Docking in Kotor was also great to watch as we parked right next to the Venetian fortified walls of the old town. Impressive is a word that comes to mind. Incredibly picturesque. We had thought to mix up our time here by starting with a short guided walking tour of the old town to get a better feel of Kotor followed by some touring on our own.
We were mindful of the weather; even at 9:00am it was very hot and was only going to get hotter as the day went on. Incidentally, our guide mentioned that the region was experiencing their hottest summer in 70 years this year. We entered the walled town through the main entrance of Morska Vrata (Sea Gate) with an interesting inscription credited to the former president of Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito from November 21, 1944 - we've seen a few English translation variations but it is roughly translated "What belongs to others we don't want, what is ours we will never surrender". Inside the walls our walking tour explored pretty much the limit of the walled city and took in some of the highlights of the town such as Cathedral of Saint Tryphon (consecrated in 1166) & the Maritime Museum . It was pretty obvious that there wasn’t a lot to see in the old walled town but it was still a nice place to wander and explore. When the walking tour concluded we set off our on own just to enjoy the ambience of this medieval town. We did stand to watch a group of local folk dancers perform a typical Montenegrin dance called the Oro. We were hot enough just standing and watching them - can only imagine how hot these dancer would have been on this day. By the time it was past noon we really wanted to find a spot to get a refreshing drink more than food but figured we'd find a spot for lunch. We took a look at the options and picked what we thought would be the best choice. We sat outside under large umbrellas and the area was cooled with fans misted with water. Was very pleasant and a welcome respite from the day's heat. We did get to sample some of the nice local wine & beer and enjoyed a decent lunch in these pleasant surroundings. Was tough to decide to leave - we could have actually sat there for quite a while. We did, though, make a move to tour the town a bit more.
It was about this time that we split up for a bit - Gary wanted to check out the view of Kotor from the mountain of St John and Linda didn’t want to make the walk up the exposed stone pathway in the sun and heat. We compromised with Gary deciding to about half way up to Crkva Gospe od Zdravlja (Church of Our Lady of Remedy) rather than all the way up to Tvrđave Kotora (Castle of St John) to take less time while Linda looked around more at street level. One the way up Gary was reconsidering the wisdom of his decision - it was oppressively hot. He did make it to the church to enjoy the view and get some photos before making the way back down to meet Linda at street level. By our reckoning we had seen as much of what the walled town had to offer and with that made our way back to Azamara Journey. Once on board we figured it would be a great opportunity to take a swim so we went to the pool and enjoyed the late afternoon in the cool water on a hot day.
The open deck was being readied for a White Night Party - tables were being readied for people to eat out on the open deck and the area close to the stage was being cleared for dancing. We knew we'd miss most of the activities because we had an 8:00pm dinner reservation for this evening at Prime C - one of the two specialty restaurants on Azamara Journey. That suited us just fine; we never were much for the buffet dinners on the open deck.
We arrived at Prime C a bit earlier than our reservation time to enjoy some champagne at the bar before we were seated at our table. That made a nice start to our dinner and Taittinger will always be our champagne of choice if available as it was on board Azamara Journey. We were seated at nice table with a great view at the back of the ship and had a wonderful dinner with excellent service. We were thinking to only book one dinner at a specialty restaurant for this cruise and we enjoyed it very much indeed. The White Night Party was in full swing as we left the restaurant and walked out on to the open deck to check out how things were going. The music was good and the mood was certainly festive. We stayed for a while and then returned to our room while Azamara Journey made it night trek through the Bay of Kotor. A great night. For the day, probably our most lasting memory will be of the heat, but it too had been a nice day touring a fascinating medieval town in a setting with incredible scenery.
WHITEonline is the digital home of Gary & Linda White. We’ve been married since 1980 and live just outside Toronto in Ontario, Canada. Linda was born and raised in Toronto while Gary was born in London, England and moved to Canada at the age of 11. We enjoy travelling and taking photos while we travel. WHITEonline provides the opportunity to share some of our photos & experiences.