Mediterranean Adriatic Cruise on the Celebrity Silhouette
May 17 - 30, 2012
Page 1 - Pre-Cruise in Venice, Italy; Ship Information through Dining
Page 2 - Ship Entertainment/Activities; Ravenna, Italy; Split, Croatia; Valletta, Malta
Page 3 - Catania, Sicily; Naples, Italy; Civitavecchia, Italy; Kotor, Montenegro
Page 4 - Dubrovnik, Croatia; Venice, Italy; Post cruise in Bellagio, Italy
We had always wanted to visit Sicily. It was supposed to be a beautiful island and we were looking forward to seeing it firsthand. We got our first glimpse of Mt. Etna as we pulled up to the pier. It was partially covered by clouds and would remain that way for the rest of the day.
Steph had planned a great tour through www.romeinlimo.com . This was going to be one of the best touring days of the cruise. Our first clue was our tour guide Paolo. He was a very enthusiastic guide who was very knowledgeable of the history of the area. He also picked out some nice photo stops on the way to Taormina, our main destination for the day. We got to see the group from Steph's van at one of the stops.
The drive through Sicily was such a treat. The countryside was so pretty. There was such a variety of beauty to behold. We could almost see the top of Mt. Etna.
As we were driving, Paolo pointed out a town on top of a mountain in the distance, Castelmola. He told us that we were on our way to see it. We passed through some small towns and finally started driving up the mountain. As we got closer to the top, we got a view of our destination.
When we got to the top, we walked over to a viewing point. Oh my, this was a special place. What a view!
Plus the town itself was quaint. I walked over to the other side of town to see if the clouds had cleared from Mt. Etna, but they were still there. It still was a nice view. I could also see the viewing area we were at where the van first arrived.
On the way back down the mountain Paolo stopped for us to get a different view of Taormina near Madonna della Rocco or the Rock Church. The view was nice and I could see the Roman theater in the distance that I would walk up to later in the day.
The church itself wasn’t open, but I was able to get some photos of its unique structure through the window.
We were really enjoying the beauty of the lovely island. I was disappointed that we were only spending one day there, so I was glad we had an excellent guide who could show us so much of it.
When we got to Taormina, we met up with the other vans for a group tour of the city. Our city tour guide Marcello, took us on a path up a bunch of steps. I knew that there was no way Carol could do the tour at Marcello’s pace; so I was glad when she decided to explore on her own at her own pace..
In the square that we came to at the top of the stairs was the Minotaur Fountain with an unusual looking figure on top. It was a Minotaur, the symbol of Taormina. It certainly didn’t look like a traditional minotaur, which is a man with the head of a bull. The Taormina minotaur emblem was in all of the stores in town and looked rather strange. It was a smiling face with three legs. I never could quite figure it out.
The town was very enjoyable to walk through. It had lots of shops and beautiful scenery. Marcello pointed out various things and told us about them along with history of the area.
The town was pretty crowded with all the tourists. I understood why they were here. It was a wonderful touring town. I did get a laugh out of one wall decoration near a restaurant that looked like a chef made out of French bread.
At the end of the tour, Marcello asked if anyone wanted to walk up the hill to the Roman Theater. Since I had seen it from above, I had to visit it. Most of the people on the tour chose to stay behind in town, so it was just a couple of others that went up the hill with us. It wasn’t a bad walk and there was a lot to see on the way up. The theater was built in the 7th century BC and is still used today for concerts and theatrical performances.
The theater is in very good condition and it would be nice to see a performance in it.
The view to the ocean from the theater is also very nice.
I met the group at a great pizza place for lunch. After lunch I headed back to search for Carol. Although it started raining, we were both enjoying our time in Taormina. Fortunately the rain didn’t last for long.
After visiting for over three hours, we got back in the van and drove to Catania to join the ship. But before we went to the port, all the vans stopped at a well know local eating spot named Savia. It is known to have the best cannolis in town.
We have never been particularly excited about cannolis; but Paolo said that we had to try one. How could I resist eating a cannoli in Sicily. Oh my goodness, was it delicious! We fell in love with cannolis that day. It is probably a good thing they aren’t that good where we live, since they could be addicting. Steph, Deb and Rich couldn't resist either.
After returning to the Silhouette, I went to the back of the ship to get a last look at Mt. Etna. Even in the clouds, it was most impressive. Paolo had told us that Etna was shy while we were there. I look forward to returning to enjoy more of the beauty of Sicily and possibly see Etna without her clouds some day. It had indeed been an awesome day.
