I often love to capture an image that I hadn't planned for or wasn't expecting. We were on our first Mediterranean cruise and were entering the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro. I was pretty excited as I had seen images of the location beforehand showing these large mountains that almost fully surround the bay. We were scheduled to dock early in the morning and I woke up just as we were leaving the Aegean Sea and entering into the long winding entrance to the bay. When I looked out of the cabin window wall I saw was thick fog. Fortunately, as we traversed the fiord-like entrance (15 miles long), the fog began to lift and took on this really cool blue hue from the brilliant sky. I took a few photos and wasn't sure if they would properly convey the beauty of the scene. This is one of those photos and I am pleased to say that it came out pretty well.
This image is of the town of Perast located on the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro. Near Perast there are two small islands: one is called St. George island which houses an old monastery. The other is called Gospa od Škrpjela, home to the chapel of Our Lady of the Rocks. We had just left the chapel and were on a relaxing short boat ride to Perast. Perast has an interesting history. The Republic of Venice owned the city between 1420 and 1797 as part of the Venetian Albania. It has sixteen Baroque palaces, seventeen Catholic churches and two Orthodox churches. After the French Empire conquered and dissolved the Republic of Venice in 1797, it became part of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy and later was included in the Austrian Empire. During World War II it briefly was annexed to Italy by Mussolini. After 1945, Perast became part of Yugoslavia and ultimately became part of Montenegro since its independence in 2006.
The Bay of Kotor in Montenegro is a 15-mile winding bay leading from the Adriatic Sea. The bay is composed of four smaller gulfs and, due to its many twists and turns, is often called Europe's southernmost fjord. The bay is actually a submerged river canyon of the Bokelj River which used to run from the high mountain plateaus of Mount Orjen. Numerous cities and towns are located on the bay such as Kotor (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Perast (a UNESCO World Natural and Historical Heritage Site) and Prčanj. When we entered the bay, the fog was so thick that we could hardly see anything as we traversed the length of the bay. After we docked in Kotor (at the far end of the bay), the weather took a turn for the better and began to clear. By the time we started our tour of the bay, the fog had dissipated and we discovered one of the most beautiful places that we have ever visited. As we passed along the shore, we were able to observe these wonderful towns and the surrounding mountains.
Great finish to the Super Bowl game last night after a relatively boring first three quarters. Congratulations to all of the Giant fans out there although being a Eagles fan and living in New England, their win was a little painful for me. Anyway, a quick post and run today. This shot was taken from a cruise ship after leaving the port of Kotor in the country of Montenegro. As we sailed though the winding entrance from the Bay of Kotor to the Mediterranean Sea, the sky was a brilliant color reminiscent of a blazing fire. An awesome sunset.
Today, we revisit the Bay of Kotor, one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. Located in Montenegro in between Croatia and Albania, it is surrounded by towering mountains making everything seem small in comparison. We had spent the morning touring the bay and taking in it's wondrous sights. The afternoon was set aside to walk trough the town of Kotor. Walking through the streets and alleyways, we felt like we had been transported to a time long ago. Everywhere we turned, the old buildings looked and felt that they had thousands of stories to tell. This house was illustrative of the look and feel of the town. Obviously the weather had worn away at the facade, shutters and unusual chimneys. The rustic look was prevalent and set against the backdrop of large rugged mountains, it begged us to stay a little longer than we were able. I hope to be able to revisit Kotor for an extended stay sometime in the future.
One of the most surprising places that I have visited was Kotor, Montenegro. Once a part of Yugoslavia, Montenegro became an independent nation as recently as 2006. Located between Croatia and Albania, its shoreline lies on the Adriatic Sea. It is a small country (about the size of Connecticut); is mostly rugged mountains and is home to only about 620,000 people. According to our guide, the most amazing fact is that it has 365 churches. I have already posted about our visit to the Lady of the Rocks (you can read it here) located in the middle of the Bay of Kotor. After our visit to the church, I wandered outside and noted the smaller island across the water. I learned that this was a monastery (Saint George Benedictine monastery or Ostrvo Sveti Đorđe).
I was intrigued by the sight of the majestic mountains behind the monastery. I took a single shot as it was mid-day with the light and shadows being harsh and didn't expect it to come out. Only recently did I pull it out of the archives to see what I could do with it. I am pretty happy with the results.