It looks like a fjord, but fjords are created by glacier erosion and can only be found in Northern Europe and America. And we are in the Balkans. Sunny and warm Balkans. Still, just take a look at this view.
The sea enters sharply in between the mountains, being the Dinaric Alps. But what you actually see is the remaining of an old river that does not exist since ages. It used to flow from the mountains to the sea. Now all that is left is the bay, spotted with small villages.
As we go down, you will immediately recognise that for sure we are not in Norway or Alaska.
This nice city is called Perast. It is an important point on the shoreline because of its ferry service.
The ferry can take you to the islands of Our Lady of the Rocks and St. George.
The Island Our Lady of the Rocks (Gospa od Škrpjela) was made as an artificial island from more than a hundred shipwrecks filled with stones. According to a legend, two seamen from Perast have found an icon of the Holy Mother of God with the Christ on a sea rock in 1452 and they vowed to build a church for that icon. They had no land to build it on, so they start building the isle first. Finally, the church was built in 1630. As the island had to be maintained, the seaman continued to bring the stones and rocks, and that tradition is alive even today. This event is called Fašinada and it is held on every 22nd of July. It’s now accompanied by a two-day yachting regatta, the Fašinada Cup, with participants racing to Tivat and back.
The other, darker island, is the Island of St George (Sveti Đorđe). That island is natural and it used to be a cemetery for all nobility from Perast. Now there is an Orthodox Church. As you may imagine, both churches are hugely popular as wedding destinations for catholic and orthodox couples respectively.
The unique and universal value of the Kotor Bay was recognised by UNESCO who inscribed it on the World Heritage List already in 1979. I hope that after this post you will not be surprised.
|(C) IP Studio Strugar (postcard)|