As we sailed into the port of Naples, we could see the distinctive shape of Mt. Vesuvius in the background. I have always been in awe of volcanoes, and Mt. Vesuvius is certainly one of the most impressive.
The two previous times we were in Naples, we took private tours to the incredibly beautiful Amalfi Coast and to Pompeii. We wanted to go to the Island of Capri on our second visit, but couldn’t resist seeing more of the Amalfi Coast. This time we were finally going to see the much raved about island.
The only way to get to Capri is to take the ferry. Since the ferry terminal is right next to the cruise ship dock, it was a convenient short walk. We wanted to take the 8:35 AM ferry. For some reason we didn’t leave the ship as early as I wanted to, so we were cutting it close. We arrived at the terminal, but were having a difficult time finding where to buy the tickets. It was mostly a language problem. I finally understood through various hand motions from people I asked, that the ticket office was on the back of the building. I had read to only buy a one-way ticket and purchase the return ticket when we got to Capri. It was good advice. The below photo on the left shows how far it is to the ferry terminal. The on the right shows a closer view of the ticket building that sits right behind the ferry's not the multistory building behind it.
By the time we got on the ferry, it was ready to leave. I wanted to sit outside and Carol went inside. I was lucky to get a seat since it was very full.
This was supposed to be one of the fast ferries; but it wasn’t as fast as some of them. As we left Naples, the ferry was rocking back and forth a lot. We assumed it would stabilize as it sped up. Since it didn’t speed up much more, it kept rocking. I was so glad that we had taken our ginger pills at breakfast for motion sickness. I am susceptible to sea sickness and did not want to start the excursion with those issues. Unfortunately many of the people on the ferry didn’t take ginger pills and were turning green. Some people on the inside came outside for the fresh air to help with their queasiness. I felt so sorry for them, particularly a young boy that was sprawled out on the floor in front of us.
The trip to Capri took 55 minutes, rather than the expected 40 I had previously read it would take. But the trip was quickly forgotten when we got off the boat and started walking around, since there was so much to look at. My first job was to get the return tickets, but there wasn’t a ticket office anywhere in sight. The English speaking people around us didn’t seem to know where to go either. We finally found a local person that we could communicate with who told us where to go. The ticket office was about 100 yards to the right of the docks.
The main reason to wait till you get to Capri to buy the return ticket is that you don’t know which ferry company you will be coming back on. I looked at all the schedules and found one at 3:25 PM that was supposed to be a fast ferry that gets back to Naples in 40 minutes, so I bought the tickets. Another reason to buy the tickets as soon as you arrive is that it can get very busy at the ticket office when everyone wants to return to Naples. You don’t want to miss getting a ticket for the ferry. With the most popular return times between 3:00 and 4:00, we wanted to make sure we could get back.
The main tourist areas are on top of the island. To get there, you either need to take a taxi, bus or funicular. We chose the funicular, since it was easy to get to and wasn’t too crowded. The tickets were sold at the same building as the ferry tickets. We just missed a funicular when we walked up to the station. I was surprised how quickly the returning funicular from the top arrived. I expected a longer wait. Even though there wasn’t much of a line, the funicular cars filled up quickly. I had hoped that the view from the car would be pretty, but with all the people in the car, there wasn’t much to see.
The view after stepping off the funicular provided a nice preview of Capri's appeal. When we arrived at downtown Capri, we were amazed at how many tourists were there. I had heard about crowds; but there were a lot more people than expected. I inquired at the information booth to see if they had a map I could use, since the one on my iPhone was a bit small. The attendant said that it would cost 1€; but she didn’t have any in English. I passed on it.
The first thing I wanted to do was to get away from the crowds, so we decided to take one of the public busses over to Anacapri. Like the funicular, the tickets were only 1.8€. A good deal indeed. At least we thought it was. Luckily Carol found a seat in the small bus; but I had to stand. People kept piling into the bus. I couldn’t believe they wouldn’t shut the door. I now have a much better appreciation of the expression “packed like sardines”. It was not a pleasant bus ride. Fortunately it only lasted about 15 minutes. We were so glad to get off.
It was nice in that there were fewer tourists in Anacapri. I saw another information booth, so I checked to see if they had a map. Sure enough they did and it was free. I don’t know why there was a difference in pricing; but I didn’t complain. The main site I wanted to visit in Anacapri was the Villa San Michelle. It sits on the ruins of the Emperor Tiberius’s villa, almost 1,100 feet above the sea. Needless to say, it was a great location to build a villa.
