If Budva had surpassed our expectations, Kotor well and truly blew them out of the water. We had only decided to alter our plans and go there several days beforehand, and we are so glad that we did!
Our initial impressions were of a crazily busy fjord, with a pretty old town, and a giant cruise ship dominating the bay unloading scores of elderly sun seekers. But as we left the centre of town to start the 4km walk to our hotel, all of that changed. The throngs of tourists gave way to a smattering of friendly locals. The hectic pace became more relaxed, and the constant camera clickings were replaced by lazy fishing lines. And the views changed from giant cruise ship to some of the most stunning vistas that we have ever seen. The rest of the day we just wandered along the waterfront feasting our eyes on everything that we could see. And to end the day, beers on our hotel balcony while watching the annoying cruise ship leave, meaning that the next day should be far quieter.
And indeed that was the case. We headed back to the old town on day 2 and enjoyed the narrow streets and shops that were comparatively empty.
We then decided to hike up the old fortress walls. Being an old fortified town, there were surrounding walls as there usually are in towns of this nature. The difference here was that the rear of the town was nestled against a mountain, so the wall zigzagged all the way up the slopes, leading to a fantastic hike along the walls and through ruins, all while offering amazing views of the fjord. ~ I keep throwing superlatives in this post, but they are needed. We were blown away.
Kotor has shot up to one of our favourite places that we have ever been to. From a country that before coming here we knew very little about. Next up was a quick 1 night stay in Podgorica, which is reputedly less friendly and not very nice. I wonder if our love of Montenegro will be dented by its capital…