Thursday, February 22, 2018


Then after Mykonos there was a whole day of boring cruising. Most of the time we were not close enough to shore to see the distant hills going by, marking the miles. Sometimes there was a ship in the distance, usually a tanker, occassionally a sailboat.
That is all.
The activities on the ship are not very interesting. There are two pools, small and very crowded. Apparently in one of them somebody has a bad bathroom accident. Really gross. Plenty of lounge chairs on the top decks, but it's windy up there. Indoors there's the dance floor (lame), a gym (eh), a theater (worse than the dance floor), and of course unlimited food and drink.
I finish my knitting, and a couple of books.
One useful thing we do is sign up, for once, for one of the organized outings for our stop in Kotor, Montenegro. It's a boat trip around the fjord, and it seems that making an early start will be the best way to be sure we actually get any boat trip around the fjord at all. Indeed that turns out to likely be true, since when we go down and board our little touring boat there doesn't seem to be any easy and nearby way to reserve anything else. By the time you got a boat, you wouldn't have time to enjoy it (All aboard at 1pm - not even time for a local lunch) Good idea! 
Making our way down the fjord, where Kotor sits way at the end. I Watch from our balcony as the sun gradually reveals the mountains all around.
Our pilot, coming to guide us in.
We loom so large above the town! For a while, the height of the slopes on either side lets you forget what a behemoth we're on, but once up to the quay, it's just like in Venice. It doesn't seem right to be so much bigger than everything normal.

Here's the island that's the main objective of the tour. There are two islands, one behind this one with just two buildings, no trees. The Woody one is a monastery, with, I think, 8 monks and a handful of chickens. Access is of course limited to monks.
The other, man-made one, has tons of visitors as one tourist boat after the next comes up to the dock to pick up or drop off. There's a whole fleet waiting some 100 meters out, waiting for the proper time to pick up their group. There must have been a dozen groups at the same time as ours.
In the high season you might really have to book ahead to visit, since dock access is very limited, and only so many people can crowd in at once. Interesting to know that the island is built of sunken ships, all piled up.
The town on the Mainland is neat. Lots of wealthy people have vacation homes on the slopes above or along the waterline farther up the fjord. Lots of handcrafts for sale. Some beautiful textiles, though we're warned that if the price is too good it's likely a machine-made knockoff imported from China. Sad! I'd like to support the local businesses - the whole chain from prime materials to labor to marketing, not just a seller of imports.
It would be really nice to have an hour once we get back to Kotor to poke around town and discover things. As it is, we get back with just time for a quick stroll and an ice cream. Good ice cream, minty.

Off we go again. Good thing I had the ice cream, because I prefer to spend our promenade back out of the fjord looking from one side to the other from the top deck, rather than down below having lunch. It would be good to have lunch, but when will I be coming back here, to tower over islands and boats, and pass by chapels perched on hillsides?
Might be a while.
Maybe next time I'll have the guts of my camera cleaned by a pro before leaving home, so I won't have all these spots to clean up. That's dust on the Inside, not a dirty lens - I can change lenses and the spots are the same.
Bye, Monténégro! One more stop and it's back home and to work...

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