Thursday, April 12, 2018

Grey, green, blue, sky and sea: Montenegro

Montenegro, meaning "Black Mountain" is a sovereign state in Southeastern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the southwest and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast, Kosovo to the east, and Albania to the southeast. (Wikipedia)

After visiting friends in Scotland and England a couple of years ago, I joined my husband, Richard Schear, for a cruise down the Adriatic Sea with a stop in beautiful, legendary Montenegro, and then up the Mediterranean. I was thrilled and excited about Montenegro.
 Cruise ships on of the Bay of Kotor (Wikipedia photo)
Once upon a time, long ago and far away, an American author named Rex Stout wrote a series of books about a reclusive Montenegran detective named Nero Wolfe.
Wolfe was the main character, along with his assistant, Archie Goodwin, in Rex Stout's 33 novels between 1934 and 1975.
Portly and ponderous, Wolfe does not reveal much about himself, keeping his Montenegran past murky while confining himself and his detective work to his luxurious brownstone in New York. He is loath to leave his home for business, or for anything that would keep him from reading his books, tending his orchids, and eating gourmet meals prepared by his personal chef.
Archie Goodwin, Wolfe's sharp-witted, dapper young confidential assistant, narrates the cases and does the legwork for the detective genius. (Paraphrased from Wikipedia.)

Montenegran monk
walking along the shore path
(Kay Davies photo)
When I found out we would be visiting the town of Kotor in Montenegro, I was ecstatic. Since I was a youngster and first discovered Rex Stout's most famous fictional character, Nero Wolfe, I was fascinated by the idea of Montenegro, said to be the land of that fictional character's birth.
I don't remember when I started reading Rex Stout's novels. I was a prodigious reader from a young age and when I discovered the Nero Wolfe books at the public library, I was hooked. 
Montenegro, sigh! Oh, yes, I know Nero Wolfe is a fictional character, but I somehow understand how he felt about Montenegro. It is so beautiful even, and sometimes especially, in the fog that creeps down the mountains.

From the time our cruise ship turned east from the Adriatic Sea to enter magnificent Kotor Harbor, I was excited. More than excited!
While casually shopping and exploring in the town of Kotor, occasionally looking upward to look for my husband walking the zig-zag path to the top of the mountain, I was thrilled just to be there. (I couldn't see him, but I did see a monk on the shore path, and I met many friendly Montenegran cats.)

I could live here!
(Kay Davies photo)

Richard walked this zig-zag path
to the top of the mountain
(Wikipedia photo)

In my excitement, I announced to my husband that I wanted to move to Montenegro, until he reminded me of the effect wet weather has on my fibromyalgia — the reason, I had to agree ruefully, why I had moved away from British Columbia's wet west coast to the dry interior of BC and from there to Alberta's dry, desert prairie some years ago. Sigh.

Cats roam everywhere in Kotor. The Montenegrans, especially fishermen, feed the cats but give them free rein to explore and to discuss the day's events with passing tourists, perhaps earning treats, or else just enjoying some stroking and skritching. (Kay Davies photo)
See Wikipedia

(Wikipedia photos)

There are two islets off the shore of Kotor, but my photo above does not show detail, better seen in these photos from Wikipedia. Note the dome visible on the island to the right. It is a church called "Our Lady of the Rocks." You can see an overhead view of the islands in the photo below. "Our Lady of the Rocks" looks almost like a ship when seen from above. For details about the church and its significance: See Wikipedia

Looking down to the Bay of Kotor and the islands mentioned above. (Wikipedia photo)

Posting here for Fiona's fabulous... 

Skywatch Friday!


Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
A little jewel in the corner of Europe! YAM xx

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

There are some amazing sky shots here!

Spare Parts and Pics said...

What an amazing and beautiful location. So cool how the fishermen feed the cats!

Colette Bates said...

An interesting post, thanks for sharing your travel experience.

Powell River Books said...

That's a lot of novels! Even more than Wayne has written. - Margy

Lady Fi said...

I am so excited to read about your trip to Montenegro, especially as the kids and I will be staying in Herceg Novi (the town before Kotor if you come from Dubrovnik) in June. We have four days in Montenegro and three in Croatia (Dubrovnik).

Your photos are lovely!

Joyful said...

Oh Kay, what a fabulous trip. I've always wanted to go to Montenegro. Perhaps some day but in the meantime I've enjoyed it through your photos. I hear you about why you had to move away from the wet west coast. I fear I may have to one day too. I try not to think about it though. Have a wonderful weekend.

NatureFootstep said...

sad to say, I have never been there.

magiceye said...

Such a lovely place and you have captured it so beautifully in words and pictures!

Photo Cache said...

I would love to visit this part of the world too. I don't know much about it, but my impression is that of charming little towns with picturesque settings.

Worth a Thousand Words

carol l mckenna said...

Gorgeous place and photos ~ what a lovely trip for you both!

A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

Al said...

That looks like a beautiful place and sounds like a great trip.

Angie said...

Kay - I think many people travel to places in an attempt to re-create scenes they have read in books ... a friend of mine did so last year with The Origin by Dan Brown. We can join in your excitement, especially when you share such spectacular pictures. Move there? I can see why! My favorite shot was the cat near the harbor - fabulous, darling!

Thanks for your kind comments on my recent blog post!!!!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post Kaye. Did your cruise leave from Venice? We are hoping to do one early next year from Venice down the Adriatic coast then up the other side of the Adriatic . Your photos have confirmed that I definitely want to visit.

Gattina said...

Fortunately we have our photos to go down the memory lane !

Vicki said...

What a great time that must have been! I love the story about the cats!

indah nuria Savitri said...

Montenegro is such a beautiful country! Hope I can get a chance to visit it one day..

Sharon Wagner said...

This area is tops on my bucket list. I'll have to check out those books! I'm intrigued. Thanks for your double blog visit!

Nancy Chan said...

What a wonderful cruise holiday! Beautiful images from your visit.

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous views here! I can imagine you would want to move to Montenegro (who wouldn't?) sorry, am getting back so late about your comment about hugging a tree. Last week I went a conference, and events that last longer than a day mess up my blogging.
Feel for you, I don't know if there are degrees of fibromyalgia, but I knew someone when living in S Calif., and her whole life had to be adjusted around it. But as long as you can blog, it will keep up your spirits:):)

Thomas Lee said...

a very beautiful bay

Jenn Jilks said...

It's beautiful!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

This was such an interesting post! I knew nothing about Montenegro and I loved learning it sounds absolutely stunning (during the dry season). .... Kay, I read like you did as a kid (the librarian once called my mother to make sure it was OK for me to check out books from the adult section) ... and I remember loving Nero Wolfe. But it has been such a very long time ago -- I vaguely remember that he was from somewhere else besides his NYC townhouse (which was exotic enough for a girl from a podunk town in Eastern Washington) ... anyway ..... I have been re-reading Agatha Christie, most of which I read way back then too , and I remember bits and pieces (but usually not 'who done it') and I'm loving them all over again. Now I am in the mood to add Rex Stout to my Kindle list.

Klara S said...

Wonderful shots.

dee Nambiar said...

Nestled in the mountains. How beautiful.
And considering it was a place you re-created in your mind, when you read those books, I'm not surprised you wanted to live there.
I'm happy for you -- happy that you got to visit there. :)

Have a lovely weekend, Kay. :)