The Sail In
On Tuesday morning, I (and a lot of others on the ship) were up early for an incredible sail-in to our next port, Kotor, Montenegro. Check out this map to see where we had to sail in order to get from the Adriatic Sea to our pier in Kotor.
It takes about two hours to sail-in from the sea to the port. Along the way, you can see so much, and it takes place during my favorite time of my photography day—the golden hour. Without further ado, here are my photos from the sail-in. Don’t forget, if you click the first shot, you can then scroll through with your arrow keys or by swiping…and PLEASE…don’t look at my photography on a phone. Please…
We had signed up to do a tour of an olive farm and check out their production of olive oil as well as other things. Kathleen was still resting after her bout with food poisoning, so I went off on my own. We drove up a severely twisted, bumpy road to a beautiful olive farm owned and run by three brothers. The far had been in their family for nine generations. He told us his ancestors planted the first olive trees there more than 250 years ago. Those tress still yield as many olives as they ever have.
We started our visit with a traditional Montenegran sweet donut that is dunked into honey. Then we tasted two of their newest products; a wonderful brandy and a kind of sickly sweet liquor made from the brandy and a cocoa-type plant that also grew on the farm. After that (and an encounter with their donkey), we walked about 500 meters to their production facility, and our host showed us their method of picking and pressing the olives. We tasted their olive oil (it was outstanding) and then they served us a “typical” Montenegran luncheon in the room where the old olive press was still in place. The food was “fine” but I did enjoy the tour. Then we were back on the bus and headed back to Kotor. Here’s the photos from the Olives part of the day. Don’t forget, if you click the first shot, you can then scroll through with your arrow keys or by swiping…and PLEASE…don’t look at my photography on a phone. Please…
Kotor City and my hill climb
After my tour, I came back and went to lunch with Kathleen. She was feeling better (this was before they imprisoned her) and needed to get something in her stomach. After lunch and some time in the stateroom, I wanted to walk back into the city. Since we would be there until 10:00 pm that night, I thought I could go walk into the city in the afternoon and gauge how long a walk it was and then talk Kathleen into coming in after the sun was down and the temperatures were more moderate.
So I wandered through the city (see pics) and took a bunch of photos, and then at one point, I found myself in front of a shop talking to a local artist about their work (I eventually bought one of her smaller pieces), and I asked her where the path up to the old church on the hill started. You can see the old church and its relationship to the city in the picture on the right.
She replied that it was right behind her shop and that if I decided to climb up, I should be very careful because there were at least 15 falls a day going up or down, and there had already been 11 that day. I asked her if I did go up and if she had any tips for me. She had one, “Stay on the steps, stay off the stones.” She was right. The stones that made up most of the path (you can see them next to the steps in my photos) were mostly old granite and marble that had been worn down to a very slick surface meaning that on the way up, it was very difficult to climb and on the way down, it was a real fall hazard. But I decided to try it using those steps. I should let you know that climbing the wall costs 8 euro (I think they should pay you! 😜). The climb itself was a good one. And in the heat, while I didn’t regret doing it, I wouldn’t do it again and wished I had done it in the evening.
But the views! What incredible views. Take a look at the photos. Don’t forget, if you click the first shot, you can then scroll through with your arrow keys or by swiping…and PLEASE…don’t look at my photography on a phone. Please…
And night descends in Kotor
After dinner on the aft deck (which looked like a commercial for Viking), we headed back to the stateroom. Kathleen had not yet been confined and was feeling great so we watched a little TV before I went out on our verandah and saw the beautiful lights of Kotor come up. I shot a couple from our verandah but then decided to go up to deck seven to what has become my favorite place on the ship, The Explorer’s Lounge. There is a forward-facing open deck in front of it that is the perfect place for taking photos, and that’s when I got these other shots, one of which may move into my top 10 shots I have taken in forever. We shall see. Make sure you look at the last photo in this group at full screen.
Report from onboard!
That about covers Kotor. Had a marvelous time. Back on the ship, this was the day before Kathleen’s quarantine confinement, so we had all our meals together. Again both lunch and dinner were in the World Cafe (buffet), and they were excellent. I just happened to be grabbing a dessert at that section of the buffet when the head pastry chef was there. I got a chance to tell him about how I am not a chocolate lover, but anything he has made with chocolate in it has been incredible, starting with the Amarone and chocolate dessert in Manfreddis. This particular night they had announced a Montenegrin dinner featuring local dishes that turned out to be 90% seafood. Kathleen stuck to the bland stuff, but I had seafood salad, prawns, king crab legs and some of the best mussels I have ever had. Oh, and I forgot to mention that at lunch that day, they had a Barolo braised short rib that was sooooooo good that as Primo said in The Big Night, “I have to KILL myself.”
A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in.