Kotor, Montenegro: Just as I was dozing off into slumberland last night, in that wonderfully bliss state of scant consciousness, my bedroom door suddenly opened at the Apartmenti — Croatia’s version of a B&B — I was staying. In barges a tall and startled German lady, who exits the room as fast as she entered. Who says Germans aren’t any fun? I later realized I had left the room keys in the outside door knob.
Fast forward to this morning. I had breakfast with the German intruder and her husband. Friendly motorcyclist couple, but I never found out what motivated Frau’s visit last night. They had just travelled from Montenegro and offered loads of useful advice as I entered the 12th country on TransEuropa 2011 today.
Usually Sundays are the best cycling days with less vehicle traffic and more local cyclists on the roads. Not this Sunday. It seems all those tourists in Dubrovnik yesterday got on tour busses today. After cycling about 700 kilometers on two-lane Route 8 down Croatia’s coast, from top to bottom, I ran out of Route 8 this morning. Today I also took the first ferry ride with my bike across the mouth of the Bay of Kotor. That 10 minute ferry ride saved me about 60 kilometers of cycling. After disembarking from the ferry I took a very small road around part of the Bay, a world heritage site. It was a great afternoon of cycling by the water in what is often called Europe’s southernmost fjord. Actually it’s a submerged river canyon and it’s beautiful.
I arrived in Kotor in plenty of time to explore the Stari Grad, or Old Town, and to hike up a mountain to explore the remnants of the fortress of Kotor, an excellent example of midieval fortification. On this mellow Sunday afternoon I also befriended a priest at the Serbian Orthodox Church which dates to 1305.
In Kotor I am lodging at the Hotel Vardar, right in the heart of the old town. This is one of the most comfortable hotels I have stayed in a long time. I am lapping up the big screen TV with satellite TV, the plush bath robes and the in-room wifi. Tomorrow I enter Albania and the livin’ won’t be quite as comfy.
Day 65: Dubrovnik, Croatia — Kotor, Montenegro
Distance: 79.84 kilometers
Ascent: 512 meters
Weather: Still perfect
TransEuropa 2011 Trip Summary:
Distance: 4,517.1 kilometers
Ascent: 32,256 meters
Countries: 12: Portugal, Spain, France, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro
Incidents: 4: flat tires on Days 45, 53 and 56; police reprimand on Day 2