And there it was! Glowing under fresh morning rising sun, dividing light fading sky from ink blue water, emerging under cracked limestone mountain, thousands years old – Old Town of Kotor.
We have just spot the port, slowly approaching with our cruiser all the way to the castle that was dominating the landscape and kidnaping our eyes from anything else around.
Very soon we were at the dock, where among dozens of agog locals sweating in the August heat, waving in rush with names of their guests, was our tour guide, standing calm with easy-to-spot “Mr. Williams and 360 Monte Travel Agency” sign.
This time, luckily, we booked Kotor private tour, as few days earlier, in Dubrovnik, we joined packed bus of tourist, and concluded – it’s just not our thing.
She took us on the journey that gave Kotor very high ranking place in our travel memories.
Passing what looks from the outside like intimidating unconquerable dark walls with very high main Sea Gate, we entered a surprisingly bright and warm atmosphere with smiles on faces all around, including ourselves reflecting them. It felt like we’ve entered straight to a kind hug of the heart and soul of Kotor from frightening armor on the outside.
Stories of our tour guide were only dragging us into this medieval illusion even more, as she told us about many families like Bizanti, Beskuca, Pima - that lived here, while their rising palaces above us were depicturing wealth and reputation required for this “nobility list”.
Suddenly we were squeezed among other tourists in a tiny little street that lead to the next quite wide and spacious square dominated by marvelous in Venetian style - St. Tryphon Cathedral. One of main protectors of the town is buried here since 809 AD, when Venetians brought his holy body to Kotor while recovering from a storm, and as the legend has it, he made new storms every time they tried to get him out of the town, showing he doesn’t want to leave and staying in Kotor ever since.
Sent of freshly cooked fish and mussels, coming from numerous restaurants surrounding, was taking over our senses, but soon our minds went wondering off from food as we entered an actual palace from Grgurina family that is now Maritime Museum of Montenegro.
Great advantage of having a private tour is that you can stop at any item interesting to you and just stare, imagine and feel energy of the space, while the tour guide brings this forgotten parts of history to life.
Music from “Game of Thrones” theme at the St. Lukas square interrupted the story of how the oldest church dating from 1195. actually had two different altars at the same time, and everybody just started staring at the young violinist who was taking over all the tourists’ attention from their tour guides. Clinking coins falling into his hat made his face glowing and red at the same time, while he was trying to minimize his big smile.
You know those places where everything is new, and yet you feel like home?
Yes, those ones.
Our medieval bubble dispersed when we looked at the time! It was just enough to hug our dear host and say goodbye until next time, because there will be one for sure!
We cannot thank enough 360 Monte team for organizing this for us and setting us beyond interesting tour guide, and I would gratefully recommend to try this or other Kotor private tours that they organize, you won’t be disappointed.