Whilst staying in Kotor, Montenegro, we had a day’s sightseeing around Kotor Bay.
In nearby Tivat, we stopped at the shore where people were using every square inch of pebbles or concrete to sunbathe as there was no sand in sight. On the path a small circle with compass points invited you to stand in the middle and speak as it created an amphitheatre effect. Continuing along the waterfront we crossed a ‘line’ into the new, upmarket Porto Montenegro. It was very quiet with one huge hotel, lots of mega yachts (there are 500 berths and counting), apartments and expensive shops and restaurants. It was completely pedestrianised, and many people use golf buggies to get around. At a far section, which was still being redeveloped, we saw two submarines and the remains of a series of hangar-like buildings showing how it looked prior to development, when it was a military port.
From here we took one of the frequent car ferries from Lepetane to Kamenari, a crossing of around 10 minutes. Heading for Risan, we stopped at a viewpoint where the bay is at its narrowest at only 300m and saw a new Russian development built into the hillside. To create such a monstrosity and be allowed to cut down so many trees, must have required a serious bribe.
We then stopped at a cave, Sopot, where because the mountains are limestone, the water creates naturally made channels through higher rock that in the wet season. This bursts out through the cave, under the bridge, and into the bay. The area above Risan is said to have the highest annual rainfall in Europe, however, during our visit in June, it was dry and sunny.
We continued on to Perast, where just offshore in the bay, were two small islets. We caught a small boat for the 10-minute journey to the artificially made Lady of the Rocks, created by a bulwark of rocks and by sinking old and seized ships full of ballast. Here we visited the 17th century Roman Catholic church. The walls were adorned with paintings, rather than the usual frescoes, containing scenes from the Old Testament. Upstairs was an embroidery which took Jacinta Kunic 20 years to make as she used her own hair as silks. There were also various displays of armaments and several paintings of sailors and the sea, and in another gallery, more modern art depicting the island.
On the return trip we had the opportunity to take photos of the second island which houses the Benedictine Monastery of St George. It had a number of tall cypress trees and was the resting place for a number of eminent sea captains.
As we alighted from the boat, a wedding party with women in their finery and unsuitable high heels were boarding a boat to go over to the island as it is a popular location for photographs. Unfortunately, there was no sign of the bride.