Montenegro - Kotor

by Kimp 13. September 2016 14:15
Welcome !!!

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Modern Kotor

Small by today's standards, but very nice and not so expensive, given all that it has to offer. Located in the fjord's of Montenegro, the crystal clear and nearly wave-less Bay of Kotor, connects it to the Adriatic Sea. Carved out by a prehistoric glacier, it now has 240 days of sunlight each year, with a mild Mediterranean climate, in addition to all of that Fjord beauty. 

History

Founded by the Roman's around the time of Christ, it was taken over by Bulgaria around 1000, then given to Serbia shortly after.

From 1400 to around 1800 it was ruled mostly by the Venetian's, except a few times when the Ottomans managed to seize it for a short time, before the Venetians mounted an offensive and regained control.

In 1797 the Austrian Habsburg's took control, then gave it to Napoleon who held it, until he was defeated by Russian Soldiers who occupied it. The British Navy then mounted an offensive and took it from the Russians.

During WWII, Italy Annexed it, until Tito, the future founder of Yugoslovia, liberated it from the Axis powers.

When Yugoslovia dissolved, it went back to Serbia.

It became independent in 2006, when Montenegro was granted independence from Serbia.

Venetians

In the beginning, the Venetians were primarily merchant ships carrying trade good in the Mediterranean, at a time when the Ottoman's Navy ruled the Mediterranean. To defend themselves against attacks, the Venetian Merchant fleet started arming their merchant ships and training the merchant sailors in Naval warfare. 

Eventually Venice started building Military ships, but would not fully man them during peaceful times. During conflicting times, they would anchor some of their merchant vessels and transfer the sailors to their Military vessels. This allowed them to maximize income during peaceful times and minimize losses during times of conflict. That strategy and flexibility, allowed them sustain one of the strongest Navies in the Mediterranean for several hundred years. 

The Venetians needed a good port in the Eastern Adriatic sea, to house their huge fleet of boats that serviced the Eastern Adriatic Sea. That became the town of Perast in the Bay of Kotor, with Kotor being the fortress where their port and shipbuilding workers could seek refuge, if attacked. The Venetian's built a very complex system of walls up the mountain behind Kotor, all of the way to another fortress at the top, allowing Kotor to be well protected from both land and sea attacks. The sea wall around the port is 30 meters (100 ft) thick in places, and is both slanted and rounded so that cannon balls would ricochet off of the walls instead of penetrating them. The main sea gate was built to allow only one ship to have access to the city at a time. That way they could minimize and control a surprise attack, from a ship disguised as a friendly vessel.

The 4.5 km (3 mi) of walls have been very well preserved, since they were seen as vital for a long period of time. Solid granite and very well constructed, they still look about like they always have. Most of today's visible damage came from an Earth Quake that occurred there in 1979. I would say that walking the walls is one of the best parts. A bit steep and strenuous, but well worth the effort.

Bay of Kotor

The Bay of Kotor has a very unique shape. It looks like two bays separated by a mountain range and only connected by a small straight of water between the two bays, with a backdrop of another mountain range. Any view of the Bay, is beautiful, making for a pleasant walk or drive around it. 

Fish

The Adriadic sea is Brackish water, which means that it is somewhere between fresh water and salt water. The quality of fish there is low, but the variety is high. To me, any fish that was swimming earlier in the day, tastes pretty good in the evening, and the lessor known varieties are usually a great price for the consumer. Also, local's always know how to prepare their fish for the best taste experience. Overall, Kotor is a great place for the price. Crystal clear water, great weather, great scenery, and not a lot of people.

Casino Royale

The original "Casino Royale" movie in 1967 was the one that made James Bond famous. The location was the casino in Monte Carlo, in the French Riviera, and it had all of the effects that created the formula for most James Bond movies that followed. Convert operations, difficult missions, fast cars, exotic locations, gadgetry, and beautiful women. The original movie was about an aging secret Agent, that was pulled out of retirement to determine why so many spies were being killed.

When that movie was reworked for a young Daniel Craig, the plot was completely changed, however it is still loosely based on the 1953 novel of the same name. This one featured a newly trained 007 on this first mission. Somewhere in there they decided to change the location of the casino to a Hotel Splendid (a fictional hotel) in Montenegro. The script writer had never even been to Montenego and the film crew never set foot in Montenegro. Most of this was filmed in the Czech Republic.

There just happened to be a Hotel Splendido on the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro, that many people mistook as the one in the movie. All of a sudden their business was booming. This was followed by a Hotel Splendido in Budva, Montenegro. Budva is on the Adriatic Sea, but is much farther South than Kotor. Budva has a nice beach area, that the Montenegro Government had been promoting development of, and had been marketing as a great vacation location, That Hotel Splendido also has an entire floor devoted to a casino, named Casino Royale.

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Thank you for reading.

I'll see you next time.

Craig

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