A day between Tivat and Kotor
Today I was woken up by a choir of sea waves.
As I was preparing my morning coffee, I was observing the sea from the terrace of my room, all the naval life and the commotion within. Far in the outer reaches of the Boko-kotor bay I saw city of Herceg Novi, both of us seemed to be in the very same sleepy mood. Caught by morning display I almost forgot all about time. The reminder appeared in the sound of overflowing boiling water, it was then when I realized my bus heading to Kotor is leaving soon!
Fast as a lightning I prepared for my field trip to Kotor, running out of my place I arrived at the very nigh time before departure, placing myself comfortably within my seat, the bus left the station.
Much to my joy, the bus travelled through the bay, instead of using the tunnel. Even if the road is notably longer, I simply can’t get enough of the bay landscape, and that unique feeling when you travel in between ancient villas and houses.
Along the way surroundings shift around the bus, giving you the impression that you are traveling amongst Greek Archipelagos, and then few moments after you’re affected by the feeling of passing by Sicily’s villages. Tied boats, resting ships and fishermen by the very edge of the road can only further enchant the illusion of traveling many worlds at once.
As we approached Kotor, I left the bus prior to it’s arrival on the station, so I could as fast as I’m able to, for who knows how many times, be put under a spell of beauty medieval city of Kotor casts. Walking fast towards the main city gates I stopped in front of them, my sight was directed upwards. The architecture and the work upon the gates stood witness to actual count of centuries and generations those gates have welcomed and bid farewell to. Much like under some ancient hypnosis I strode inside the city. Time became irrelevant. Strolling down the city squares and alleys, before my eyes scenes of ages past started to shift. At first I saw Kotor’s finest ladies and damsels as they sit upon their windows while talking loud for everyone to hear, even if the distance between them was no greater than two meters. As I was moving on I came across a bar where patrons were enjoying their mid-day coffee, but all I was able to see was a gathering of captains who returned home after great many count of months and they sat with their friends to tell the tale of adventures and experiences on the deck, be it good or bad.
Passing through windy and narrow alleys I constantly rubbed shoulders with other people, luckily for me it was the rope that held me tied down in reality not allowing me to get entirely drawn in this temporal illusion of times long past. However, my total reality check were the bells of ST. Tripun cathedral, which I was getting closer with each step. I was right around the corner before I was about to be awed by magnificence of St. Tripun, but then, out of nowhere, the music started to play.
Merry notes and jolly rhythm captured my attention entirely, while in front of me an ensemble of folklore performers did the Boka navy dance. I was just one of many attendants who clapped their hands in tune with the rhythm, giving the entire performance additional lure and catharsis. The dance had ended and all of the peers produced a thundering applause and a roar of endless praise. The colossus of a cathedral in front of which the event was held almost had an appearance of a smiling grandfather, looking in content as his grandchildren dwell in happiness.
The attendants slowly scattered, and I continued my stroll through time on the paved alleys.
I directed myself towards stairs that lead up towards church of St. John. The building was high up in the hill, and the stairs were the only way to reach it. At the very root of the stairs my sight got lost at the heights, I was under strong impression that I was making my first step on the stairway to heaven. One by one, the stairs were behind me, while I was slowly losing my breath, it was and exhausting and demanding task, and with each step the air grew thinner. Just as I was about to give up, that I could not make it I noticed that there’s but a tenth of stairs left before I reach my destination. I gathered all that was left of my stamina and lunged forward with haste.
I found myself in front on a small, worn church. Truly I was impressed by the message it taught; that sometimes even greatest of efforts are rewarded with revelation and simplicity. I stopped for few moments to meditate with the idea that developed. The winds tapped my shoulder comfortingly, it felt almost friendly and alive, and I turned following the direction it came from. And it was then where I was introduced to my actual reward: the view of the bay. It was then where all thoughts and words became irrelevant, and all I could do is to feel the moment I so effortlessly sank in. Atop of my palm there was the entire bay, the sight of cruise ships and boats that were sailing around the bay once more pushed me back in time of sailboats and treasures they brought back to Kotor. I finally sat down to rest, and I allowed time to flow.
Cruiser’s siren woke me up as he was bidding farewell to the bay. I looked up at the sky and I realized that the Sun was preparing for rest. It was a clear warning my bus was for Tivat was about to leave. Storming down the stairs leaving the sights and the private moment behind me. Much like on a celluloid strip all the illusion Kotor forged for me vanished while, I was rushing not to be late. It was a last minute boarding for Tivat, and I came back using the same road like when I arrived. The Sun setting’s pallet of colours gave entire environment even more mystical and surreal feel, the shadows that spread across the sea and land announced a merry night that was about to surface.
My travel was a quick one. However I only had enough time to change my clothes and rush to the arranged dinner with my friends. Walking through Tivat streets I had an entirely opposite feeling compared to Kotor. Urban surroundings, and passers dressed in examples of last fashion trends walked around me. Even though it was at the entrance of Tivat Riviera where I was struck with glamour and sophistication of modern-day ports. Rows of palm trees, conditioned lighting, uniformed restaurants, bars that can only be found in most renowned world yachting destinations. The luxurious atmosphere was too attractive to resist it. I found my friends amongst numbers of full tables where people were already busy dining. Moderate music and great service was just the thing I needed after an exciting day like this.
We ordered grilled fish from local waters, the taste that met our taste buds was a thing to remember. And according to tradition I we washed down our dish with good wine.
After few hours a debate sprung to life on the subject where to go next, would it be a club or a pub? However, I suggested we blend in the locals and go visit the beach where there’s always room right next to the silent camping fire and join in singing with some wine or beer. My friends accepted the suggestion, and after a brief last minute shopping, we headed towards Kalimanj beach. The road to the beach was secluded with old tree rows and thick vegetation, but it’s worth the effort once you arrive at silvery shores that echoes with guitar melody and songs on many worldwide languages. The group that we got to meet was more than friendly and open to meet us, so after few hours of introduction we were already a part of the crew that drunk, sang and played together.
Hours flew by, and youngling sun signalled that new day was greatly ready to start.