My Birthday Cruise Report Day 12 – Kotor, Montenegro

Another day, another visit to a place I’d never heard of before the cruise planning started. Well, Kotor. I’d heard of Montenegro.

It was another beautiful morning sailing. “They” promised that the sail in to Kotor was not to be missed. You go through a ria (or some rias?) – which is like fjords except a ria is formed when a valley becomes permanently flooded while a fjord is formed because of glacier activity. So yep! Another day to stake out a spot on deck early! (Again, like glacier day in Alaska, but warmer.)

But…

Slight issue there. For this port, if you wanted to be off before 2:30 or so you needed a tender ticket. Not horrible if you’re with a group because one person could get as many tickets as needed. But when you’re solo, you have to wait in line for the tender ticket and then try to find a spot on the rail.

So I got up early and had breakfast, then took my trusty nook to a chair close to the desk where they’d be handing the tickets out – and pretty close to where the line for the not-needed Villefranche tender tickets started. I was there all alone until about 15-20 minutes later when an older English gentleman came up. Gradually more and more people emerged – including 2 men who plopped right down AT the desk, ignoring those of us who were already there. You could hear them saying they were first and second, so it was pretty clear there was going to be drama.

Sure enough, about the time the rest of us started standing up, their wives – or at least women who were traveling with them – sauntered up. Then a woman who was there AFTER the English gentleman tried saying SHE was first. The newly arrived women – who had no clue what reality was since they had only just shown their faces – started insisting that their men had been there first.

About that time, the people who were going to be handing out the tickets got there. And I was ready to be all “Go ahead. There are enough for everyone!” but the English gentleman pushed me up to the front and said “This girl was the ONLY one up here when I came.” So… I ended up with the first Group 3 ticket. (Excursions were Group 1 and the concierge level or suites or something was Group 2.)

Guess what everyone pitching a fit got?

Yep. Group 3.

And ultimately when Group 3 was called, the whiners and drama causers were nowhere to be seen on that first boat!

Of course.

Anyway…

The sail in WAS gorgeous, and I didn’t miss that much of it.

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I took my tender in with only one real goal. To climb to the fortress ruins…

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way up there where the little flag is.

I got off the tender and headed into town and worked my way back to the trail entrance.

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I paid my 3 euro and started up. And I mean UP! Major elevation gain here! There are steps – 1351 of them – or you can use the trail next to them. They are slippery, even in shoes with traction on them – I have no clue how people in sandals or flip flops were doing it!

28473243033_33ca1f309a_b28473252513_705b74d844_balready the views were worth it

About halfway up distance-wise there is a little chapel

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The joke is you stop there to pray for the strength to make it the rest of the way. Haha!

All along the path there are residents of Kotor who have climbed with coolers containing water, coke, and sometimes beer that they sell. Actually at fairly reasonable prices. The most I saw was 2 euro for water at the top. I did pay it as my bottle was empty – it was a hot day – and I knew I needed it on the way down.

Kept climbing after the chapel…

28470235094_86dfc23231_b28470260064_72b97d0559_z(nope! not there yet!)

28473323363_39abdd9b69_bbeginning to think I was nuts!

28470284394_defb597f44_bBut I made it!!

And the view was worth it…

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I made my way back down – only almost slipped badly once. Then I meandered through the town and contemplated going to the Cat Museum.

I kid you not.

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Apparently cats are kind of a big deal in Kotor because I kept seeing shirts and stuff that were “The cats of Kotor”.

But I ended up just grabbing a Coke (I earned it!!), catching up on the internet – which weirdly was better in Kotor than in any of the Italian ports other than Ravenna! – and heading back to the ship to shower and rehydrate!

Sail out was beautiful as well – this time in the twilight.

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The show was an English 60s tribute/cover band called The Zoots. Not bad.

All in all – tender drama aside – it was a really good day in beautiful Kotor.

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