By Mary Jo
I've written about the first part of our Italy to Istanbul cruise, and now it's time for part two, visiting countries on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea.
First up was Croatia, a beautiful country with mountains and a long stretch of sea coast. Dubrovnik is perhaps its best known city, and it's spectacular. We visited several years ago so instead of touring the city, we visited places in the country. Above is a view of Dubrovnik from a road above the town. You can see the round shape, the walled city, and the orange roofs. We visited several years ago. On the right is a picture of one of its steep, stepped streets. I loved all the greenery along the steps!
The countryside is lovely. The town of Trogir is 2300 years old and it's built on an small island with a bridge connecting it to the mainland. There are masses of old churches, monasteries, and more, including the 13th century Cathedral of St. Lawrence. Not surprisingly, the feline statues outside particularly caught my attention. <G>
But what moved me the most was the simple modern memorial below. It honors all those who died in the fierce Croatian war of independence in the early 1990s, a reminder that freedom comes with a price.
A more peaceful visit was to this old mill, where we were also given a very nice snack. (Viking excursions often include snacks of local food and drink, and they are good!) Servers wore native costumes and spoke excellent English, which is a required language in Croatian schools.. Tourism is a major industry in Croatia, and is one of the few college majors open to her.
Montenegro is a tiny but very diverse country, The capital is Kotor and it's located at the head of what looks like a very long, dramatic fjord, but it's actually a drowned river valley, for those of you who are geologically inclined. The image on the right was the view of Kotor from our ship's cabin. Church domes and mountains.
Montenegro loves cats. Apparently that passion goes back to the Great Plague of the 14th century, when the cats killed rats and reduced the spread of the plague, or so the story goes! To the left is one of the very relaxed cats that were all over. They expect people to step over them. <G>
We took an excursion that led us along a lovely coast road to a concert in the very old church of St. Nicholas. The guitar playing duo are well known not only in Montenegro but throughout Europe. They played mostly classic music that suited the location. Magical!
On my next journey segment–Greek Islands and Greece!
Happy armchair travel–