend the night, we were refreshed by a pleasant breeze from Verige, the channel behind which there are two picturesque islands, St. Juraj, covered with lush vegetation and slender cypress trees, which because of its mysterious appearance, was the inspiration to many artists to have their works and Our Lady of the Rock, where there is a votive shrine sailors. He was made by a constant filling of stones and still continues today. Morinj is located deep in the fjord, at the foot of a high mountain range. In the bay we arrived in the early afternoon. Looking at the place from the ship seemed to be all that we can see here, is on those few minutes walk on the main road. We were not aware of how we were mistaken. Without wasting time, we took the dinghy and went to the shore. We got off the main road and by walking, we came to the old mill. Passing across the bridge, through the alley of reeds, we entered into an enchanted world of beauty catering attractions in the family restaurant Čatović. While we were drinking coffee, around us has flowed the water. We enjoyed the view of the birds, the old stone bridges that are hovering over canals of little rivers as well as the overall atmosphere that reveals the hidden beauty of Morinj. Darkness was already down when we returned to the ship. The night we spent more vigilant than we were sleeping. As the wind blew strongly and the waves rolled us on all sides, we were sliding towards the neighboring board. Immediately we raised anchor and change position. The morning we met sitting and drinking coffee in the cockpit. The weather calmed down and by eleven o’clock we decided to hike to the Upper Morinj. Four kilometers curving ascent led us to the foot of the mountaintop. Along the way we picked and ate figs and berries, drank cold spring water, and enjoy the beautiful view of the bay. Passing through the village, in which still living only two old women, we have come to the old school, the first on the Balkans on the national language, and today museum. Our hike ended at a stone bridge, and the road still continued to Herceg Novi. With a good mood, we returned to the ship. The effort has paid off for one such experience, no matter what my husband constantly complained about the slope and heat. That evening, we sailed to Risanj because of bad weather followed by heavy rain and thunder, and the next morning we went to Kotor.We sailed into the marina in the city center. Main road separated us from the market fruits, vegetables and local products and “Gate of the Sea”, the main entrance to the old town. From the boat, we enjoyed the view of the old fortress of Kotor. To avoid strong sun and high heat, this afternoon we spent on the boat. We studied ARC scripts for crossing the Atlantic, we have sent several mails and fix some minor things on board. After dinner we took a walk and got acquainted with the city. According to myth, the Colchians, members of the Phoenician tribes, finding himself in the stern Argonauts, Jason, Hercules, Theseus … in pursuit of a symbol of all the maritime resources, the Golden Fleece, founded Kotor. He is as old as the sea trade in the Adriatic. This is one of the few Mediterranean cities known as the city-maze, which makes it very special. Although are available maps of the city, it is easy to get lost in this maze of baroque squares with unusual names, Square of Arms, Market of Salads, Square of Milk …
Being in Kotor for me, means not only feel the spirit of the most beautiful fjord in the Mediterranean, but also the spirit of the Bay of Kotor, what makes him a unique.
The next day we decided to climb to the top of the fortress. Fort St. Ivan, or as popularly called San Đovani, is located above the ramparts of the old town.
It starts with stairs that leading to the top of the fort. Climbing up, we enjoyed a fantastic view of the entire bay. Special lights that make her more impressive illuminate the ramparts of the fort at night. Pictures of Kotor and the Bay of Kotor from the top of the fortress, I cannot describe in words, but first need to experience. In Kotor we stayed there for three days, after which we were on course for the city of Bar, for us the last Montenegrin port.
