Kotor // Montenegró

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

The first stop on my cruise with Royal Caribbean's Splendour of the Seas was the small Mediterranean coastal town of Kotor in Montenegró. It took the ship a while to negotiate it's way through the Bay of Kotor to get to the old Montenegrin town. It is nestled at the bottom of a canyon and guarded by the imposing St. John's Hill with fortified walls that protect the town from invaders. The Boka Kotorska Bay certainly leaves a lasting impression. 

Many activities were offered that made full use of Kotor's rich history and awe-inspiring natural beauty. My brother and I chose to go kayaking. A qualified instructor took us out into the bay, keeping close to the shore as many ships and boats sped up and down the waters. Splendour anchored away from the port and tendered visitors ashore. My brother and I shared a kayak, I was the muscle and he was the rudder. We paddled for about 30 minutes before taking a break on a rocky outcropping for some swimming and/or sunbathing. The bay bed was incredibly pebbly. My delicate feet did not like it but others didn't mind and were swimming and playing around happily.

We paddled another distance and were told stories about the bay and about Irish wedding parties and how much faster they paddled once they heard that their reward was a pint at the end. My favourite part was when a boat would speed by and their wake would head straight for us. The kayak would bob up and down on the wake's waves. It was beyond exhilarating. The bigger the wave, the better. It was so much fun.

The sights are truly breathtaking. I didn't get many photographs from kayaking because I was a tad busy and paranoid that I would drop my precious camera.

It is a port rich in history. Our kayaking guide told us stories from the bay. He told us the story of an old abandoned house where sisters once lived altogether. Each sister had their own room with a window to the front. When one of the sisters passed away, they closed the shutters to that room, symbolising that she was gone and no longer in that room - nobody else was going to use it. When another sister passed away, they did the same thing with the shutters; they sealed them. When the final sister died, the shutters were closed and the house was left alone. It has remained empty ever since with all of the shutters closed. How poignant is that?

There are so many stories to tell.

If you have a chance to go to Kotor, whether you go by sea, land or air,, I would highly recommend it. Go kayaking as it is so much fun or if you're feeling even more energetic, why not try to ascend the 2,000 steps to the fort. Kotor and its beauty has certainly left a lasting impression on me. Do vijenjaHvala lepo.

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