top of page

Windstar Cruise: Day Five Kotor, Montenegro

PHOTO: Sailing into Montenegro (c) Sery Kim

Saturday was probably my favorite, all-around day of this entire cruise. Located on the Adriatic Sea, we sailed into Montenegro, a country of approximately 600,000 people. I had no expectations of Montenegro except for the James Bond movie Casino Royale which was partly filmed in the town square. Other than this little tidbit, I knew nothing -- and definitely had not done any research before coming. In a way, this may have been better because everything about this idyllic place surprised me.

PHOTO: Our Lady of the Rocks in Perast, Montenegro (c) Sery Kim

One of the most important facts about Montenegro is the city is, in fact, a bay on the Adriatic Sea so when you are on a cruise ship like the Wind Surf (or basically out in the water) what you see are rising hill sides from all around. The immensity of the untouched terrain really moves you, particularly if you are from big cities with boring skyscrapers like I am. Also, to get into the bay from the sea, there is a narrow passageway of approximately 300 meters so this means no large cruise ships! Thank goodness! Having walked through Paris, Rome, New York City, etc. during high tourist season, I now only like to travel to places where there are not a lot of people and Kotor in early May is the exact right time to visit: not hot at all, a balmy 72.

Also fun fact about Montenegro is they have a church, literally, in the middle of the bay. Officially apart of two islands called Sveti Đorđe, legend has it thousands of years ago some fishermen saw an image of the Virgin Mary in the water. To generate her blessings, they threw a rock into her image as homage. As the story was re-told, other fishermen, as well as sailors who would voyage out longer distances, would also throw rocks into the very spot. Rock after rock after rock built upon each other until finally, one day, there was so much rock you could build a church upon it.

And so Kotor, Montenegro's famous Our Lady of the Rocks came to be.

PHOTO: Obligatory selfie on Our Lady of the Rocks (c) Sery Kim

The church is tiny yet powerfully beautiful. It really is no wonder so many weddings happen here -- I was tempted to elope here but I have a long-time dream to elope to Ravello, Italy so that's probably not quite going to happen. Oh yes. There's also the issue of not having a fiance, haha! The interior is filled with paintings, gold and other imagery representing the Christian Church. Anchoring the space is a beautiful marble altar which is not built into the wall but rather away from it, with space enough in the back for people to walk behind. I've never had an opportunity to walk behind an altar before, and it was a unique experience. Not even a tight squeeze and you could feel the brisk coldness of the marble against heated skin.

PHOTO: Inside Our Lady of the Rock (c) Sery Kim

Of all the art inside, the most moving piece of artwork in the church is a powerful testament of a woman's love for her husband. This lady began an embroidery (picture below) when her husband left for exploration. She used gold, silver, other valuable material and even her own hair (which started blonde at the 6 o'clock location and gradually became darker and gray as you look counter-clockwise) to create this piece while she waited for him to come home. For over 28 years -- count them TWENTY-EIGHT YEARS -- she worked on this piece which eventually turned her blind. Sadly, there is no record of whether her husband ever came home to her but for all of us romantics we can only hope he not only came home, he loved her all-the-more!

PHOTO: Needlepoint art (c) Sery Kim

Afterward we walked around the historic city of Perast, which is a quick 30 minute drive from Kotor, Montenegro where the ship was docked. (Perast is also where we took the fast ferry over to the church.) I would say you could probably walk every street in Perast in about 90 minutes, that's how small it is. Sometimes when I am in these cities I wonder how they survive yet the answer is always the same: "tourism." Ninety-eight percent of this area's GDP comes from tourism.


PHOTO: Perast, Montenegro (c) Sery Kim

As for Kotor itself, the historic area inside the castle is referred to as the "Old City." Currently it is mostly filled with tourist shops with beautiful pieces of jewelry made from material gathered from the sea. I bought some earrings for $10.

PHOTO: The earrings I bought in Kotor, Montenegro (c) Sery Kim

It's very nice to walk around the Old Town, but it is very small. I can't imagine living in a city with approximately 300 people your entire life. Many of the inhabitants, particularly the women, never traveled and you wonder how they lived their entire lives without knowing what else was int he world.

PHOTO: Sitting area in Old Town Kotor (c) Sery Kim

I stopped to have lunch at a restaurant called Pescaria Dekaderon, right next to St. Tryphon Cathedral, Kotor's oldest church. The pasta dishes were enormous but they are apparently known for their pizza and having ordered the "Montenegro Pizza" I have to say it is better than anything I had in Italy. Tasty tasty!

PHOTO: Montenegro Pizza (c) Sery Kim

By 2:30 pm I was back on the ship ready to relax. I hadn't slept at all the previous four nights. Not sure why because I find sleeping on a boat to be the most relaxing thing one can do so it was pool-time with a view. Most likely my mind was racing from the brilliant (and romantic) dinner I had at Wind Surf's French restaurant Stella. Still, it's not good for me to go so long without sleeping so I rested and prepped myself for the BBQ onboard -- more on that later.

Great introduction to the Dalmatian Coast for me!

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Instagram Social Icon
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page