Exploring & Escapades

bits & pieces of my travels

Month: April, 2017

Old Town Kotor

Wandering, Old Town. Kotor is just charming. Stone buildings, green shutters, palm trees, cats, a winding maze of alleyways bursting open into lively squares, all set against a backdrop of rolling hills and the sea. I could roam for hours with my camera, entering the shops, striking conversation.

I buy things that I don’t need from the shopkeeper who feeds the cats to support her. I walk through the open doors of a church, enticed by the potency of the incense that can be sensed from across the square. And at the end of the day, I dine in St. Tryphon Square at a place called Dekaderon and have the best seafood (Lignje Montenegro), the best banana cake, and the best, most unique wine I’ve ever had. My server says it’s simply made by a friend of the restaurant, locally. It’s so interesting – not sweet, but not dry. Light and vast, as the city itself.

Advertisements

Fortress of Kotor

Ascending, 1,355 steps. Beautiful and breathtaking. It’s hot in the sun, and my calves are – literally – quivering at the end.

Where to begin? What an adventure. A day of spectacular views, of conversation, new friends, and pushing myself to explore. I met three American MBA students hiking; they were so friendly, even offered to take photos for me. Later, I met a shopkeeper, who showed me the cats in the back of her store and shared details of the town and it’s history. There was a couple swimming at the beach that I spoke with in the evening. Usually, when I travel alone, I avoid strangers, I’m overly cautious. But today, I made friends. I interacted. I made interactions. And those interactions, however brief and insignificant, reminded me how interconnected the world is, we all are.

Kotor

Kotor, Montenegro. Dreamland. Alone in my AirBnb, an adorable stone flat in the heart of the city, complete with lace curtains and an antique clock. By the time I made it inside and collapsed on the bed, it was already 4:40 PM; I had been awake since 3:00 AM, travelling since six.

Cab to train, train to airport, flight to Podgorica, Podgorica airport. It’s a bit confusing and stressful renting a car, buying a SIM card. The English is not wonderful. I’m overwhelmed, but then, suddenly I’m sitting in a car with the keys in the ignition. Deep breath. I force myself to go.

That road, that drive. It was breathtaking, wild. Blue-faded mountains painting the skyline. Lakes of blue-grey. Tunnels and hills, and then, the abruptness of the seaside. The road was winding and the drivers were aggressive. I took my time.

It took a little under two hours to drive to Kotor, including a ten minute holdup at the entrance to the last tunnel and a ten minute holdup waiting for a truck to unblock the parking entrance. And, then, I was there. It was 4:40 pm. I made it, with an hour to spare before sunset. I had made it.

I always feel terrified before travelling alone, simultaneously terrified and excited, no matter how many times that I do it. It’s hard to describe. It’s a physical sensation, not logical. But I force myself to move forward. I force myself to go. I take my time. And I never, ever regret it.

The Backs

Wandering along The Backs with my camera on a sunny, chilly spring day. The weather was moody; one minute, warmth, the next speckled with sun showers. And then when I finally returned to my bike to travel home, ice fell from the sky. Even still, it was nice to be in the light. Spring is here. 

%d bloggers like this: