By sea to Montenegro
The Crystal Serenity is now at anchor in the Bay of Kotor, outside the walled town of the same name in Montenegro. It’s one of the world’s newest countries, established in 2006 when it voted to separate from Serbia. It is also Europe‘s poorest country with a monthly per capita income of just 426 euros, about $541 at today‘s exchange rate.
The reason I haven’t been blogging is that the minimum wi-fi fee aboard the ship is $50 per half hour, and the internet speed is so slow that my daughter got off just 2 rather short Facebook posts before she got a message that it was time to renew. Knowing that most ports have wi-fi somewhere for less, I’ve been waiting to find one. Yesterday we were at sea all day and today, when we went ashore, I found a wi-fi hotspot right outside the medieval city’s walls. But of course I hadn’t carried my Notebook ashore with me. So now I’m back in the stateroom writing with plans to go back ashore to send this.
This cruise is very well priced and it’s all inclusive ,meaning that tips and wine with dinner are included. So in theory I should not have to spend anything at all. But with such high internet fees I could easily spend money I hope top use for shopping in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. So I’m taking notes, shooting video and planning to give a full report when I get home, accented by an occasional blog when I can find a wi-fi signal.
This town is very very pretty with a maze of cobbled streets leading up and around the mountain it’s built on to squares perfect for catching your breath or taking notes over a cup of coffee. There are lots of sweet kitties, including fairly young kittens all around town. A fisherman had thrown small fish to one colony of maybe 7 cats and we watched as they devoured them. I stepped into an old Orthodox church and met the bearded, black robed priest to ask if I could take pictures. Hanging candles, enclosed in decorative lamps, made it appear as it probably did several hundred years ago.
We are about 100 miles south of Dubrvonik, another beautifully preserved walled city, which I’ve visited in Croatia. I had a strong sense of déjà vu early yesterday as we cruised past islands on the starboard side Sure enough, they were some of the same islands I visited a few years back on another voyage– that one aboard a 100-foot wooden sailing ship. In contrast this ship has about 1000 passengers and a crew of more than 600.