Showing posts with label Kotor Montenegro. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kotor Montenegro. Show all posts

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Our Wedding Night ~ and other Travel Tales. . .

IMG_20130620_162149_853We’d ditched the wedding duds hours earlier --  opting, as they say,  ‘for something ‘more comfortable’. 

The lights were dimmed and we were snuggled up together on that,
. . .our first night as husband and wife. . .

wedding 001. . .well, as snuggled as one can be sitting side-by-side in the ‘no smoking’ section of a Delta Airlines flight that was whisking us across the continental United States to our Caribbean honeymoon hideaway. 

(Can you believe they had smoking/no smoking sections?!)

As a newspaper reporter, I didn’t have a lot of vacation days; so no time to waste when it came to travel.
This Friday is the 33rd anniversary of that first trip.  Although we no longer have those jobs with limited vacation time, we still believe there is no time to waste when it comes to travel! But sometimes it is good to pause in the planning and enjoy a trip down Memory Lane as well. . .

1980’s: Those wild and crazy early years. . .

PicMonkey Collage

Even with only two weeks annually, we managed to cram a lot of travel into those newlywed years.  Hong Kong,Thailand, followed by Singapore and Malaysia and then Japan. We couldn’t get enough of Asian cultures, the food, and history. The now-fading photos (above) were taken in Thailand (circa early 1980’s)– notice those look-alike white pants. And, btw, that elephant had just ‘goosed’ Joel!

The Call of Aloha . . .

VegasHawaii2012 060

VegasHawaii2012 067When we couldn’t make it to Asia, we’d head to Hawaii; a relatively ‘close’ getaway requiring only a 5+ hour flight from Seattle.

We were captured then by its ‘aloha’ magic  and our recent entry into the timeshare world has made O’ahu  our tropical ‘home away from home’ – for a few weeks each winter.

The 1990’s South of the Border ~ Down Mexico Way
DSCF2815A serendipitous set of events that prevented us from returning to Thailand, took us to Puerto Vallarta in 1993; a trip that was to turn our 8 – 5 work world upside down and change the course of our lives. 

(In this photo we were posing next to our first banana crop.)

Six months after that visit we had purchased Casa de la Playa, pictured below.  A decade later, we had quit those 8 – 5 desk-bound jobs and set out on the course of adventure we continue today.

Casa de la Playa 001

33 Years ~ What a trip!

We now spend nearly five months, sometimes more, living out of our suitcases. So many places we’ve seen; such wonderful people we’ve met. Land and sea; land or sea – doesn’t matter to us. Traveling independently, we’ve  follow our hearts; returning to favorite places and discovering new destinations.  Going ‘where the winds blow us’ has resulted in some amazing places, for instance:

PicMonkey Collage
From top left, clockwise:  Off-the-tourist track towns of Mexico; Bologna, Italy; Amsterdam, Netherlands, and Scottsdale, Arizona.

PicMonkey Collage
From top left: Venice, Italy; Loutro, Crete; Kotor, Montenegro,  Lake Chelan, Washington State.

PicMonkey Collage
Clockwise from top left: Walla Walla, Washington; Athens, Greece; Paris, France; Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Life isn’t measured by the number of breaths you take;
but by the number of moments that take your breath away.

Thanks for joining us today while we paused to admire the views on Memory Lane. We hope when you take a backward glance at your travels,  you’ll have as many of those breath-taking memories as we do. 
But enough looking back! Time to get started on the next trip. . .

That’s it for Travel Photo Thursday, be sure to stop by Budget Travelers Sandbox for more armchair travels. And for those wanting to know about my rendezvous with Nancie McKinnon, check back this weekend!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Kotor, Montenegro: Climb Every Mountain

“Climb every mountain,
Search high and low,
Follow every highway,
   Every path you know. . .”

As the steps grew more uneven – actually missing in places – and the town below looked like a miniature toy land, I started humming those lyrics from the “Sound of Music.” My mental musical mantra carried me upward as we conquered one of those ‘travel bucket list’ items we’d had since a cruise stop in Kotor, Montenegro back in 2004:

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We were finally climbing the walls that zigzagged up the sheer face of the Hill of St. John to the remains of a once mighty fortress high above this town of some 26,000+ people. It had been on our list  since July’s triple-digit temperatures during that previous cruise  kept us from tackling it.