From Kotor to Bar we sailed about five hours. The weather was quiet, peaceful and very hot. During the trip several times we turn the engine off and floated on the water to enjoy jumping and swimming. Dino and Pipo enjoyed the shower in the shade of the cockpit. Near the port of Bar we found ourselves near the brown shadow that lurked just below the surface of the sea. I thought it was a hidden stone cliff. Pipo started yelling, “Land on the sight, land on the sight”, while Dino quieting him “no drama pumpkin, it is too small to be any land.” That moment when I wanted to warn my husband, we noticed that the brown surface moves. “It’s a sea demon” was Dino’s comment. We were very excited to find out what actually happening. The reply we received when we came closer. It was a huge turtle with brown armor diameter of about 1 meter. “Hey Dino, it would be great to surf on it,” said Pipo, what Dino said, “Cool.” Meermowe quickly progressed and she was left behind us and disappeared into the depths of the sea. In late afternoon, we sailed into Marina Bar. While I performed routine tasks, Peter dealt with paperwork with the management of the marina. Before going to bed we walked the picturesque waterfront, which was full of people and vendors on the market. There I bought two beautiful large shells, which are local fishermen caught in the large network along with the fish. Whatever they are no longer in the sea, when you put shell to the ear you can still hear the sound of the sea, as a sea story.
Staying in Bar we did not want to miss an opportunity go by bus to visit Sveti Stefan. The island is connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus and is the most luxurious summer resort, both in Montenegro and the Adriatic Sea. The fortress surrounded by walls completely transformed into a “hotel-town” and can only be organized to visit with a high price. The streets, walls, roofs and facades kept their original shape, and the inside of them got the most contemporary hotel comfort. Among the celebrities who have stayed in Sveti Stefan are numerous film stars: Sofia Loren, Kirk Douglas, Sylvester Stallone, writer Alberto Moravia, Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis and Soviet cosmonauts led by Gagarin.
We climbed the stairs over the hill and walked past the King’s beach while the Queen’s beach entry allowed only to hotel guests. From the many beaches that belonged to the hotel, just on one, which was flooded with swimmers, were free to swim. We had no great interest to hold for a long time in Sveti Stefan, so we already at three o’clock waited for the bus for Bar. Who knows how long we would stand at the station, had he not come taxi driver Dino. For the price of bus tickets we decided to go with him. For a little more than half an hour of journey, how long it took us to get to the Marine Bar we met and became friends. Dino loves Bar, is very proud to live here and knows a lot about the city. Knowing about our adventure he wanted to show us the old town, which is six kilometers away from Bar. The road, which took us into the hills, the view goes on the oasis of olive trees, which covered the entire region. We stopped for a moment to enjoy the view of the beautiful Muslim shrine, whose magnificent building rises at the foot of the old town. We reached the main entrance to the walls, from which the hill runs a road full of shops and greatly reminds the Sarajevo township. While we were walking along the old cobbled streets and squares, Dino was waiting for us in a restaurant. The Old Town Bar is a fortress that is for centuries, been the center of Bar, as long as the city has not moved lower, in the field. Today it is abandoned and is in ruins, which bear witness to the once successful shopping center. There, during the Middle Ages, have minted copper coins, and later silver dinar. Hour and thirty minutes it took us a tour of the fort and enjoy how the traces of the past, as well as beautiful views of the suburb, today’s old town. Hour and thirty minutes it took us a tour of the fort and enjoyment in the traces of the past, as well as in beautiful views of the suburb, today’s old town. In the store of old stuff, my husband bought for the souvenir a beautiful copper Turkish coffee set. There we met with a tall, young and very dear merchant Nedzad, whose dreams are traveling. We said goodbye to him and went to look for our friend Dino. Before returning to the marina, he also drove us to the oldest old women of Europe, old olive tree, the symbol of Bar. It is located in the village Mirovica, on the way to Ulcinj. This, legally protected monument of nature is more than 2000 years. The scope of the tree is 10 m and is surrounded by a protective fence. Legend has it that was held around the olive meetings of feuding families and at that point there was reconciliation. The olive symbolizes peace, wisdom, strength and durability, and what she is among the plants, it is a dove among birds. On the way back to the marina, with great gratitude, we said goodbye to our friend, the taxi-driver. Certainly is that we were not at the bus station Sveti Stefan that moment, would never have met Dino and by leaving Bar we could be deprived of one of such knowledge.