Friday, October 4, 2013

Kotor, Montenegro

5/29/2012, Tuesday, Kotor, Montenegro


 
Early morning: I woke up again bright and early just as Captain Yannis was turning the Solstice 180 degrees to face the bow towards the opening out of the Montenegro fjords (see pic to the right). Today we all decided to sleep in a little and try to leave the ship between 9-10. There was a chance of rain for later in the day so we did not want to get off too late.




Kotor: The plan for today was Tyler, Brandon, and myself would climb all the way up to the fort while mom and dad just strolled around the city together. We easily reached the tender and before long we were stepping off in Kotor. I pointed up to the red flag at the top of the fort and told Brandon and Tyler that was where we were headed!






Kotor, Montenegro is a small medieval town along the Adriatic sea. We did not get a map or anything for Kotor, it is pretty easy to get around. We followed the crowd to the entrance of the medieval town. And walked through the cool opening in the wall.Medieval towns have a lot of charm!






As I stated, our goal was to climb the trail up to the top to see the fort. We were also told the view from up top is amazing! By this point I had consumed more dessert in the past week than my entire life combined so I welcomed the hike! We left mom and dad and easily were able to find the start to climb the winding path up to the fort. We paid the guy 3 Euros to climb and started.


Not long after we started did Brandon and Tyler start complaining, already? Come on guys! We made it to the half-way point where a guy sells water and there are a few benches to cool off and rest. This seems to be the point where those who decided they do not want to continue go back down and those that are determined continue on. We lost Brandon at this point and Tyler was being a good sport. Well honestly the reason he stayed was because he didn’t want to leave me alone, he really did not want to continue.



This picture does a good job showing the zig-zag donkey trail we hiked up. Yes, it really is an old donkey trail. I thought it was fun :)





Tyler needed another break so I took more pictures. The wild poppies were so pretty!


We finally made it to the top. It took us about 45 minutes to reach the top. It was nice and breezy up top and we could see the storm clouds rolling in.







We viewed for a little, took in the view and headed back down. There is not really a lot to do up top besides take the view in, which is truly spectacular. The ship looks so BE-A-Utiful from up high!


Going down took 23 minutes. I found almost “skipping” down was a lot easier than stopping and stepping each individual step. I flew down the switchbacks and stones and made it to the bottom in no time.

Video from the fort at the top of Kotor:
http://youtu.be/eBUza1kXkL0


We took the tender back to get some lunch. And by lunch, I mean dessert. I just walked up a donkey trail, I think I burned enough calories to start of the sweets again :)



After lunch we decided to nap… until… what sounded like someone was putting dynamite in the mountains and exploding them. It made both of us jump right up out of bed. It was thunder! The thunder has a deep rolling, growling, roar that moves through the mountains. The sound most bounce off the sides of the fijords. The video does not do it justice, like most videos.

Here is a video of the thunderstorm in Kotor:
http://youtu.be/A4AVYRm7MA0

We could no longer sleep. I found my dad and he wanted to play backgammon. We headed up to the Sky Lounge to grab a couple seats, play backgammon, and get ready for our departure from Kotor.

Sky Lounge:




We headed to the Sky Lounge to watch us navigate through the fjords and make our way out to the Adriatic Sea. The thunder storms continued and the rain rolled down the windows of the Sky Lounge. However, by the time we existed the fjords the sky cleared up,


We all went our separate ways. Most of us went to nap. I did some P90X and headed to the gym for some more cardio. I gained about 7 pounds by now. EeeEEk! I know "some" of it was bloating but lets be real, I did order 4 desserts in one night!

We saw the magic show before dinner tonight. We thought it was good and enjoyable. Next we explored the ship before heading to dinner. After dinner we ran into the magician who was very chatty with us and drunk; very drunk. Just look at this picture!

After trying to have a conversation with the magician we watched the “Dancing with the Stripes” a dance contest that featured guests and crew. It was very entertaining. See the video below; there were some real characters! Off to bed we went. You can see Esperanza, our cruise director, in this picture. I liked her a lot, she was a great cruise director!



“Dancing with the Stripes” dance contest:

http://youtu.be/NVthFQOX6eE

I want to end this post with one of my favorite pictures from the trip!























Other stops on our trip:

Barcelona Day 1 (exploring on foot)
Barcelona Day 2 (hop on/hop off bus)
Cote d'Azur and Monte Carlo, Monaco
Florence, Tuscany, & Pisa
Rome
Naples, Pompeii, Amalfi Coast, Sorrento, Positano
1st Sea Day
Kotor, Montenegro
Venice, Italy Day 1
Venice, Italy Day 2
Dubrovnik, Croatia




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