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Last fall we’d again arrived by cruise ship, this time aboard the Celebrity Silhouette.  The October visit, on a cool crisp sunny day, didn’t provide us any weather-related excuses.

SilhouettePt22012 159Kotor, is a UNESCO listed “World Natural and Historical Heritage Site” and its Old City, (that triangle of red roofs you see on the photo above) built between the 12th and 14th Centuries, remains a delightful warren of narrow streets and squares.

It is located on Boka Kotorska, the Bay of Kotor, at the far end of the deepest natural fjord in the Mediterranean.

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Upon paying the 3-euro fee to walk the walls, we were provided a brochure with map showing color-coded zones: ‘relatively safe walking path, zone of increased risk and high risk zones’ and a brief history of points along the way. It also said, in bold red letters: You are advised to use caution on the trail and consider your physical condition.

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After all, it is a climb of 1,350 steps with an ascent of 3,947 feet/1,200 meters. (And once up there, you will need to come down). It began quite easily on somewhat uneven steps that lined a sloped cobbled path, which once had been used to move cannons up to the fortress.

Steps along our route continued to be uneven, many broken or missing in places, yet fine in others. Low borders in places and others not. (There were places you didn’t want to make a misstep. )

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This somewhat rickety metal bridge, spanning a deep crevasse, led into what remains of the fortress.

SilhouettePt22012 134 We explored its nooks and crannies, which were often accessed by tiny openings. (I am five feet tall, by the way).

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Venetians built the walls and a reminder of their presence remains today in the image of the winged Lion of St. Mark, the symbol of the then Republic of Venice, just above modern- day graffiti.

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From the fortress we had spectacular views back over the city and bay and into valleys on the other side of the hill, like this one that revealed the remains of an ancient church.

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From the fortress mega-yachts appeared to be  the size of row boats.

SilhouettePt22012 123Not everyone was able to make it to the top. Those of us who did photographed each other to celebrate the feat. We felt pretty smug during our descent when half way down we came across a group of red-faced, 20-somethings sucking air and declaring that they had gone far enough!

We had two major chuckles on this outing.  The first was the “No admission” sign near the fortress that cordoned off a sheer drop of several hundred feet:

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And the second was the young woman we encountered along the way, who obviously had decided to dress formally for this outing:

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If You Go:

Map picture
By water:
There is nothing better than arriving in Kotor by boat traveling through the fjord that cuts through the towering cliffs, passing intriguing small hamlets along the way. If you have an opportunity to take a cruise with Kotor as a port of call – we recommend taking it!

Ferries from Bari, Italy and Bar,Montenegro also travel to Kotor.
By air:

The nearest airport is Tivat, eight kilometers away and is served by several airlines.

More information:

It is time for Travel Photo Thursday so head over to Budget Travelers Sandbox for more armchair travel! Hope to see you back here Sunday for WAWeekend!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Silhouette Snapshot ~ Kotor, Montenegro

This Celebrity cruise has – as I mentioned earlier – been a near mind-boggling routing filled with ports of call so interesting that we return to the ship with our senses  numbed from the experiences on ashore.

Our day in Kotor, Montenegro was one of those days that will end up in the  ‘near perfect’ file even though it was one of the most demanding (that’s a teaser for a future report about climbing a mountain. . .).

As we were sailing back toward the Adriatic Sea and putting the memories of the day away, we were sipping some well-earned wine and watching the day fade into evening. . .

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I should note here, that with the exception of two days – our stop in Napoli and Corfu when the skies dumped rain for a portion of each day– we have had sunny days and temperatures in the high 70’s. . .not bad for nearly the end of October!

Where has this month gone?  We left home the first of October and now are beginning the preparations for the end of the cruise and phase three of our adventure, ‘living’ in Venice to begin.  We have plenty of cruise tales and tips for you, so stay tuned. . .


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