Monday 7 July 2014

A day of serious exercise!

Day 9: Bay of Kotor, Montenegro

Not ones to waste time we had an early start to explore Kotor. It is one of the best preserved medieval old towns in the Adriatic and a UNESCO world heritage site. Our morning goal, however was to hike up the 1,200m climb up the town walls to the ruined fortress (1,350 steps).

It was a race against the rising sun as, even in the shade, it was hot sweaty work! The early start also meant we avoided the €3 entry charge as we snacked on our bread rolls fresh from the bakery as we climbed.

It was worth it - the views over the city and bay were stunning!

After climbing back down we went to a travel agency ‘Adventure Montenegro’ to rent two-man canoes to head out into the bay.  They put on a complimentary taxi around to the bayside jetty where we collected our canoes and headed out.

We kayaked along the coastline, stopping every now-and-again at a beach to cool off with a little swim.

We were heading to Perast - an old town on the Bay of Kotor, noted for its proximity to the islets of St George (Sveti Đorđe) and Our Lady of the Rocks (Gospa od Škrpjela) each housing a picturesque chapel. Gospa od Škrpjela is also the only artificially-built island in the Adriatic.

It took about 2.5hours to kayak over to Perast, including a very exhausting and choppy crossing, where we battled boats, waves and currants to reach our destination!

Knackered we ‘parked’ our canoes on a random concrete pontoon.

We had a little wander into Perast - it was cute, lots of vines growing over trestles and bay-front cafes. 

We treated ourselves to an ice cream before our snack lunch.

Our lunch was an entertaining picnic of bread and ‘birthing’ sausages - each Frankfurter-style sausage had a clear plastic skin that needed to be removed before eating.

Our shady lunch stop...roadside dining at its most glamorous! 

Hot dog vs. legs...gone wrong!
All too soon it was time to kayak back to Kotor!

It was a little easier this time as we were following the currant, but I suffered with a little heat-stroke towards the end but revived on a beach with a cold can!  After a mammoth 5.5hrs kayak we arrived back at our jetty, elated!

First stop was a celebratory biscuit...

Followed by the tourist information desk to get a massage recommendation to soothe our aching arms and shoulders. The lady was very helpful and actually sent us to see her neighbour!  So we headed into a random part of Kotor for what turned out to be an excellent neck and back massage from Antonia!

Whilst my sister had her massage, I sat in her shady garden chatting to her sister and niece.

Floating post-massage, we grabbed some food & drink for a waterfront BBQ (lamb and burgers, chips/dips and local rose wine).  We met up with our group for the BBQ which was literally right on the bay front - giving us amazing sunset views.

Wine in the water

We swam again in the bay - whilst drinking our wine and gazed over the stunning scenery as the BBQ heated up.

Making smoked tuna, Israeli army style!
We had a BBQ feast! All lit up using only iPhones!

There was a great atmosphere as we listened to music, ate, danced and downed jaeger shots. Perfectly chilled fun evening.
The city walls lit up over the Old Town

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