Until a few months ago it would never have occurred to me to travel to Montenegro. I mean, why would you? So little is known about the place - while we were planning our holiday there a couple of people asked me if it was off Africa (they were thinking Madagascar) and others thought it was in South America.
When Shaun's mum moved there I had to get out our dusty atlas from the bookshelf and check where it was. I studied history when I was in school, so I realised it was half the 'Serbia Montenegro' duo ... but little else.
I had so few expectations of what the place might be like. The guidebook I flipped before we went hinted at its natural beauty (got it in spades) but I guess with a country that's so close to Bosnia and Albania you do have to wonder...
So imagine how wonderful it was to arrive there and find this...
Shaun and I both nominate the place above as being our favourite in Montenegro. It's a small town called Kotor, and it boasts a very pretty Old Town. After a few hours of walking E around and around the cobblestoned alleys in an attempt to kept him to sleep (didn't work), we left him with his nan and trekked up to the top of the hill behind the town.
There's steps all the way up, past stands of cypress and olives, to the fortress that has watched over the town for centuries. It was a beautifully sunny day and there was something about our feet crunching up that rocky path that gave us a very strong sense of walking in the footsteps of ancients. As the path winds up, you pass a series of picturesque and (amazingly) unvandalised churches and shrines. The view from almost everywhere is postcard perfect.
Because not only do you look over the sweet red roofs and spires of the Old Town, you look out to an impossibly jade fjord.
Want to see more of Montenegro? Here are a couple more pics...
This is Petrovac. The water is amazing, but not as amazing as the view out to a small, rocky island just offshore that has a tiny little church perched at its peak. It was Orthodox Easter when we visited - loads of people gave E boiled eggs and (quite surprisingly) he ate most of them.
The following photo was taken on the day we drove up to the mountains. We thought it would be about 3 hours to get there, so off we go. Roadworks (x3) delay us but we got there in about 4 hours. We got stuck in a traffic jam and it took NINE hours to get home.
Yep, nine hours ... but that's a story for another post.