The interior of the house was a very attractive Mediterranean style; as would be expected.
But the main appeal is the exterior of the villa and the views. They are phenomenal. Looking down the 1,100 foot cliffs to the bright aqua ocean was impressive; but my favorite spot was looking past a statue of a sphinx to see Mount Vesuvius in the background.
After leaving the villa, we decided to get lunch before going back to Capri. We found a little restaurant and once again had some Italian food. It seemed appropriate. Plus there weren’t a lot of other options if we wanted something other than Italian.
We decided to take one of the open top taxis back to Capri, rather than fight the crowds on the bus. It was well worth the 17€ cost. There was no way we were going to risk the stress from another bus trip. It was a lot of fun riding in the taxi and the views were much better than from the bus. My advice is to spring for a taxi both ways and forget about the bus.
When we got back to Capri, Carol wanted to stroll around the shopping area while I went sightseeing. The town of Capri is lovely; but all I had seen so far was the glamorous parts, mainly stores, hotels, restaurants and lots of tourists.
I wanted to see the beauty that Capri is known for, so I searched on the map to locate the Gardens of Augustus. It was about a ten minute walk down the hill toward the edge of the island. If the gardens were as pretty as the walk there, it should be quite a place
When I got into the park I followed the flowered paths deeper into the gardens until I got to the first viewing area. Oh my goodness, now this was a paradise.
The views down the steep cliffs to the water were just amazing. I had read about Via Krupp, the zigzagging road going down the cliffs to the beach below, but couldn’t believe how beautiful this sight was.
I then focused on the other main viewing area, which looked down at the Faraglioni rocks. This rock formation is one of the best known images of Capri. The combination of textures and colors was just amazing. It is so unfortunate that photos just can’t do it justice.
When I could finally stop gawking at the beautiful vistas, I walked through the terraced gardens. They were quite lovely on their own; but overshadowed by the beauty that could be seen a few feet away.
I am not one who normally takes stops while touring to just take in the beauty of an area; but I certainly did here. I couldn’t pull myself away from so much natural beauty in one place. These gardens were reason alone to visit Capri. They should not be missed.
After spending way too much time in the gardens, I stopped at a stand outside the garden gates to get a lemon slushy. The large lemons on the counter just pulled me in. It was a very good slushy.
I returned to the main part of town and found Carol finishing off some gelato. We took the funicular back down to sea level where we would take the return ferry to Naples. The ride back only took the 40 minutes advertised and it was very smooth. It had been a very full day and we were ready to get back on the Silhouette and relax. As we sailed away from Naples, we got one last look at Mt. Vesuvius before heading for the Elite lounge for pre-dinner cocktails. We then passed by Capri in the distance and were able to see the lovely island from different angles.
Since we had been to Rome many times, we joined a tour that Steph had set up that would be visiting the hill town of Orvieto and some other sites in the area. Since Celebrity and I believe most of the cruise lines don’t have excursions to the Orvieto area, we wouldn’t have to fight the crowds we had experienced in some of the other ports. Once again we used www.romeinlimo.com. For this tour we had a fantastic guide named Lucca. He had a great personality, knew all the history and had a real passion for his job. We had lucked out.
As we drove through the countryside, Lucca told us about the history of the area. We were passing some ancient aqueducts, which I took photos of while we sped by. I am always amazed how these ancient structures have possibly been able to last through the centuries.
We were lucky in that the poppies were blooming while we were there. They cover the ground with their cheerful red flowers and brighten up the terrain.
The countryside is so pretty in Italy with all the old structures and hill towns. We stopped at several viewing places to take in the scenery.
We arrived in the square at Orvieto in the shadow of the massive Duomo di Orvieto. What a gorgeous cathedral!
Unfortunately the sun was not shining on its ornately decorated face. Once again we were seeing some incredible mosaic artwork covering the front of a very impressive church. With mosaics, the colors are so rich and vivid that the images just pop. It is really a wonderful art form.
We had to make a choice of tours in Orvieto. We could either go into the church or do a tour of the underground caves and tunnels. After seeing the gorgeous exterior of the cathedral I had to see the inside. When I walked in, I took a photo and was quickly told that photos were not allowed. Oh well, at least I did get one to remember what it looked like.
The interior was quite pretty, especially the two chapels at the front of the church. They were quite ornate with lots of gold decorations.
