Come here before it gets discovered!!

Trip Start Jul 13, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Serbia and Montenegro  ,
Sunday, October 4, 2009

Again another spectacular bus ride across two counties (this time with stamps.. yaay!!) - the coast along here is just beautiful and I'm not too sure what to expect from Kotor as I've encountered many people who have been here and recommended it but there is very little about it on the web. My bus stops at an obscure bus station at what appears to be a back water and I start to wonder where I am... Kotor is a town set within a valley and nestled in the Bay of Kotor, which means it is stunningly located in a near-perfect setting (It also mean the view on the bus was somewhat marred by all the people on the left-hand side of the bus leaning over those on the right-hand side with their cameras to take pictures...).
I left the bus station with no map and no directions and decided to walk back in the direction that the bus has come along the bay, using the assumption that it is a walled town, so how could I miss it?!?!... How could I miss it indeed, it's so well camoflagued that it took me a while to realise that I was walking alongside the wall - after about 1km, passing a dozen or so fruit and vege vendors I eventually found the western entrance... I don't know why this is called the western entrance as I could only find one public entrance... Walking through the western entrance was like stepping back in time! I'm aware that most of the city has been rebuilt - but it's been rebuilt to look like time has stood still.. (not so much because of the recent conflicts, but due to an earthquake that hit the city in the 70s).

Tourism is only starting to make it way into Kotor, from what I could tell there were only 3 hostels in the city centre and the one I stayed in was only 3 months old, though there are the usual coach load of day trippers with the obligatory guide carring an umbrella or something equally conspicous.
The city walls climb above, up the side of the moutains to St Johns Fortress, it was a bit of a steep hike, but the scenes from above definitely worth it, with almost complete views looking down on the city but out into the bay. the fortress ruins are open for you to wander and are in serious decay but still evident enough for you to get an idea of the scale of the fortress when it was complete.

I managed to squeeze three days in here - with two little side trips (see Budva and Perast) and it was so relaxing that I'm sure I could of easily spent a week here.
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