This is going to have to be a relatively brief blog because I am having too much trouble with the wifi where I am parked up.
I made it to Montenegro this morning. The crossing from Croatia was straightforward and quick. I’d been told to expect a long delay driving into Montenegro but there were just two cars in the queue at the checkpoint and they both went through during the three or four minutes it took me to obtain a green (insurance) card for the Van. I followed moments later.
First thoughts as to Montenegro – the views are as good as any I have seen during this tour but, of course, I have a passion for mountains and water and here in Montenegro there are plenty of large mountains right alongside the sea…
The views as I drove south towards Kotor and then Petrovac were stunning (but, like I said, I have a thing about water and mountains)
I’m currently parked up on the beach at Petrovac na Moru which is I think about 30+ km south of Kotor.
Petrovac is the small town to the left of the first photo. I’m parked up on the next (deserted) beach along from Petrovac – see second photo. I may move; I can put up with the sound of the sea but there are two donkeys tethered about 100 yards away from the Van and they haven’t stopped braying for the last 20 minutes
I drove through Kotor earlier today and I had it in mind to spend the night there but ultimately decided against it. I’m disappointed about that because I was very keen to get up to the old fortress high above the town. The view from there is supposed to be one of the best in Montenegro.
At first sight Kotor would appear to have everything Dubrovnik has and more. It’s setting is tremendous. It sits on the calmest sea (the map below perhaps explains why the sea is so calm here) with the magnificent Mt Lovcen providing an excellent backdrop. As a town it appears to have as many places of interest (although I cannot for the life of me understand why there should be a “Cat’s Museum” – I gave that one a miss) and the Old Town has considerably more character than it’s counterpart in Dubrovnik.
What let Kotor down for me, however, was the number of tourists. I was advised that Kotor is Dubrovnik without the commercialism and the tourists. It was mobbed (far worse than Dubrovnik). So here I am in Petrovac.
As was mentioned previously, the views during the drive round the Gulf of Kotor were beautiful and I stopped on a number of occasions to take photos. The church sitting on the small island in the second photo above is “Our Lady of the Rocks”. According to legend the island was made by Croat fishermen who (after finding an icon of Madonna and Child on a small pile of rocks in the sea and then seeing a very sick fisherman recover after he touched the icon) swore an oath that upon returning from each successful voyage they would add a rock to the original pile. Subsequently, old boats were filled with stones and sunk at the same spot until there was an island large enough to build the church on. The practise of adding stones after a successful voyage continues to this day.