After leaving the church we did some shopping before getting back in the van to head to the town I had most been looking forward to seeing. Due to recent surgery, we knew that Carol would not be able to accompany me on this adventure, so she planned to wait in the car with her Kindle.
After about a half hour drive we reached a point where we could look up and see the ancient town of Civita Bagnoregio, also just referred to as Civita (chee-VEE-tah). It is perched atop a hill and can only be reached by a single narrow 900 foot path. It looks like a town out of a fantasy. It was the birthplace in 1221 of its most famous resident, Saint Bonaventure.
The climb up the steep path was challenging; but it was oh so worth it. I was quite glad when I finally rounded the last corner and could see the entrance to this ancient city.
Civita has almost been abandoned over the centuries, and now has only about 12 permanent residents remaining. Property has been bought up by investors using the property for summer homes. One reason people left the town was that earthquakes had damaged the city in the past and sections had fallen off. Today, the biggest threat to the serene beauty of the town could be commercialism. Civita is on a list of most endangered sites due to erosion and unregulated tourism.
The town itself is absolutely gorgeous with old structures and flowers everywhere. It is so peaceful and quiet. So unlike the other places we had visited on this cruise. We felt as though we had gone back in time many centuries.
The reality of the threat of physical destruction of the city was very apparent where the road stopped at a location that appeared to have sloughed off the mountain. It is an endangered site.
The views from Civita are very nice. It was so strange to walk around, since it almost seemed like a ghost town. I was all by myself most of the time. There were several artists around painting different scenes of the lovely place. I can see why Civita would be very popular with tourists. It would be quite an experience to spend a few nights in this special town.
After exploring the whole town, I walked back toward the entrance gate. Going into the old shops and restaurants felt like I had passed back through time. Civita was quite an experience. I stopped at one of the restaurants and had a beer with Steph and her husband Dan, while we enjoyed the peacefulness of this unique place. Occasionally the quiet would be broken as a motor scooter would come up the path to bring supplies or a resident up the hill.
I savored my final minutes of Civita’s serenity as I walked back down the hill to our van. This had been an unforgettable touring experience.
When we got down the hill where the vans were waiting, it was time for lunch. The people had differing opinions on where we would go next. Some of the vans wanted to go to a nice restaurant and others wanted to do something quicker. Our van chose to go for a quick lunch so we could tour more of this interesting part of the world. This worked out well since Lucca was anxious to show us more of the area. We drove a little while and stopped at what is called a tavola calda; which is kind of a bar restaurant that the locals go to for lunch. We were the only non-locals in the place. We picked out what we wanted with Lucca’s help. He acted as our interpreter and personal waiter, bringing us our food, bringing bread and getting our drinks for us. It did turn out to be a very fast lunch with us only taking thirty minutes.
Lucca then drove us to the Etruscan city of Tuscania. It was a beautiful walled medieval city. He first stopped to show us a panoramic view at Parco Torre di Lavello. What a great view.
This town is not visited by cruise lines or most English speaking tour companies, however it is popular with the Italian tour companies. We were very fortunate to be able to visit Tuscania. Lucca wanted to show and tell us about the Church of St. Peter that was close by. It was a very old church that dates back to the 8th century. It is considered a very sacred place. It was built above an old pagan temple. The beautiful rose window fell out after a 1971 earthquake. A German couple reconstructed the rose window from what was in effect a giant jigsaw puzzle.
The inside was relatively plain, but the stories told by Lucca made it quite special and important. The church was severely damaged by a 1971 earthquake. Renovations have continued since that time. Lucca took us downstairs to the crypt area. He told us that the area dated back to 400 BC. Photos are not allowed inside the church, but Lucca said we could take some down there. There were 28 marble columns, all of a different style that had come from a nearby Roman forum, which were used to support the ceiling. There were two very ancient drawings on the wall, one of which was in very good shape. It was of the three martyrs that protected Tuscania.
When we climbed back up to the church level, we gave the caretaker a nice contribution. I asked her if I could take one photo of the church so that I could remember it. She allowed me to take this one picture.
Our last stop for the day would be in Tarquinia. It is a town with many interesting things to see, including a very large necropolis containing 6,000 tombs. Unfortunately, we only had about a half hour to check it out. We were mainly stopping to use the restrooms and get something to drink before returning to the ship. It looked like a very interesting town with the tall towers and old buildings. But other than a very quick walk down a few streets for photos, I only had time to get some more Euros at an ATM.
