Balkan So Hard #7 Bay Of Kotor

June 22, 2013
On Monday morning, H nudged me awake.
"Wake up, Disney princess! BK texted. He's taking us for brunch. You have half an hour to get ready." 

Half an hour and a full face of makeup later I was still not quite awake. Grumbling, I dragged myself out the house cursing and wondering why BK couldn't just pick me up from the front door instead of making me walk down to Purobeach.

And then I saw BK and H standing on a speedboat and thought, 
OK, fine, I'll forgive them this one time for making me walk down to the jetty. 

But still, they could've learnt a thing or two from The Wolfpack and landed the boat in the garden.


Like so.

So we left Porto Montenegro and drove to the Bay Of Kotor.





We drove up to The Church of Our Lady Of The Rock...



...and I wondered who thought it would be a good idea to put a church on a man-made island in the middle of the sea. The Montenegrins certainly have a penchant for hard-to-reach monuments...which does remind me...

...if one should look up to the mountains of Tivat and notice a pair of twin peaks, the story is that both were built by a great King who chose the slightly shorter tower to be his final resting place. Ever humble, he chose the shorter of the towers in case a ruler greater than him should come after and therefore take their rightful place above him.

Comically so, the higher tower is now a television aerial. 
The great Montenegrin king, resting in the shadow of that all-encompassing tyrant of modern living---television!

The irony is too tragic and too comic, I can't even.


'Our Lady of the Rock is one of the two islets off the coast of Perast in Bay of Kotor, Montenegro. It is an artificial island created by bulwark of rocks and by sinking old and seized ships loaded with rocks.
According to legend, the islet was made over the centuries by the seamen who kept an ancient oath after finding the icon of Madonna and Child on the rock in the sea  on July 22, 1452. Upon returning from each successful voyage, they laid a rock in the Bay. Over time, the islet gradually emerged from the sea. The custom of throwing rocks into the sea is alive even nowadays. Every year on the sunset of July 22, an event called fašinada, when local residents take their boats and throw rocks into the sea, widening the surface of the island, takes place.' so sayeth Wikipedia.


Across the church layeth Saint George Benedictine's monastery, as if to say to the Christians, 
"Anything you can do I can do better! I can do anything better than youuuu!"


I sighed happily, "See, different religions can get along after all. Look at what happy neighbours they are!"
BK sniggered, "Yes, they get along just fine so as long as they're separated by a body of water."





After enough sunbathing and snarking on religion, we headed to the medieval town of Kotor...




...and docked our boat in the marina of our brunch spot.



Our destination was the famous and historical Stari Mlini, 'The Old Mill'.


'In the 1700’s, Stari Mlini was a family operated flour mill for the locals of the quaint medieval town of Kotor, Montenegro. 300 years later, another family preserved the mill in the form of a fairytale restaurant of remarkable charm' so sayeth their website.

We walked on paths of dappled light from the Montenegrin sun shining through the impossibly green foliage...


...around little ponds where the fish on the menu were cultivated, helpfully directed to with charming hand-written wooden signs that wouldn't look out of place at a hipster wedding.


I leaned over to BK and asked, in a conspirational whisper "The sea bass...are they ill tempered?" 
He whispered back "Absolutely. And mutated." 
I raised an eyebrow."Riiiiiiiight."



Ill-tempered sea-bass, for your dining pleasure.

It was like walking through a tiny enchanted forest, I felt very much like Princess Aurora.
 I may or may not have sang sweetly,"I wonder...I wonder...I wonder which little fish I'll be having...for lunchtime..."



The famous old mill.



Is there anything more romantic than dining in a little nook surrounded by forest, to the sounds of streams gushing, birds chirping, and ill-tempered sea bass a-splashing?


We sat by the stream...







Waiters in traditional Montenegrin dress bring out platters of fresh fish for you to choose from.

Ever the raw fish advocate I wanted sashimi, but that's not how it's done here.



The cheese was divine, so much so that I stole H's off his plate while I distracted him by making him watch Psycho Hamster on his iPad.


I don't remember what fish we had but it was delicious and possibly ill-tempered. 





I fed scraps off my plates to the ducks, and then we left the same way we came...

...except this time I was in the driver's seat.



I am convinced that there is no vehicle; big or small, land-lubbing or sea-faring, that I cannot handle. 

In fact I'm contemplating buying a speedboat and calling it Posh, Boat, & Board.

Should I?!

Balkan so hard Montenegrins wanna fine me.

xx

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