Monday, 19 May 2014

Herceg Novi, Montenegro, Day 8

Day 8, May 19, 2014

We woke up to our first clear sunny day.  
The bay was so calm this morning
and the water was so clear

We were up at 7:00 so that we had lots of time to catch an early bus to Kotor for our day’s adventures.  Kotor is right at the end of the winding bay, 28 km from the open sea and surrounded by the mountains of Orjen on the west and Lovcén on the east.  The Bay of Kotor has been called Europe’s most southerly fjord but is actually a ria, which is a deep underwater canyon.  The bay has a shoreline of 107 km.

The walk to Herceg Novi bus station took us 40 minutes and involved climbing 125 stairs and three steep blocks. We caught the 9:15 bus which was a very comfortable coach. In order to shorten the trip by 15 minutes the bus took a small ferry across the Verige Strait which is just 300 m wide. 
The ferry
Our bus trip lasted one hour and only cost us 2.5 Euros each.  Montenegro is full of bargains. We had read about Kotor but we could not have imagined how beautiful it was. 
The entrance to the Old Town
Entering Old Town
The stone streets are polished with the steps of time
Looking up and out of a windowless frame at a house nestled at the base of the old fort

Once we entered Old Town, we paid 3 Euros each to climb the 1,350 steps to the fort at the top.

Jill on a street in Old Town
The scenery as we ascended was stunningly beautiful.   

Jill working it
What a view?

Many stairs were rough and uneven and sometimes broken so you had to always consider you next step. 

It took us one hour and twenty minutes to get to the top. The views from all directions were breathtaking.  

The fort at the top

A few vendors along the way were selling water for 1 to 1.5 Euros, a bargain and a necessity.

Coming down was not as hard as we thought although in many places we had to be extremely careful as well as methodical about our next step.  We were grateful when there was a wall to hold onto in the step sections.  

We got to the bottom by 12:30 and found a nice spot to have lunch al fresco in the shade of a narrow street in Old Town.  The restaurant was called Giardino, great service and great food at reasonable prices.  I finally had an authentic plate of black risotto and Jill had a pork cutlet, nature style.  I don’t know how it was seasoned or what was done to it but it tasted fabulous and the potion was more than generous.  A couple of large beers and a tomato and cucumber salad rounded out our lunch.  We were surprised to get a complimentary appetizer of bruschetta and cheese mixed with ajvar with toast. Delicious.

My new best friend was interested in sharing my lunch

The bus we caught back to Herceg Novi went all the way around the bay so it took us one hour and fifteen minutes.  Great views of the bay as we wound our way back.

We stopped to pick up some lettuce for home and the tomatoes looked so good, I couldn’t resist buying some for the pasta I bought when we were stocking up.  Also bought some new garlic, some pork sausages, and four cevapcici.  Jill said she was too full to eat but she could not resist.  I also added green olives and pickled mushrooms and some Franks hot sauce.  Some white wine to deglaze the pan and it all worked with the tagliatelle egg pasta. I said to Jill it is like we are camping and using what we have.  Tasted so good, we finished it and here I was hoping for leftovers.  

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