10/22/2018

Elusive Montenegro

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Where is this elusive, tiny country of Montenegro, Europe's youngest country; and our 29th member to NATO? Montenegro is a pocket-size country in southeastern Europe, on the sunny, southern coastline of the Adriatic Sea. Formerly, Montenegro was part of Yugoslavia, until the break-up in 1992, and became a sovereign state when over 55% of the population voted for independence in  May 2006.

Montenegro is often called the land of six continents for its geographic diversity. It’s a country that offers tourists, intrepid travelers, and holidaymakers a versatile vacation destination; where you can tickle the turquoise sea or enjoy the soaring, snow-capped mountains in the distance. 

Our destination today is the UNESCO-protected town of Kotor, the magnificent Bay of Kotor, and the enchanting Our Lady of Rocks islet in Perast.  Traveling just 95km from Dubrovnik, with our tour guide, Tina, we find these picturesque villages and islands just waiting to be unwrapped. Luckily, our driver, Vlado, has traveled the Adriatic coastal road for over 35 years, maneuvering the sharp hairpin turns and the steep switchback curves on this narrow road with ease, offering breathtaking views at every turn. 

Kotor is a very popular European vacation destination, a real gem, located in the southernmost fjord of the Adriatic. The most impressive structure in Old Town Kotor, dubbed "Little Dubrovnik," is its city walls, dating back more than 1200 years, reaching 4 km in length, and stretching up to the San Giovanni fortress, that stands 260 meters above sea level. Another medieval and Romanesque building worth stepping inside is the Basilica of Saint Tryphon, constructed in 1166, with twin Baroque bell towers, and an impressive collection of European art.

Kotor-Bay of Kotor, Montenegro
The second UNESCO site is a short boat ride from the baroque shore of Perast, in the stunning Bay of Kotor, Our Lady of the Rocks. A photogenic Roman Catholic church, built upon the only man-made island in the Adriatic by seamen who discovered an icon of the Madonna and child on a seaside cliff and vowed to honor her by building a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the patron saint of seafarers and fishermen.
Baroque shores of Perast, Montenegro
One significant historic treasure inside the church is the famous votive tapestry, the Holy Virgin, embroidered by Jacinta Kunić-Mijović from the quaint village of Perast. Legend weaves the story that it took her 25 years to finish, while waiting for her husband to return from exotic and faraway places.  A fabled story that she embroidered this iconic piece with gold and silver fibers and finally with strands of her own grey, aging hair. 

Nowhere else can you discover so much natural beauty, picturesque villages and pristine nature in such a compact area, as in Montenegro, another hidden crown jewel of the Dalmatian coast.  



J. Christina founder at Scribbles and Smiles, travel writer, and hobbyist photographer.  She writes a personal travel blog from North America. Christina (Christie) is married to John, a.k.a. Mr. Christie. Mr. Christie is right on-board with their travel jaunts around the world - sharing in their blogging endeavors. He supports, encourages, handles gadgetry and embraces the role of editor - hence, their bespoke pen name, J. Christina. 

*for this particular post photo credits: google images 










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