|The Bay of Kotor|
|The Cathedral of Saint Tryphon, in Kotor|
Montenegro is, simply, beautiful. Driving around the Bay of Kotor was incredible. Cypress trees darken the awesome Dinarides -- hence the country's name, "black mountains" -- leading down to the mirror-like, deep blue bay; it actually resembles a fjord, blocking all wind from the Adriatic. With towns and villages at the water's edge -- the best defence against the main threat of the time: invading Ottomans from the mountains -- it really reminded me of a lush Lake Como; indeed, the Dinarides (is it just me, or does that word conjure up this epic mix of Easy Rider and dinosaurs?) are properly called the Dinaric Alps.
|You can just make out the city wall above|
This trip has really illuminated how paths diverged following the dissolution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and on a spectrum of Croatia to Bosnia, a good example of mixed blessings is Montenegro generally, and the route to our other stop, Budva, specifically.
|Relaxing in Budva|
I've always had difficulty putting news from this region (e.g., Kosovo's declaration of years past) in context, so it was particularly fascinating and rewarding for me to learn about its history in such beautiful surroundings. Tour guides are no different from any of us, of course, burdened with a set of biases; still, for me, it's tough to beat a few hours with a good storyteller.
|The small islet and hotel resort of Sveti Stefan (Saint Stephen)|
Check out our album for more pictures from the tour.