Tuesday, October 4, 2016

A visit to Montenegro on the Adriatic Sea

A day trip to Montenegro which is located on the Adriatic Sea was a most on my list and I booked a tour to go there.   I was lucky the pickup was right across the street from my hotel, so I was able to have breakfast before I left, in spite of the early departure.  The bus was  pretty full  but because  I was early I managed to get a seat near the front which always when you are trying to get off and on. I met a woman from Kildare Ireland who was originally from Aughagower which is just a couple miles from where my mother was born In Gorthbawn, County Mayo Ireland.

pretty town of Perast

Our lady of the Rock

inside the church

Our first stop was a visit to Perast where we took a boat across the Boka Kororska (Bay of Kotor)  to visit the church of Gospa od Skrpjela (Our Lady of the Rock) on the islet. The church was built in 1630 built by Fishermen from Perast, legend has it the that two fishermen were sailing the Bay one was crippled  saw a shipwreck and spotted an icon of Madonna and Child  and he took it of the.  In the morning he was no longer crippled and the icon was gone. and vowed that at that spot to build to build a church. The church was dedicated to this icon of the Holy Mother of God,  protector of sailors and fisherman, who enter the church and pray.  The altar inside was made of marble which is by Antonio Kapelano a sculptor from Gena.  After visiting the church and the inlet we returned to the boat and back on the bus.

Our Lady of the Rock
Icon by Lovro Marinov Dobricevic on the altar

Perast as seen from lady of the Rock

Next up was the UNESCO-protected town of Kotor we first had a guided tour of the town and the guide was quite informative  and then we had several hours on our own. Kotor is one of the best preserved medieval old towns in the Adriatic. The Clock Tower is one of the symbols of Kotor it is in the square across from the main gate it was built in 1602. There was an earthquake in 1667 and the tower inclined towards the sea and at one point they attempted to put it back upright but in 1979 another earthquake hit and it returned to the same position. It is built partly in Baroque style and also part Gothic. Below is the Pillar of Shame, used for punishment of an accused person by placing them in front so the citizens would know their offence. Another church of interest is Church of Sveti Luka (St Luke's) it is both Roman and Byzantine style. It was once a Catholic school but later because of the wars and arrival of Orthodox people it was given to them for use. It represents harmonious co-existence of Catholic and Orthodox people, it has two altars representing each faith.

I wandered up and down many little alleyways and then,  I went to search of the cat museum that our tour guide told us about but sadly it was closed.  I ran into a woman feeding a cat she was on a cruise and had cat food with her because she had seen cats in Dubrovnik and wanted to be sure she had food if she ran across any more.  Kotor also has ancient  city walls and a climb up to St John's fortress  was recommended by the guide but I did not feel I had enough time the although the view from the top is reportedly incredible and there are a mix of ramparts gates and churches and I was satisfied to view from below and zoom  in with my lens.

St Luke's 1195

St Nicholas

the Clock Tower

St Tryphon Cathedral 1166

I finally decided I  was hungry nothing in the restaurants appealed to me and I walked back to a little shopping center that I had seen from the bus. There were several small eating places and a grocery store I walked in there and spotted just what I wanted chicken, potato wedge and coke, I walked over to the bay found a spot and sat and enjoyed my lunch then I walked along the water before returning to the pickup spot for the bus. We then drove back to Perast where we boarded a ferry across the bay this was a shortcut that took 40 miles off of the drive we were allowed to get off the bus but and stand on the ferry but the trip was about 10 mins.  All in all it was a good day and the one thing that did surprise me was that the boarder security did not check out passports or even get on the bus. 

Church of Our Lady of Remedy on the city walls

The walls and fortress