The Republic of Montenegro and then on to Albania.
DUBROVNIK-KOTOR, REPUBLIC OF MONTENEGRO-TIRANA, ALBANIA
Monday 22 September we travelled through the Republic of Montenegro and visited stunning Kotor on the northern part of the Montenegrin coastline. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is fringed by mountains and nestled into the Bay of Kotor, the deepest natural fjord in the Mediterranean Sea. Protected by an impressive wall since the early Middle Ages, the city has one of the best preserved medieval Old Towns in the Adriatic.
Kotor is a coastal town in Montenegro. It is located in a secluded part of the Gulf of Kotor. The city has a population of 13,510 and is the administrative center of Kotor Municipality.
The old Mediterranean port of Kotor is surrounded by fortifications built during the Venetian period. It is located on the Bay of Kotor (Boka Kotorska), one of the most indented parts of the Adriatic Sea. Some have called the southern-most fjord in Europe, but it is a ria, a submerged river canyon. Together with the nearly overhanging limestone cliffs of Orjen and Lovcen, Kotor and its surrounding area form an impressive and picturesque Mediterranean landscape.
The old Castle of St John is seen on top of the mountain behind Kotor.
Church of St Tryphon built in 1166.
After lunch we travelled along some incredibly winding and narrow "roads" which would deter some people in small four wheel drives let alone a 24 tonne coach.
We arrived in Tirana, the capital of Albania around 6.00pm and had to wait for roads to re-open after the visit of Pope Francis who visited Albania that day for a twelve hour visit, the first European country to be visited by the Pontiff.
Signs welcoming Pope Francis.
The double headed eagle of the Albanian Flag.
On Monday 22 September. We left our hotel for a short drive to Mother Teresa Square. Mother Teresa was born in Albania.
The other great hero of Albania in addition to Mother Teresa and Skanderbeg who beat the Ottomans in every battle. He ruled this area of Albania in the 15th century.
Skanderbeg 1405 - 1465
Typical roads in this part of the world.
Housing is good in some areas
Winding, narrow mountainous roads
Many buildings are like this. Some have people living on the bottom story but many are incomplete.
Donkey ready for work.
We had a delicious lunch at a restaurant that served the local trout from Lake Ohrid. The city is the oldest in the area. We walked around Ohrid with its beautiful lake, where a guided walking tour featured the Old Town with its picturesque houses and many churches. Apparently, Ohrid once had 365 churches, one for each day of the year.
Roman Amphitheatre in Ohrid
View over Ohrid