Friday 18 June 2010
Km so far: 2379
Another kayak trip in the morning, this time with a 2-man kayak, which we both preferred as you can go faster with less effort and it is more sociable. Had a swim in the lake to cool off afterwards then finished packing and left the Palatta Radomiri, initially to visit Kotor before turning north for Dubrovnik.
Kotor is another of those charming walled Venetian cities with a maze of narrow alleys opening into unexpected shady squares with beautiful churches and every inch of shade occupied by attractive café tables. It is very photogenic and we spent a couple of hours there, by which time we had seen most of the sights.
We then drove up the mountain. There is a spectacular drive that snakes up the slopes of Mount Lovcen with dozens of hairpin bends, giving amazing views of Kotor and the whole complex of lakes out into the Adriatic. We then drove round the peninsula to the car ferry near to Tivat. We had been warned that this might involve a delay as the ferries only go when they are full, but late Friday afternoon there were three of them operating continuously, so there was no wait at all. It cost €4 and saved us around 40 km of driving.
We had arranged for us to stay in the Hilton in Dubrovnik, courtesy of Airmiles. The hotel is as you would expect, very comfortable and ideally located just outside the Old City. Had pizza in a delightful café overlooking the ramparts.
Having eaten, wandered into the Old City and bought tickets for a classical concert being held in the Church of St Saviour, just inside the City Gate. We were seated just before 9 o’clock in the small but atmospheric church, lit only by candles. The programme was varied but mostly baroque music played by a pianist, a classical guitarist and a violinist. Great end to the day in a truly magical place.
Now that we are in Croatia we are heading for home, our meanderings around the Balkans over as we head consistently in the right direction. It feels different, more western European than the countries we have visited so far, although we are not quite in the EU. Very definitely no Cyrillic alphabet here, and everything is that bit more expensive.
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