|KOTOR OLD TOWN FROM THE WALK UP TO THE FORTRESS|
KOTOR, MONTENEGRO 7TH OCTOBER 2013
With Steve and Jenny back in harness in the U.K., Anne and I were on the road again by ourselves. We decided to enrol in another passive smoking session on a bus to Kotor, Montenegro. No one else smoked on the non smoking bus except the driver. We sat up the back and avoided the worst of it.
Kotor is an old, old town first mentioned in 168 BC. Some say the southern-most fjord in Europe, but Wikipedia says it is a ria, a submerged river canyon. Either way it's on the Adriatic but deeply indented and sheltered, set against a stunning picturesque backdrop of steeply rising mountains. We arrived there in the rain with clouds swirling below the peaks. It's fantastic and a place that will certainly be on our sailing itinerary in the future.
The clouds parted long enough the next day for us to walk up to the old fortress built circa 535 high above Kotor old town and get some decent views. We timed it well with heavy rain starting to fall just as we got back. While we were up there, we bought some authentic home made cheese from a little farm on the mountain. It was delicious but overpriced. We considered it a donation to the farmer who sealed the deal with some surprisingly smooth home made rakia, a popular Balkans fermented fruit number.
It makes your head spin trying to grasp how many times Kotor has changed hands over the centuries but there is a sign above the old town gate that reads "What belongs to others we don't want, what is ours we will never surrender."
Heavy overnight rained cleared the next morning for our next passive smoking session on a bus to Podgorica to catch a train to Belgrade, Serbia to catch another train, an overnight sleeper to Sofia, Bulgaria. Anne was keen to do the train trip because the first part, Montenegro to Serbian border is particularly scenic with tall mountains and swift water rivers. In our case it was also in beautiful autumn colours too.
After 25 hours of travel we arrived in Sofia, Bulgaria. The overnight sleeper train was surprisingly good because we slept well and had very little smoking to endure. A bit different to the day train from Podgorica to Belgrade.
John and Desi met us at Sofia station. We stayed with them for the next couple of days during which time we also caught up on sailing adventures, John being the owner of 'Pave' the first yacht we sailed in Croatia with Linda and Bill, John's brother.
|KOTOR KITTY KAT|
|MARINA BEYOND THE CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF HEALTH|
|ANNE AND RED DOT, FORTRESS WALL|
|MY TRAVELS WITH JULIE ANDREWS|
|ABOVE THE CLOUD|
|SEALING THE CHEESE DEAL|
|SIGNALS JUST COMING IN DURING CHEESE DEAL|
|WINE SHOP, OLD TOWN|
|TRAIN FROM KOTOR TO BELGRADE|
|RANDOM DRIVE BY TRAIN PIC|
|I THINK WE'RE IN SERBIA NOW|