Kotor, Montenegro

The bus ride along a one-way road from the picturesque Montenegro town of Kotor to the mountain village of Njeguis was a nail-biting experience. Oncoming vehicles had to stop and back up to allow the bus to pass, and there were no guard rails on the road to prevent us from plunging hundreds of metres into the valley below. However, our driver knew what he was doing and got us there safely.

At the top of Lovcen mountain we stopped at a restaurant for a snack of locally-made prosciutto, bread and cheese and – even though it was only 9:30 AM – had glasses of wine to relax after our nerve-wracking bus ride. If they had offered us a glass of the locally-distilled brandy, we might have tried that as well. I have to say, though, that the view from the top was spectacular.

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In the centre of the picture, you can see our docked ship. Very tiny from this vantage point.

The journey back down the mountain wasn’t quite as hair-raising. That brought us to Cetinje, the former capital of Montenegro, where we visited King Nikola’s museum, the one-time home of the sovereign who ruled the country until it was taken over by Austria-Hungary in 1916. The museum seemed a bit modest for a king’s palace but then, I guess, in a poverty-stricken country even the royals have to settle for less. We weren’t allowed to take any pictures in the museum, so we can’t show you what the royal furniture and costumes looked like.

As expected, we won’t be spending a day in Istanbul following the suicide bombing on Saturday. Instead we will spend the day in Canakkale, near the archeological site of Troy, where the Viking people have already lined up six shore excursions for us. Very efficient, these cruise organizers are. When we finally arrive in Istanbul, the following day at 3:00 AM, it will be just to disembark from the ship, transfer to the airport, and catch our planes back home. Hopefully, without incident.

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