Dubrovnik, Kotor Bay and Southward

It’s late afternoon, April 18, and the Aegean Odysseyis heading almost due south at 14 knots. For the first time on this cruise some of us are feeling some uncomfortable rolling and pitching as we head from the relatively protected Aegean toward the Ionian Sea and the main body of the Mediterranean.

St. Blaise

This has been a busy day. The morning featured a whirlwind exploration of the walled city of Dubrovnik, accomplished in less than three hours. The weather was sunny again, and we checked off the essentials on a well-executed guided tour. Some ambitious cruisers left the group before the end in order to complete an extra-credit exploration along the top of the city walls.

Those walls are big, and some parts of them even have cafés along the way.

Lovely Kotor Bay

I’d visited the ancient city before, and on a longer visit, so I didn’t feel deprived. But I wondered if some of the first-timers felt this experience had given them enough intellectual pasticada to chew on.

Anyway, the afternoon was given over to a pleasant cruise on Kotor Bay in Montenegro. Now a Unesco official World Heritage site, the bay is often called Europe’s southernmost fjord.

Experts say it is actually an ancient submerged river valley. In any case, it has always been a desirable defensive position, and at various times in its history the bay was controlled by Rome, Venice, the Ottoman Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and probably another empire or two.

The motion of the ocean is getting stronger by the minute in direct proportion to my becoming weaker. There are a couple of delicate champagne flutes and other stateroom stuff that are about to crash into other things and all need to be rescued.

Tomorrow is Thursday and Corfu, a lovely Greek island I visited for the first time only last year, and I’m looking forward to doing it again. And to regaining my land legs too.

April 18, 2012

Photos by Robert W. Bone

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