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Published: October 5th 2018
This morning we were on the bus by 9 as we had to drive to the port to get the car ferry across to the peninsula on the mainland. We only had to wait a little while to drive in the bus onto the ferry and once we were in, we hopped off the bus and went upstairs. It was very windy this morning - apparently this was coming from some cyclone activity near Italy - so after sitting outside for a while, I had to end up going inside once the ferry started to cross the channel. The ride across didn't take very long and then we were back in the bus and heading down the peninsula towards Dubrovnik. Intererstingly, some of the Dalmatian coast was given to Bosnia Herzegovina after the war, so if we had driven from Split to Dubrovnik, we would have had to go through two lots of boarder control, which can be extremely time consuming. So, visiting the island of Korcula avoids all this as you rejoin the mainland below this section that's no longer belongs to Croatia.
We arrived at the winery of Korta Katarina around 10:15 for a tour of the winery
and some wine tasting. Bit early for a wine tasting but what the hey! The wine tour was interesting but not any different to every other wine tour. We then sat upstairs in their wine tasting room and tried four of their wines. This was accompanied by a platter of meats and cheeses, which were nice. It seems everyone enjoyed the wine tasting, if the level of conversation was anything to go by!
It was soon time to get onto the bus again and we had a long trip ahead of us, as we are driving to Kotor in Montenegro. We stopped off in the town of Ston on the peninsula, for a break and to get something to eat. This town is famous for the wall that was originally 7km long and divided the country between the Venitians and the Croatians - everything on one side belonged to the Venitians and all the land on the other side belonged to the Croatians. The wall is now about 1,200m long and is quite stunning to see. Soon it was time to get moving again and we were back in the bus and in our way.
Along the way
to Montenegro we passed Dubrovnik, so it was really nice to catch our first glimpses of the old town. Looks pretty spectacular! The drive along the coast was very scenic and Melinda gave us information about the homeland wars that happened to this area only over 25 years ago. After about 2 hours of driving (actually, I have no idea how long we drove for!) we reached the border between Croatia and Montenegro and this is when things really slowed down. We were behind two really big coaches so it took ages for their passports to be checked and stamped. Everyone was getting a bit cranky as it was hot on the bus and it didn't seem like things were moving. Eventually it was our turn and it didn't take too long, as there are only 15 of us plus Melinda & Damir so we were finally on our way! Big cheer - until we drove for about 5 minutes to the actual Montenegrin border control! Yep, the first one was the Croatian border control and we were now in no man's land and had to go through the process all over again! Thankfully it didn't take quite as long
this time and finally we were really on our way!
It was exciting to be in another country, one that has only been independent for 12 years so it's really a new country! After driving through the nondescript countryside we reached the Bay of Kotor and we were all in awe of its beauty. The bay is really an interesting shape and goes through a narrow neck to another, wider bay. To reach Kotor you have to drive all along the bay and that alone took well over an hour, probably closer to two. I absolutely loved it and could not get enough of the scenery - pity not everyone else on the bus loved it as much as I did as there was a fair amount of whingeing about how long it was taking us. Admittedly, we didn't arrive in Kotor until around 4:30 or 5pm so it was a very long day of travelling but I didn't have a problem with that as long as I am seeing something new.
Once we arrived in Kotor we had to walk through the gates of the city wall into the old town. This place is amazing - the
walls not only go around the town down at ground level but they also zig zag up this huuuggge mountain behind the town. There is even a church part of the way up and right on top of the mountain is a fortress. Ain't no one messing with this town!!! I have never quite seen anything like it - I have taken lots of photos but in no way do they do it justice. My niece Bella has climbed the 1,400 steps to the top and her photo actually does do it justice but unfortunately I just did not have enough time to do it.
We walked to our hotel and checked in. We just had time to freshen up and then meet everyone downstairs to head out to a group dinner. We had a drink at the main square first and then walked as a group to another one of the squares to our restaurant. We had a nice meal which started with a salad, which was exactly what I needed! Then I had the chicken dish for my main, which was nice but a bit dry and we ended the meal with a tiramisu. After dinner I
decided to head off to explore the town at night, only to realise pretty quickly that I was lost! I didn't have a map and my phone map didn't work as this country is not one my SIM works in. Oh well, I just kept walking and saw some beautiful churches lit up which I stopped to photograph. I found several squares and each time I started to get excited, thinking this is the one next to our hotel only to soon learn it wasn't. Anyway, long story short, I eventually did stumble across the square next I our hotel and I was pretty happy to find it! I had said to Melinda I would come back to the restaurant for another drink but in the end I didn't think I would risk it. That was fun though!
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