Wednesday Oct 1, 2014

Oh boy! There have already been more highlights than we can remember on this Midlife Madness Cruise – and today, without a doubt, we added another. The waterfront town of Kotor is located down the far end of Montenegro‘s most beautiful bay – and our first glimpse this morning was a foggy one, as we motored in through the misty, glassy waters of the fjord. First settled 2000 years ago, during the days of ancient Rome, today’s vibrant modern town boasts medieval architecture plus numerous cultural monuments (like an ancient wall leading up into the hills, built for protection by the Republic of Venice), making Kotor a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

We started our sightseeing tour by driving up the serpentine Lovcen Hills – on an edge-of-the-cliff road that took us higher and higher up the oh-so-steep mountainside, around 25-plus hairpin bends (I kid you not) – to a couple of heart-in-mouth photo stops, then finally to the small winter resort of Njegusi, (1700 metres above sea-level) where we snacked on the local specialities: smoked ham and cheese, brandy and wine.

We then headed down the mountains on a route that took us near Budva – another Montenegrin city on the Adriatic coast that they reckon was first settled more than 2000 years ago.

Few of us had ever been to Montenegro before, let alone gone mountain-climbing above Kotor. Were we impressed? Were we ever. In fact, we’d love to come back for a week …

PEOPLE NEWS: Another famous Yellow Ducky flew off this morning to reward a lucky Mad Midlifer:

  • Adrien J claimed our ‘Love Me Tender Award’ – for getting her start-times muddled up, and missing not just one but two ‘tenders’ (lifeboats) when our group went ashore in Kotor. But, true to our kind-hearted Kiwis, we didn’t leave her behind. And all ended well …

TOMORROW: We’ll be arriving (midday-ish) at the final stopover on this cruise – romantic, enchanting, musical Venice – where we’ll enjoy a sensory feast of criss-crossing canals, graceful archways, onion-domed cathedrals, priceless Renaissance art, echoing church bells, and gondoliers working their oars and singing “O Sole Mio …”

Yours bloggedly – JOHN

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