Lucca had done an excellent job of showing us so many wonderful places and teaching us about his Italy. We were exhausted but very happy with the memories we would have of this port stop.
Day at Sea – Stomboli and Strait of Messina
After four straight days of touring, we were ready for a sea day to catch up on our sleep and relax. Unlike most sea days, this would be more interesting since we would be passing by the Stromboli volcano at 8:30 AM and then passing through the Strait of Messina at 10:30 AM. We had passed by both of these places two days earlier on our way to Naples but it was at night. Most mornings I woke up very early without an alarm clock due to the excitement of the day’s tours. This morning I actually slept until almost 8:30. I quickly dressed and rushed up to one of the open decks on the other side of the ship in hopes that Stromboli was still in view.
Thank goodness it was; but unlike the last time we saw this volcano nine years earlier in the bright sunlight, this time it was very hazy. It also wasn’t spewing smoke out the top in large quantities. There was just a small amount that came out sporadically. That was probably a good thing for the residents of the tiny island, since they do live in a very precarious environment. Stromboli has been actively erupting for the last 2,600 years, giving it the name “Lighthouse of the Mediterranean”, due to the glow from it at night. It is the world’s longest erupting volcano. We didn’t see that glow when we passed it two nights earlier. Fortunately Photoshop was able to clear out some of the haze in the photos when processing; particularly the close up of the crater.
When we were touring in Sicily, our guide Paolo told us that there had been plans to build a 1.8 mile bridge between the Italian mainland and this part of Sicily at the Strait. It was projected to cost over six billion Euros. Due to economic conditions, plans have been started and stopped several times. It probably won’t ever happen; but it did make our passage through the Strait of Messina a bit more interesting to contemplate how it could change the appearance of the area.
As we were approaching the strait, I went up to my favorite viewing area on deck 12 forward. That area can only be accessed by walking through the workout area in the spa. Since most people don’t realize how to get to the area, they are joined by most of the other cruisers on deck 14; which can be very crowded.
The towns on both sides of the strait are heavily populated with a nice mountainous background. It took about a half hour to get through it. It had been an “on deck” morning, so I was ready to enjoy the ships facilities on the last of our sea days.
We had been blessed with incredibly good weather during the whole cruise, but the forecast for the port of Kotor was an 80% chance of rain. This was one of the four ports on the cruise that we hadn’t been to before. We hoped that our string of sunny days in the 70’s would continue so that we could fully savor the beauty of the area. One of the must do experiences when visiting Kotor is to be on deck to view the passage through the Bay of Kotor. I arrived on deck 12 at 6:30AM to enjoy the one and a half hour ride through the bay to Kotor. The bay appears to be a fjord, but is actually a submerged river canyon. It sure looked like a fjord to me. We were fortunate that the rain had not yet started and there was some sunlight showing through the clouds.
One frustration of photographers is trying to take photos of mountains or fjords that will give the viewer an appreciation for what the eye sees. Once again I was frustrated. This area was so beautiful that it just couldn’t be captured photographically.
In the town of Perast are two small islands. St. George Island is a natural island with trees on it. The other is called Our Lady of the Rock and was built by sailors throwing rocks into the sea over many centuries, to commemorate the finding of an icon of the Madonna and Child on a rock at that site. The first church was built on the island in 1452 and the current one was built in 1632. We would have loved to visit it, but we didn’t have time with the busy touring schedule already planned. At least we got to see it from the ship.
As we proceeded through the bay, the captain blew the ship’s horn. Unbelievably the echo lasted almost fifteen seconds. Everyone was oohing and and aahing. Each time the horn sounded with the long echo, the crowd on board was amazed at the much extended echo. This was a great way to spend the early morning.
The scenery was so gorgeous. One of the popular things to do in Kotor is to climb the 1,500 steps up to the medieval Kotor fortress. From the ship, we could see the zigzagging path up the mountain. I had absolutely no desire to experience the path. I was surprised that so many did.
Kotor was a tender port. We had a full day tour planned with Jovan Vukotic. Fortunately we had priority tender tickets, so we were able to get off the ship by 8:30. Unfortunately the weather forecast was correct and it had started to rain. With umbrellas in hand, we walked up the pier to the entrance where Jovan was waiting for us with a big smile. We were so happy to finally meet him, since we had been communicating with him and his wife Vesna for many months. He took us to his Mercedes taxi that we would be riding around in for the next seven hours. There were lots of other taxis there waiting for cruisers to come off the ship who hadn’t already booked excursions.
