On Monday, we motored over to Kotorski Zaljev, first arriving at the Islands off Perast via narrow straits, with steep green hills on either side of the water way. Think of it as motoring from the RPA in Pittwater up to Cottage Point. Just past half way, we come to the Islands off Perast. We went to the northern end and put down the anchor and had a swim. It was like swimming in the ‘Sound of Music’ with a remarkably alpine look.
We were swimming in an ancient ‘fjord’ created as the result of a drowned river valley, but the steep sided mountains made us feel like we were in northern Europe. We admired both small islands both with churches and their spires.
Otok Gospa id Skrpjela or Our Lady of the Rocks has distinctive blue domes and is a manmade island. According to the Thompsons, the island was created by sinking captured pirate ships with stones and sinking them on the reef. In 1452, they found an icon of the Virgin Mary on a stone and in 1630 built a church to her. Every year on 22 July, the townspeople of Perast go out and drop a stone on the reef.
Right next store the island of Sveti Djordje, the site of a very rich Benedictine Abbey. The cypress trees surrounding the Church are striking.
Perast was on the way to Kotor, Mercier is too big to tie up on the quay, but we motored slowly by the UNESCO protected former Venetian maritime center. A city of Venetian style palazzos line the foreshore and go up into the hills.
One afternoon, we passed some very well dressed people in front of a lovely stone building and I wondered if they were going to a wedding. As we came nearer we could see they were at the elegant entrance to the fruit and vegetable store.
Approaching Kotor, you see striking mountains, a long fortress wall, used to protect the city and possibly a cruise ship. At the top of the mountain is the Fortress of St John with only 1350 stairs to reach the top. On Monday night, we sat on a rooftop having dinner, listening to music and decided we would start the climb at 8AM on the next morning.
Louise raced up the mountain, so she would have time to sketch with Frosty right behind her. James stayed with me, while I scheduled strategic stops to take early morning photos of Kotor and the bay.
It was a great start to the day.