Balkan Road Trip 2018 - Part 3 Mostar, Blagaj Tekke, Pocitelj
Balkan Road Trip 2018 - Part 5 - Montenegro - Podgorica, Pavlova Strana & Lake Skadar National Park

Balkan Road Trip 2018- Part 4 - Radimlja, Stolac, Trebinje, Kotor

 Part 1. Part 2, Part 3. Part 5. Part 6. Part 7. Part 8. Part 9 & Part 10.

Our route from Mostar to Kotor, Montenegro included stops at Radimlja, Stolac, and Trebinje before making our way into Montenegro, and then onwards to Kotor. We had booked 5 nights in an apartment in the old town of Kotor. For Montenegro, the currency used is Euros. We were sad to say goodbye to Belma and her parents (our Mostar hosts). Our first stop was Stolac - well actually a site called Radimlja which is the site of a medieval necropolis with the most amazing looking tombstones.

We ended up missing the turn for Radimlja and so instead went into the town of Stolac, parked our car and ambled around.


We found parking next to a river, lined with trees. In the river we saw ducks, and a white egret. I thought that this ruined house with a tree growing out the window made for an interesting photo.


 But we were mindful of time passing, and we really wanted to see the medieval tombstones. We retraced our steps and came across the sign. There was parking and a small modest visitors center with restrooms. We paid the entry fee and then walked to the tombstones. If you are not paying attention it is easy to miss the sign post as we did the first time.


As you can see in this photo where Kevin poses amongst them, that they are quite large. Some had very interesting carvings of knights and swords...


and noble families...


It is believed that these tombstones date back to the 13th - 15th century. The carvings are said to be from the early Bosnian church.

Soon it was time to get going. The countryside was filled with rolling hills, and farmer's fields. We saw vineyards...


We had read about the town of Trebinje. We decided to stop there and explore. We managed to find some "free" parking, and decided to walk around.


We found a beautiful park with trees, and cool shade.


 With a beautiful church...the Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Cathedral.


We located the tourist office, who gave us directions into the "old" city. Trebinje is unique due to its abundance of white stone.


After a light lunch of local cheeses and fresh bread we decided to press on towards Montenegro. We opted to follow the more well signposted route. So we followed the signs to Herceg Novi, Montenegro. We had no wait time crossing the border from Bosnia and Herzegovina, into Montenegro. They did want to see the rental car's "green card" - papers which our rental agency had supplied us. The road down into Herceg Novi is simply breathtaking.


The road around the bay is stunning. As we wound our way, we had the sun in the best spot, and we had perfect light. Vladimir, our host in Kotor had given us directions to park our car in free (but unreserved) parking outside Kotor. Our apartment was inside Kotor's old town. It is pedestrian access only.

We loved being based in Kotor. We had a full kitchen. IDEA, the local supermarket was just outside the old town gates. We would stock up on eggs, salami, cheese, ajvar and local wine.

Here is Kevin posing with breakfast (he is about to make the scrambled egg.)


 Our host provided a local cell phone. If we wanted the apartment serviced, I would just call the number programmed in the local cell phone, and arrange for someone to clean. It worked perfectly.

The access to our apartments was off a narrow street with shiny cobbled stones. This is very similar to all little streets in Kotor. Below is a photo that shows the street. Access to our apartment was through the arched doors...


The old town of Kotor is small with an amazing maze of tiny streets that open up randomly into squares made for people watching. Our most favorite activity was simply to amble around the old town, and get lost. The city itself backs up against a rugged hill. There is a wall circling the city. This photo (below) is of the main square.


 A cruise ship is in port...


This photo (above) was taken from the wall of the old city. In places the wall was very narrow to walk on...


but provided some unique vantage points.


We could see the wall snaking up the hill side. It looked somewhat daunting.


I became fascinated with shutters that actually acted as shutters, and wash lines...


More ...




What beautiful views of the bay...


In this photo (below) we are outside looking in. The Old Town of Kotor has impressive thick walls.


Kotor is a City of Cats....


And tourists are obsessed with cats...




Consequently there are very few pigeons in the squares...


Kotor even has a Cat Museum...


A carefully curated collection of cat curiosities...

Who knew that Vladimir Putin was such a cat fancier?


While I love cats (and one amazing cat in particular) even I can't help but think that the cats of Kotor are a bit of a problem. There were some very thin and malnourished looking individuals. I also don't think that the current population is very healthy - there are just too many of them.

We had one day of rain. We used that day to visit the Cat Museum. The rain also created wonderful reflections on the stones.


Up next? Our trip to Lake Skadar...