Dreaming of Kotor

Am I in paradise or on the moon?” I wondered, while I was gazing outside my cabin as the ship was languidly slipping into the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro, Europe’s southernmost fjord. Actually, those words were not so original as it was exactly what George Bernard Shaw quipped when he first visited these places and before him, a worshipper of nature like Lord Byron had fallen into the spell of such an enchanted spot.

A year ago I had complained so much about the extraordinary cool and rainy Italian summer, that I am sure that the gods that govern the climate and the winds had decided to punish me with the hottest and most infernal summer ever this year.  Mr Run and I had tried to reverse our fate, escaping from that tremendous oven Rome had become, to go to Venice and sail for a cruise to the Adriatic sea. But gods are not easily cheated, so a nasty demon called Charon kept on pursuing us everywhere we went : Venice, Trieste, Split, Dubrovnik;  till one early morning we thought we had finally made him lose our tracks, when we saw this like in a dream :

As the sun was rising, we could see distinctly the silhouettes the mountains that surrounded us. A sense of euphoria pervaded us, as we imagined the feeling of the fresh breeze on our skin. While we were magically floating on the waters of the inlets, sleepy villages mirrored in the sea and even our huge cruise ship seemed to sail more silently than ever so as not to disturb the beatitude of their rest.

The steep hillsides of the Bay of Kotor are littered with Greek, Roman, and Illyrian ruins and dilapidated Venetian Gothic buildings, signs of  the Venetians domination that lasted more than four centuries from 1420 to 1797.IMG_0718

Once arrived at the port of Kotor all our illusions instantly faded away in a blink: Charon was already there sneering at us. The melting heat of that late July was just unbearable.


The walled city of Kotor has been an important Mediterranean port since Roman times. In the heat of the day, when every sensible person was enjoying a siesta or diving in the clear waters of the bay, we dragged ourselves to the old town to visit its architectural riches: the Pima and Drago palaces, the clock tower, and the Cathedral of St. Tryphon, a twin-towered Romanesque beauty consecrated in 1166.


Behind the cathedral, the Venetian defensive walls—almost three miles long —snaked up the steep rocky hillside to the ruined 14th-century fortress of St. Ivan. Earthquakes have struck here with devastating effect, but the walls somehow always survived. Kotor also prides itself on never having been taken by force. The Outstanding Universal Value of the Cultural-Historical Region of Kotor made it a UNESCO world heritage site

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Around the central Square of Weapons (Trg od Oruzja) you may find shops, boutiques but for once in my life I was more interested in any place where I could sit and and have something to drink.

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Unfortunately, being on a cruise, we didn’t have more time to visit all the other precious spots that region may offer, but at that moment we really didn’t mind, as we couldn’t but think about the bliss of the air conditioning on the ship.


Charon decided to remain there; and now that summer is becoming autumn and school is about to start, well, maybe I miss him a bit.


45 thoughts on “Dreaming of Kotor

  1. Glad to see your post, and thanks for the low-cost trip to beautiful Montenegro:0)). I’m heading for Spain on Sunday and will hope that Charon has left on a cruise of his own to somewhere where he’ll be appreciated after a long winter – say, Australia.

    Best wishes for a good beginning of your school year!

    • Hi Beth, it is so nice to have you here. It wasn’t that expensive, cruises are cheaper in July 😉 , however if my favourite student Charly from Spain drops by, we’ll ask him about the weather there.
      Enjoy your trip.
      Stefy 🙂

  2. Now I understand why I have this burning desire to visit Montenegro, absolutely beautiful. But we were fortunate enough to have been able to visit Abkhazia which in itself is a magnificent land of mountains, rivers, and lakes. I’ll be dreaming of visiting until we get there. Thanks.

      • Thakfully the heat wave have subsided and now where in the mid lower 20´s.
        So even super-teacher needs a vacation, who is Beth by the way? Don´t tell me is your kid please…. don´t you remember I suffer from OCF and then I decided to add S = Obsessive Compulsive Flirt Silly

      • The best camera is the one you have in your hand at the time Stephy. Me, an artist? You must have me confused with another Laurie. 😉
        Hugs to you.

  3. It looks blissful. Every time I see photos of Croatia I wonder why I haven’t managed to get back there. So much still to see! Thank you for the boat ride 🙂 (and the follow 🙂 )

  4. I know how you feel about the heat – I live in North Cyprus and July-August ranged around 38-40C with high humidity. Appalling weather. We are actually looking to sell up as I can’t handle these really high temps with humidity, likely moving to Ireland where I really don’t think I’ll have heat problems – more like mould on my feet with all the rain there!

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