Wait, did I time warp back to Norway? No. New Zealand? Nope. Montenegro (the Bay of Kotor, specifically). I linked in the day trip tour that I booked but, I actually don’t recommend it. Unlike the other tours I booked through viator, this one seemed unorganized, rushed and run like it was just another tour to check off their schedule.
Interesting fact: Montenegro has only been a country for 10 years.
This islet looks very pretty and is plastered on almost every postcard available for sale but, then you find out that it is now a resort accessible only by the extremely rich and really, really good-looking that you realize you just wasted your time coming to visit.
The view from the citadel.
So, the itinerary advertised was Kotor (the main attraction) > Sveti Stefan > Budva. But, for whatever reason, this was switched to Sveti Stefan > Budva > Kotor. Now, this may not seem like the biggest deal but, it is, when you spend way too much time in the first 2 mediocre places only to have almost no time in the main attraction. On top of that, the day started out semi-sunny and ended with downpours by the time we reached Kotor.
We had about an hour here and 30 minutes of it was wasted on an included walking tour. I wanted to climb the 1,350 steps to the San Giovanni Castle (up to about 1,200 meters) to see the views of the bay and walled triangle town. But, I was told that it would take about 1+ hour. Given that I spent 30 min on the tour, I had no time left. Views would’ve looked like this. And, the adventure would’ve been great, even in the cloudiness and rain.
And, so, we meandered around town and had a coffee to pass the remaining half hour.
We almost bypassed Perast altogether since it had begun to drizzle but, at the passengers’ insistence, the guide gave in and stopped here. Thank goodness we did. It ended up being the highlight of the entire trip, despite spending only about 10 minutes here.
The itinerary included time for an optional boat ride to Our Lady of the Rocks (a man-made islet with a church over to the right) but, the guide suggested in a very passive aggressive manner that we skip it, stating that we had no time whatsoever. Well, it definitely could’ve been done.
Legend has it that local seamen would throw a new rock at this spot after every successful voyage, an oath they made after having seen a likeness of Virgin Mary with baby Jesus on a rock, with the intention of eventually building a church on top. So, naturally, it became tradition to take a boat ride over and throw a rock by the islet.
Next time, I will visit Montenegro on my own terms. Now, I just need to learn how to drive.