WELCOME TO KOTOR, MONTENEGRO
Before we begin with last night I wanted to mention we thought that Kotor, Montenegro is one of the prettiest and most pristine areas of the world we have visited. The views from the ship and from the town are truly breathtaking. This was our first visit to Kotor and it has been amazing.
We enjoyed a pre-dinner drink at the Avenue Saloon.
Bartender Mel took very good care of us.
We arrive to the Crystal Cove about 15 minutes before dinner and Richard Pucci was kind enough to play a Beatles song. Thank you Richard.
These are the dinner menus from Waterside.
We had looked at the menu for Saturday evening's Black Tie Optional night even though we were dining at Prego. Having seen Lobster on the menu we asked if we could have it on Sunday night and Head Waiter Augusto was able to special order it for us to enjoy last night.
We have been happily married for close to 42 years and have a lot in common. Last night was an example of that when our first three courses were the same.
We each began with the Seafood Salad Appetizer. This was a wow. It comes from the Modern Menu and was very tasty between the delicious seafood and sauce and other items which accompanied it.
Our second course was an Iceberg dinner salad.
Our third course was the delicious lobster flown in all the way from Maine. With very few exceptions the lobster always comes in from Maine. It was delicious. I had a double serving of Lobster while Anne Marie had a single serving.
On most evening’s we don’t have dessert other than fruit plate for me and a decaffeinate cappuccino for Anne Marie but we made an exception last night. I had some cheese which Augusto cut for me from the Cheese Cart and Anne Marie had a single scoop of ice cream. It was a great way to end a delicious and wonderful meal.
When Keith was playing Paddle Tennis on Saturday he met one of the older sons of San Carlos Wines. They own a winery called Domenico Winery. They also have two wine clubs (one in New York and one in California) and members from their club (90 or so guests) are on board. At the end of the game the son came up to Keith and said we were welcome to ask for one of their bottles of wine that they brought on-board Serenity to enjoy at Waterside so we had the Sommelier bring out one of the bottles. It was very kind of him. They have several varieties of wine on-board and we enjoyed one of their Cabernet Wines.
The evening entertainment featured the return of James Fox (he was on board for one segment of the World Cruise) and he performed two showings of the upbeat show called My Life: The Music of Billy Joel.
For those of you familiar with this show it had been on Serenity for a few years and for one year was no longer performed. It is now on Serenity where it will continue to be performed on most voyages throughout the year.
The first show began at 8:30 PM rather than 7:45 PM so they could have the Captain's Reception and Crystal Society Party at 7:45 PM.
With late night departures from Sorrento the other evening and one this evening from Kotor the party was held this evening. Having the party on the Black Tie Optional evening was not a good option since they had the Supper Club that night.
The good news is that when we returned back to our room we set the clocks back one hour as we are sailing into a new time zone. We always enjoy moving the clock backwards.
We slept well as Serenity sailed to our next port-of-call at Kotor.
Keith was up early and began the day with an early morning workout at the Fitness Center. After the workout we enjoyed coffee followed by breakfast in our room.
We arrived to Kotor on schedule.
Today marked our first visit to Kotor and we will be returning on the following cruise.
Kotor is a coastal town of Montenegro. It is a secluded town with a population less than 15,000 residents.
Starting in the year 2000, Kotor has seen an increase in tourism brought about mainly due to the expansion of the Passenger Cruise Ship industry. The area which surrounds Kotor included fortifications built during the Venetian period.
The town which was first mentioned in 168 BC was settled during the Ancient Roman era. The town was fortified during the early Middle Ages when the Emperor built a fortress.
Kotor is considered to be the best preserved medieval old town in the Adriatic and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Major highlights include:
Maritime Museum which includes many portraits and other items related to vessels.
Sv. Tryphon which is one of the oldest monuments along the Adriatic Sea.
Gradska Kula which is a central clock tower in the old walled town.
Originally, we had a tour planned that included a visit to Perast by vessel including a tour of Our Lady of the Rocks Church and a walking tour of the old town city of Kotor. We were uncertain about the weather and how the tour would be impacted with potentially cooler weather and the possibility of rain. As a result we checked and found out we could cancel the tour.
These are photos as we entered a channel this morning as the sun was coming up.
This was an unusual site as we were about twenty minutes from docking.
Some views from our room.
Our arrival to Kotor was some of the most magnificent scenery we have seen. It felt like we were sailing in Norway combined with this area of Europe. As soon as the ship was cleared we walked ashore. We made our way across the street over to the old town of Kotor. As we walked the city it reminded us of Venice as it has that influence. The items in the shops ranged from items you might see in Turkey (those copy items) to many items locally crafted. A couple of shop owners did say the same thing and almost what we might here in Turkey. They said"let me help you spend your money", or "let me help you spend your money and lighten up your wallet". They were all very nice and not pushy. We did purchase one item as a gift for someone on the ship.
We both made our way over to the area to walk up to the Church Of Our Lady Of Remedy built in 1518. There were steps and also in the center a walkway made from rocks. At one point Anne Marie stopped at the St. Roko Position while Keith continued his walk. Keith does have a fear of heights. Between his ability to walk on the walkway made from rocks and the height of portions of the wall where the steps were located he was able to continue his walk. When he was about 90'%+ into the walk the walkway ended and the height of the wall was no longer very high. He thought he could make it all the way up but was concerned with walking down that portion with the low wall. He did enjoy beautiful views of the surrounding areas including Crystal Serenity.
Once we both made it back to where the first step is located we walked all around the old town. Our walk included most of the side streets and the larger areas. We walked into several churches. We took in the beautiful views and scenery. We even walked into a shop that was selling old LP albums and on the top was an album by The Beatles. They must have known we were coming.
When we concluded our visit to the old town we walked other nearby areas, also the market and to a park.
On our return to the ship we saw Natasa who works at the front desk and her husband Dennis who is a bartender. They are a lovely couple. They were waiting for Natasa's family to arrive as she is from Montenegro.
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit. This is such a beautiful place. We do have a beautiful world. Once back on the ship, we enjoyed lunch at Marketplace. Keith played Paddle Tennis while Anne Marie walked and we are enjoying the rest of the afternoon on board Serenity. Coincidentally, less than two minutes after Keith finished playing Paddle Tennis it started to drizzle. Prior to that it was sunny and the temperature was perfect.
The good news is we return to Kotor on the next cruise.
Following is today's daily Reflections Program.
Anne Marie & Keith