13 and 14 August 2018
Marista to Herceg Novi, N42° 27.0 E18° 32.3’, 3nm, 1 hour
By now we were learning the pattern of Montenegrin towns – new town usually around the water front and Stari Grad (old town) usually up high and strongly fortified. Herceg Novi took this to another level. It was as though the town had been built vertically with a defensive wall and forts cutting down through it.
With Pintail and Red Rackham side by side on the town quay it meant that everywhere, the supermarket, the market, the old town, was up a steep flight of steps or two or three or four. In fact they call Herceg Novi “the city of 1000 steps”. Luckily returning to the boats with heavy shopping bags was all down hill.
Like the other towns we have passed along the coast Herceg Novi combined a modern beach resort with a historic old town. The beaches were no more than very thin, shingle strips covered in umbrellas or concrete platforms for diving straight into the sea.
I joined Anna and Michael on an evening visit to the Stari Grad. Once inside the thick walls of the old town we found narrow, cobbled streets with squares full of churches. Stefan was delighted that I had found new subjects to photograph walking through arches!
Having climbed upstairs to the town we found ourselves going downhill to Forte Mare in the lower town where the fortifications fall into the sea. Used as an open air cinema, it gave us views into the Bay of Kotor and down to the boats in the harbour.
Not content with just one fort we climbed back up through the old town and further up to Kanli Kula, the Bloody Tower, which gave us even better views as the sun went down over the bay. This Turkish fort is named for the horrors that went on in its prison walls but today it houses a 1000 seat theatre where operas and other performances are performed.
On the way back we had a mooch around some of the very quirky junk and antique shops.
Delighted to find enthusiastic museum goers in Anna and Michael, the following day I also joined them on a walk down the sea front to the town museum. Housed in a lovely Baroque house, the museum had a lovely collection of archeological artefacts (more amphorae!), religious art
and ethnographic objects including a piano made in Liverpool.
If the stairs had not been so steep and the harbour fees so dear we might have stayed a bit longer in Herceg Novi but Pintail and Red Rackham had more adventures to have together further into the Bay of Kotor…