Dubrovnik and Kotor

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik is now a UNESCO world heritage site, and tourist site,  but I can remember in 1992 when it was assaulted by the Serbs.  Most damage has been repaired and it truly is a beautiful walled city.

Our ship docked a mile or two from the main town and did not offer a shuttle, but there were cabs or city buses (hard to ride because you needed the local currency).  We opted to walk and it was a long but interesting stroll through some local, non-touristy areas.  We stopped at a local farmers market, and at some nice vista points on the way in.  Of the four that walked in, two of us took a taxi back to the ship.

The old city, which is where the tourists go, is a relatively small area,  enclosed by stone walls up to 81 feet high and over 1 ½ miles long.  You can walk along the top of the walls for a great view of the city and the sea.  Cars are not allowed inside the walled area which makes it very visitor friendly with its wide main promenade and parallel lanes which you go up stairs to get to, full of little shops and restaurants.  It was cool when we were here this time, but the last time I was in Dubrovnik it was warm and the back lanes were full of beautifully set tables with linens and flowers.  We only went inside a restaurant for a coffee and pastry.  There are at least 4 churches and a monastery within the walled area.  There is a beautiful clock tower and a Gothic Bishops Palace.  A ½ to full day stop in Dubrovnik is enough to cover the highlights.

Kotor, Montenegro

Montenegro is growing as a tourist spot and also as a destination to buy a vacation home because of its natural beauty.  It is nicknamed the “pearl of the Mediterranean” with beaches, crystal clear lakes, fast flowing rivers and stunning mountains.  We only got to see the tiny old city of Kotor, nestled into the mountains.  Looking in towards the city from our ship, it was hard to imagine that it was occupied by so many nations.  It was protected from the mainland by very harsh looking mountains, so only invadeable from the sea.  The streets are narrow with small squares, little shops and restaurants.  A very enjoyable visit, but again ½ day is enough to see the highlights.   The ships excursions took people farther away to other small towns like Budva, a seaside resort and Cetinje.

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