Our first destination was to go over the mountain pass to the town of Cetinje, the old royal capital. All along the snaking road, Jovan would stop to let me take photos looking down at the Silhouette in the harbor. I had heard stories of how scary the road was to travel. In Jovan’s Mercedes it was quite enjoyable; but it was a lot more stressful for people on the Celebrity excursion bus. With the narrow roads and them riding so much higher off the road, I am sure it was a lot different experience.
On the way to Cetinje, we stopped at a restaurant in the small town of Njegusi for a morning snack. A tour from the ship was also there. We had a very nice local ham and cheese sandwich on some delicious bread. I had to have some local Montenegrin beer with the snack. I enjoy trying the local beers when traveling. We also sampled some honey wine; which actually tasted more like apple juice to me than wine.
Since Jovan knew the owners of the restaurant he was able to let Carol and me try on the traditional Montenegrin dress. I don’t think we fooled anyone into thinking we were locals.
After our snack Jovan took us to the house of a friend who cured hams. We got to go into the smokehouse and see them hanging from the ceiling.
We continued the ride through mountainous Montenegro. The area is very scenic with the mountains and farms. I was surprised at how rocky it was everywhere we went.
As we got over the mountain, the rains pretty much stopped, and we only had a few occasional sprinkles for the rest of the day. Our first stop in Cetinje was at the official residence of the President of Montenegro. I was surprised that we could walk right up to the door and pose with the guards for a photo.
The town of Cetinje is an enjoyable place to walk around since it is in a lovely setting and there are statues and interesting buildings to look at.
The main attraction is King Nikola’s Palace/Museum. King Nikola was much loved and gave the Montenegrins their first constitution and many freedoms they hadn’t previously had. We were not allowed to take interior photos; but it was quite an interesting place to visit. It contained many things from the Montenegro’s past. The gun collection was particularly interesting.
Jovan next took us on a drive to the national park at Skadar Lake. It is the largest lake in the Balkans and is on the border between Montenegro and Albania. It is a major bird reserve and has some of the last pelicans that live in Europe. It was a sparsely populated area and quite pretty. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a nice sunny day to go with the scenery. We stopped in a small town to get out and stretch and walk along the river that fed into the lake.
As we drove deeper into the park we started to see more extremities of the lake.
The lake contained many small mountain islands throughout it. Jovan told us that the fishing was very good there. Further in, we came to the open water of the lake. It was quite large and extended way past our line of sight.
I had read about the island of Sveti Stefan in my pre-cruise research. It was a small fortified village that was upgraded when a Serbian queen built a summer residence on the island. It has since become a luxury resort where the rich and famous of Europe stay. We hadn’t planned on visiting the island, which is now joined to land by a man made narrow isthmus. We just wanted to get a view and photos of it.
Jovan stopped at several other lookouts for us to see popular beaches and vistas of the area.
We stopped at Budva just to get some photos of the old town and the beach across from it. The main town has become a very popular resort for gambling; but the old town was much more what I was interested in seeing.
We finished the tour by visiting the old medieval walled city of Kotor, which was conveniently located right across from the port. Kotor is considered the best preserved and most beautiful medieval fortified town in the Mediterranean. This small town was very impressive with the massive rock cliffs as a background.
The largest building in Kotor is the cathedral. It was built in 1166 and reconstructed after some major earthquakes. The interior has some interesting and pretty stone ornaments and artwork.
After we left the cathedral, we met back up with Jovan who had parked the car while we checked out the old town. He had told us earlier in the day that he wanted us to meet his wife Vesna. I had been looking forward to it, since she had been quite nice and helpful in planning our tour by emails prior to the cruise. Jovan’s apartment was very conveniently located in the square right across from the church. As I expected Vesna was a very lovely person.
The prior day had been Jovan’s 50th birthday. Since he had been working, he hadn’t been able to have the birthday cake that Vesna had made for him. That was our good fortune, since we got to have some of the delicious treat she had made for him. It was very good. [Follow up: Six months after our tour, we received an email from Vesna telling us that Jovan suffered a massive heart attack and died in her arms. We were so saddened by the news.]
After saying our good byes, we walked back to the tenders and returned to the Silhouette. We learned from others that it had rained all day in the city, so we were pleased to see the sun return once we got back aboard as it really brought out the natural beauty of this area.
I understand why Kotor is becoming such a popular cruise port. It is a very special place. We were fortunate to have found a tour guide in Jovan who was very proud of his country and wanted to share it with tourists. It had been a most enjoyable day.
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