I woke up looking out our window from our hotel room, gazing at the glass-smooth stones that make up the streets of the Kotor castle. Cats and pigeons were watching the early workers cleaning the streets and disposing the trash.
The city has changed so much over time. Now, all the shops and restaurants serve the throngs of tourist who come here to see the glory of this living fort. People lived here in the tenth century as this is the old city. Living inside the protected medieval fortress walls, must have been a site to see. If only we could see; or better yet, travel back in time.
Yesterday we started our day visiting several old villages, but first we wanted to get photos from a scenic road that rises high above Kotor. We got some nice photos, but not of the fortress, for we could not see it. We drove for hours on tiny roads with switchbacks and hairpin turns. The view of the castle evaded us.
There were several villages we passed, but most were ruins. Others with lonely people for not much was around. We had driven to the very top, which was a fairly flat area with many homesteads; most with their shutters closed. We tried for some time to find points of interest that we had chosen, but the roads are not marked well and the maps did not help.
At one point this cop pulled us over and gave a whole speech until we said English, please; we are Americans. Before we could finish, he motioned us to go. This was the second time this has happened in Montenegro. On the way back out, the cop was in the same place. He had pulled over someone else and they were out of their car. This is how not speaking the language is an advantage. Probable cause is not a requirement to pull over a driver. These countries it’s at will.
We had enough of driving in half circles, so we started to go back to Kotor for some photos. I asked how much to enter the city. The ticket lady said it was free, now. Three years ago they charged. We thought, why not go in? We were glad we did. We had been here before but in a rush, three years ago with a tour. On this day, it was even more fun, as as we found several areas that we had not explored in our haste. Being on a tour when still employed had its advantages, too, but now we have more time to explore. Things are also very different now. Talking about different, as COVID has made the streets empty, but a perfect photography experience. At the same time, it is sad, as all the shops and restaurants are almost empty. They lack the income.
After having our iced coffee; our almost daily treat, we walk around taking photos. We had passed a hotel, and I said let’s check it out. We went in and ask for the price, and a discount which was given. The room looked so nice. A short glance into my Bunny’s eyes, we said we would take it.
Living inside the walls of the fort is so nice, because every hour, the church bells rings in the new time. The clicking of shoes on the stone walkways of the old city streets are distant sounds we hear from our window. We have always wanted to stay in a castle, so we could experience the laughter and soft conversations of fellow humans.
It was sad to leave, but the expedition must continue on. Life is so hard for an expeditionist, as time is ticking and new adventures await.