Montenegro has Serbian and Yugoslavian roots, but its origins date back to 168 BC, to Roman and Byzantine cultures. It was invaded by many peoples, including the Turks, Romans, Italians, French, and the British. The great Cattaro fortress, situated at the top of the mountain lining the city, was built in the 5th century by the Venetians.
As our ship pulled into Boka Bay, there was very heavy fog, which obscured our view initially. The ship sounded its horn continuously for a half hour or so to warn small ships of our presence. The sound of our horn echoed off of the surrounding mountains and had an ominous ring to it. When the fog finally lifted, we were treated to delightful views of Boka Bay, the water was like glass barely moving because we were moving so slowly. Kotor has a romantic feel to it, the city draws you in with lush green foliage, clay roof buildings and medieval structures. Steep mountainside cliffs provide a dramatic frame to the city from either side.
Once off the ship, our first mission was to hike up to the mountain top to see the Cattaro Fortress. I had no idea how high up it was, but it is VERY HIGH. The path was stone rocks, some in old steps, some loose rock and some parts just grassy dirt paths. Fortunately it was still early morning so it was cool and not in direct sun. My photos below won’t convey the height but it was quite high!
We stopped for lunch at a nice restaurant and sampled some traditional Montenegrin food (some photos are below). I found the local Montenegrin people to be quite friendly and friendly to Americans. The old city of Kotor it is a bustling area with boutique shops, a number of nice restaurants, cafes and bars. It has several nice squares perfect to sit with a beer or coffee and people watch.
Kotor attracts a large number of young Europeans, seeking nightlife and alternatives to other overbuilt and more expensive European cities. Kotor offers a great deal for the visitor- nice hotels, good food and plenty of nice architecture for the history buffs. The Maritime Museum is highly regarded for its collection.
Views of Kotor: