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What a stunning city

To get to Kotor we took the bus - our first on this trip. On the ticket, we had a departure time of 11 am and the arrival of 1 pm. However, the bus didn't arrive until 11.15 which created a stampede to get on the bus when it arrived and some passengers had seat numbers on their tickets while others like us didn't, chaos! Rach - The other somewhat unusual aspect was you pay for your ticket and then you pay the driver separately for your luggage prior to loading it onto the bus. The bus was pretty average and my seat had a broken back so I spent the journey at a 45 degree angle - good for the abs.

We then had an hour drive to the Croatian border to pass through passport control and about a 500m drive to get to the Montenegro passport control. All together this took another hour to get everyone on the bus processed. By the time we arrived in Kotor, it was 4.5hrs after we were due to leave and we had covered just under 100km!

Our accommodation in Kotor was amazing. We were in the old fortified town by the clock tower surrounded by cafes and restaurants.
We spent the rest of our first day wandering the cobblestone streets shopping and eating.

Or apartment look closely you can see us on the balcony

The hills surrounding the town are incredibly steep, a breathtaking backdrop to the town.
That night we enjoyed the dull thud of the bell being rung in the clock tower every hour during the night(Insert sarcasm) That and the fact that they rang it twice every hour - yup 24 chimes at 12pm!

One of the many squares in the old town
The Spring at the entrance to the Old Town

With two full days to explore, we spent our first-morning shopping. Yay! Then after lunch, we headed out to walk the "Ladder of Kotor".
Its a 5km walk up the back of the hills of Kotor which gave amazing views down onto the town. I had been watching the weather forecast closely as the heavy rain had not eventuated and the afternoon forecast was for only .01ml of rain an hour. About 10mins into the walk we got some loud claps of thunder - a precursor to what was coming. The walk up the hill consists of 72 corners linking a zig-zag track which does get a bit monotonous at times but the many cats and goats kept the kids amused while at each stop the views behind us were getting better each time. We got to the top in just under 2hrs and had a mini picnic admiring the views and just how high we had climbed. That was until the dark black clouds rolled in and the first few drops of rain landed on us. As we had been only t-shirts and shorts we put on everything warm we had with us and began to scramble our way down the track. We tried to shelter from the rain but nowhere was completely dry and the temperature had dropped so now we were getting cold. About an hour of downhill in the rain we veered off the track and connected to the fortress surrounding the old town. Just as the rain stopped and the sun returned we climbed through a small hole in the wall that enabled us to visit the Castle of St John and the Church of Our Leady Remedy on our way down to the old town and our apartment. Although it rained it was a lovely walk and we were rewarded with stunning views at the top. Walking the Ladder of Kotor is not a popular walk but was a real highlight for us. Tired out we all had a superb sleep that night

The view was well worth the walk
Looking over the old town
An old abandoned church outside the city walls
One of the many cats - surprising how far up the hill they were
Rach's Arty shot

One of the surprises in Kotor was how empty the old town is at night. During the day its full of bus tours and cruise ship passengers but after 6 pm it's a bit of a ghost town. It's not the full season yet so that may change but it was great at night to eat and drink wherever we wanted instead of fighting the crowds like we had to at lunch.

Our final day we decided to do a boat trip around the Bay of Kotor. We had blue skies and sunshine all day so it was perfect to go out on the water and explore. After some haggling, we took our spot on one of the many speedboats offering 2-3hr trips around the bay. Our trip took us to the Blue Cave, Mamula Island and its castle which was converted to a prison by the Germans in WW2, a Submarine tunnel which was used to hide submarines in the side of the hill for the Yugoslavian navy, built with prisoner labour under German control, and finally Perast village and Lady of the rock's island church. It was a great afternoon out with a diverse range of things to see.

One of the submarine tunnels
The Lady of the Rock Church - situated on a manmade island

Back in Kotor town, we had an afternoon of chilling out listening to musicians playing in the different squares, while we strolled the many narrow streets.

Leaving Kotor was hard, we really loved the town. It's an amazing location with plenty to do if you want. If not it's a great place to relax and enjoy living. Not having any vehicles in the old town gives it a really laid back feel. It was also cheap to eat and stay. Coming from the old city in Dubrovnik we would have prefered 5 days here and less there. This it felt 10-20 years behind the more touristy Dubrovnik.

We left excited to cross another border and visit Mostar in Bosnia Hercegovina tomorrow.

Posted by Watson5 05:31

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wow looks awesome :-)

by Tracey Parks

Beautiful town.
Looked at the Ladder of Kotor on Google Maps, and can see why it might not be popular. Well one the kids!

by Jeff McLaren

Looks stunning. We only passed through. Looks like a great place to stay
Betty and Mark

by betty

Wonderful to read of all of your adventures from back here in little old Richmond, quite inspiring! I am googling Kotor accommodation already. Really looks like you are having a wonderful time and experiencing so much. Where are we all off to next?

by Dominica Cresswell

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