October 4: Kotor, Montenegro and area

Montenegro is a young country having only received its independence in 2006 from Serbia. Like its neighbors it was once a part of the country of Yugoslavia. In the early 1990s, Yugoslavia broke apart first with the seceding of Croatia and Slovenia and then with Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina each declaring independence. A civil war broke out across this vast area as each section tried to claim the rights to their respective territories. Like in ancient times the hills became wastelands due to the destruction of the weaponry. Land mines peppered the earth, buildings sat in ruin, and people ran for their lives. Today while there are some places where one can still see the remnants of this war, most have been repaired and now welcome tourists from all over the world. Montenegro is a popular spot for wealthy Russians and Middle Easterners.

The trip by car from Dubrovnik to Kotor, Montenegro follows the coastline as it heads south twisting and turning in and out of small coves and bays. The shoreline many times is a sheer cliff rising out of the water's edge ascending into the sky. The first area is called Konavle (canal) after the Roman aqueducts built many years ago that still service the town of Cavtat. The crystal clear water of the Adriatic reflect back the images of the mountainsides giving the viewer a double perspective of the vista. Also along the route one can see what remains of Tito's villa -- at one time used as a vacation home for Yugoslavian military officers, it is now waiting for investors. Shortly thereafter one passes through Kupari and the Bay of Cavtat where some of the richest people of the world tie up their yachts! Once into Montenegro the Institut Dr. Simo Milosevic can been seen rising up from the sea. It is a world re known treatment center for arthritis and nerve disorders. Tito, the Yugoslavian President for Life took treatments here.

The Bay of Kotor is hidden behind a narrow passageway from the sea creating an almost fiord-like area. Along its shore is the small ancient fishing village of Perast. It was just off the coast near this village that legend has it that two fishermen noticed a strange light emanating from the reef in the bay. Upon investigation they discovered an icon of the Virgin Mary. Attempting to bring it ashore failed as it kept washing back out to the same spot in the bay. Believing that this was an omen, they along with other fishermen passing the spot would drop rocks and stones in the water eventually creating a man-made island. In the 17th century a Baroque church was built and filled with symbols of thanks for answered prayers. The Lady of the Rock!

Dubrovnik from Outside The City Walls

Dubrovnik Old Town

The Island of Lokrum

Dubrovnik From Up the Mountain

Dubrovnik in the Distance

The Bay of Cavtat

Bay of Cavtat


Mussel Farm

Our Lady of the Rock Church


Our Lady of The Rock Icon

Monastery on Neighboring Island

Perast From Our Lady of the Rock Island

Kotor Villa

Kotor Clock Tower

Old City Walls of Kotor

Another View of the Walls

Kotor City Moat

Another View of the City Walls From Below