Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Journey to the Western Balkans - Montenegro

The Balkans?  Where the heck is that?  Most people have no idea.   Across the Adriatic Sea from Italy lies a region rich in history, culture and geography.  It is home to the former Yugoslavia, great mountain ranges that held the 1984 Winter Olympics and most recently conflicts that sent NATO to repel genocide by Serbian forces.  It is a land filled with surprises, people of wonderful character and great beauty.   It may not be on your list to travel to, but it should.

This series of next six posts will recount Cindy and my Journey by train, bus, taxi and foot across six countries in just over 2 weeks.

Montenegro was the second country we visited.   In September of 2006 Serbia and Montenegro reached an agreement and Montenegro broke free to become a free country, one of the newest to planet Earth.  It is a small country whose coast is filled with untouched beaches, historical walled towns and only a few of those blighted tourist resorts.   Just 4 miles inland the mountains soar to the sky were trails head inland, farms dot the landscape and the forests grow.

On the northern end of Montenegro's coast lies the bay of Kotor, a cove sometimes called a fjord, although technically it is not, that holds some of the most impressive coastal views the Adriatic has to offer.

Here is what we found in the Bay of Kotor:

In the heart of the town of Kotor lies a walled City.   Stretching above it wraps a walled fortress stretching hundreds of meters upwards, which includes the stunning small church of St. Ivan.

Hidden in the back recesses lies a tiny weather beaten church nestled in and amongst a sheep herder's farm.  

If one forgets about the wires, the town could be from today or from 800 years ago when parts of it were built.  Its narrow winding alleys, hanging laundry and red roofs enchant the eye.

In most places a small coastal plain touches the coast, in Kotor within a hundred meters, the mountains stretch skyward.


Nick Graham - The Nomad

No comments:

Post a Comment