November 2, 2019

We come now to the fifth country on the trip that I had never been to before: Montenegro. The name comes from the Venetian for "Black Mountain." (You will see an old fort later in the pictures, but no Montreat that I'm aware of.) The country has a population a little smaller than Charlotte's. The character Nero Wolf was supposedly born in Montenegro.

Kotor has one of the best preserved mediæval old towns in Europe. It sits on a protected bay that is really a submerged river canyon, according to Wikipedia. The town was settled during the second century BC and had the Roman name of Acruvium. (Surprisingly, no drug company has picked that to trademark — yet.) You can read the long and complicated histories of the town and the country for yourself, with Romans, Ostrogoths, Saracens, Dalmatians, Venetians, Ottomans, etc., etc., Marshall Tito, and the usual tangle of which Balkans countries were fighting each other thereafter. Now it is safe to visit, and maybe even less chance of encountering land mines than in Dubrovnik. I did overhear a local (a guide maybe) who was telling a couple of tourists that they still have mixed feelings about NATO, which Montenegro joined in 2016.

Over the course of the afternoon we sailed along the coast of Montenegro and docked at Kotor just before 4:30pm.

Kotor is in the eastern end of Central European Time, so sunrise and sunset come a bit early. Sunset that day was at 4:36pm, just after we docked, so it got dark during our short stay there. Below are pictures of the Church of Our Lady of Remedy, a Roman Catholic Church perched above the Old Town. They were shot at 4:25 and 4:34 pm respectively.

The city gate for entering the Old Town

We wandered around the narrow streets for a while. Then Torrey headed off to climb the city wall.

The clock in the tower had the correct time.

This little shrine is in the city gateway. You can see the location in the picture with the violinist.

The walls were built by the Venetians. The relief set into this wall shows the winged lion with a book, though it looks different from the ones we saw in Venice. I've added a picture detail below so you can make it out.

By that point I had seen about all of the Old Town that I could get to without climbing the walls or taking trails out into the dark, so I headed back to the ship.

The next day we arrived in Corfu, back in Greece. That was the only day that we had really bad weather during the whole trip. We had tried to sign up for a tour of an Austrian palace nearby, but it had already been sold out, fortunately. Torrey and I were just going to wander around the town. The rain let up a bit, so I donned my waterproof jacket and my trusty Greek fisherman's rain cap, and we debarked from the ship. It was much too windy to use an umbrella. We had to walk down the pier to catch a shuttle bus. About halfway, there was a tent covering, so we headed there. Along the way there was a terrible downpour, and we were soaked. Torrey stepped in a puddle or something, to boot. I'm thinking along the way that if Torrey is crazy enough to go on into town, I will, too. When we got to the covering, he said he was turning back, so I said that I was, too. So that was the only port I did not visit. We got back to the room and dried off and put on dry clothes. We used the hair dryer to get our clothes dry enough to hang up to dry. Besides seeing yet another old town, I gather that the main attraction there is the beach. It was not a day to spend on the beach. My Danish Facebook friend and his wife seemed to have had a great holiday in Corfu, but I think it was more chilling out than sightseeing. If we had to have a day of bad weather, that was the least bad place on the trip to have it. And we didn't miss an excursion we had paid for.


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