Tuesday, September 13, 2016

What I Came To Montenegro For! Kotor!

So to be honest - the whole reason I came to Montengro - Kotor!  Everyone is talking about Kotor and everyone starts talking about a place you better get there soon before it's completely overrun with tourists!

So we got up Friday morning, used up the Mexican leftovers with my version of Huevos Rancheros...
May I add... Yum!:)

Then we got dressed, piled in the car with our running shoes on, and took off on the 40 minute drive inside the mountains to the inlet from the sea where Kotor resides.

We found parking pretty easily, paid and then set off down the sidewalk following the signs that pointed to old town.  Going  inside the city walls, he familiarity is very real - like so many other local old towns it's so very Venice feeling...

And right when we walked in a local folk dancing group greeted us...

But we couldn't be distracted!  We had a mountain to climb!  Literally!  
We were aimed for the starting point at the back of the city where the steps start up to the fortress at the top of the mountain, 1350 steps up 1200 feet - and the reward - well from what I'd heard the reward was well worth it!

Ok we did get distracted looking for a washroom... We were warned to make sure to go before we started our ascent so Mel and I were pretty frantic in looking for one!  We wandered around and got distracted by a giant Pippi Longstocking looking doll hanging over one of the back walls so we went out to check it out.  

I also discovered something...
I love Conan O'Briend and one of the bits he does in Albania he does "the old razz ma tazz" and all of the locals loved it.
So we were telling Ioana about it and I started doing "the old razz ma tazz" and dog gone it if they didn't encourage me by laughing.  So I was doing it - and I've discovered that apparently when Americans do "the old razz ma tazz", non Americans laugh!  Now I'm not sure if this is from true entertainment, or perhaps pity?  But if you want to be the funny American - well, if it worked for Conan!

Anyways - we finally razz ma tazzed our way back to the center of the town where we paid a euro (Montenegro uses euros whereas the neighboring countries still have their own currency) to use the well maintained bathroom:)

And then we started back to the back and paid our 3 euros each and started up the steps!...
The long and zig zagging steps...

It was not the best time of day to start climbing - it was about 11ish by the time we started up and everything Id read said to start early.  So the sun was beating down and there were a lot of ill equipped tourist with their flip flops and pretty sandals on... Do NOT climb to the top in flip flops or pretty sandals!  I was even slipping in my well used running shoes.  But at least wear running shoes!

It took us about an hour to get to the top (I think it's like 3 miles or something).
And as you climb up you look down - and you're wowed!

And then you to the top - and the wow is more wow then when you were climbing up!

But enough with staring at the view!  It's time for some gal shots!  Me and the friends at the top of an exhausting trek!

Some stretching after all that exercise...:)

There's nothing like yoga with a friend at 1200 feet up!

The back side of the mountain - you can look out through "windows" and see what's the back of the fortress...

And then back down - the church at the top.

We got back down and walked through the town doing a tiny bit of sightseeing but headed towards the exit because we had another dot on our map that we wanted to hit before it got dark!  But one last look at the mountain we trekked up!

And one last look at the city walls!

And then in the car and on the road through the mountains for a quick 20 minute trip to a little city called Perast!

Perast is an awesome small town with only like 400 citizens.  And the attractions are these two little islands off the mainland.  If you go down to the water, you can just ask someone with a boat how much to take you across - a 5 minute trip.  

The island you can go to has his church on it called Lady of the Rocks.  The legend is that someone made a safe journey home and threw a rock in he water here and then it became good luck and all the fishermen would throw rocks in and this island was creates from that. 

We walked around and sat on the island for about 30 minutes.

There's another island across that you can see but you can't go on.

And then our boat came back to get us!

And when we got back to land we walked through the quiet little town and then stopped at a waterfront restaurant for late lunch.

Risotto and fresh shellfish!  Oh my word so good!!!

And then we just walked around and enjoyed the town.

Loved loved loved Perast!  Would definitely come back!  So quiet and peaceful!

We left in enough time that we made it back through the mountains in the daylight and home!  What an awesome travel day!  And thank God - once again beautiful weather!!

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