20 Days, 20 Cities, 6 Countries - Part 6: Trogir, Croatia and Kotor, Montenegro

October 06, 2017
20 Days, 20 Cities, 6 Countries - Part 6: Trogir, Croatia and Kotor, Montenegro

A city a day keeps the wanderlust at bay...
20 DAYS. 20 CITIES. 6 COUNTRIES.
AUSTRIA • SLOVENIA • CROATIA • BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA •  MONTENEGRO • ITALY

PART 6; DAYS 9 & 14: DON’T RAIN ON MY PARADE PARTS 2 & 3 -  DRIZZLY DAYS IN TROGIR, CROATIA AND KOTOR, MONTENEGRO

When it rains, it pours. 😫  I thought I had used up a lifetime of getting soaked - having endured a 6-hour nightmare trek through a thunderstorm in one of Croatia's most breathtaking natural wonders, Plitvice Lakes National Park - but even after having sworn off the great outdoors my wet weather woes were far from over. 😭 Now, I'm all for posting in chronological order but the thought of writing two separate posts on getting caught in the rain in two different countries gives me the chills - so today I'll recant Day 9 (Trogir, Croatiaand Day 14 (Kotor, Montenegro) just to get the showers out of my system. Like ripping off a bandaid all at once instead of peeling it back millimetre by millimetre. On the morning of the 9th day of my 20 Days in 20 Cities and 6 Countries road trip, I woke up in Hotel Jezero at dawn - without a cold, miraculously - and without even looking back I quickly revved the engine and set the coordinates to the Old Town of Split.




I paused for a pit stop in the nearby town of Trogir, not knowing that the rain had followed me to the coast...

20 Days, 20 Cities, 6 Countries - Part 6: Trogir, Croatia and Kotor, Montenegro
◈ DAY 9 

TROGIR, CROATIA

Last summer I made a day trip from Split seeking a rare sandy beach - a literal gem among pebbles. I spent that day in 2016 sunning myself on Pantan Beach, which is strictly a river bank with fine sand, pine forests, and a hypnotically slow current. On this more recent occasion, my second time in Trogir, I took one look at the encroaching storm clouds and decided that a picnic on a pebbly beach was not on the cards. Rather than wring my hands, I thought I'd instead take the opportunity to explore the Old Town and her nearby monuments. At least if the weather took a turn for the worse (read: apocalyptic) I would have my choice of historical buildings to seek shelter in.

Standing on an islet separated from the mainland by a man-made canal, the Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site;  reflecting the influences of Roman, Hungarian, Venetian, French and Austrian rule. Even in the rain, The Cathedral of St Lawrence, or Trogir Cathedral (left) is every inch as magnificent as when its the 47-metre-high Bell Tower pierces a bright blue sky. The cathedral, which took 300 years to build, is worth the climb up to the Bell Tower for a bird’s eye view of the surrounding town. That vantage point is the best way to appreciate the labyrinth of narrow cobbled streets that radiate from the cathedral square, itself the centre of Old Town.
20 Days, 20 Cities, 6 Countries - Part 6: Trogir, Croatia and Kotor, Montenegro
PLAYING PEEK-A-BOO WITH THE CITY'S ICONIC CATHEDRAL  
20 Days, 20 Cities, 6 Countries - Part 6: Trogir, Croatia and Kotor, Montenegro
LIKE MOST MEDIEVAL CITIES,  TROGIR'S OLD TOWN IS A WARREN OF STREETS
20 Days, 20 Cities, 6 Countries - Part 6: Trogir, Croatia and Kotor, Montenegro

20 Days, 20 Cities, 6 Countries - Part 6: Trogir, Croatia and Kotor, Montenegro

20 Days, 20 Cities, 6 Countries - Part 6: Trogir, Croatia and Kotor, Montenegro
Leaving Old Town by the Sea Gate, I wandered down the Riva - a wide seafront promenade heaving with luxury yachts and tripper boats. Naturally, before I could even take in the scene, the bit of blue sky I glimpsed as I crossed Ciovo Island Bridge into Trogir soon turned grey. The skies gave a half-hearted belch and disengorged a shower that sent the crowds running for cover, leaving the promenade bare but for the bravest of buskers (above).

I thought that I would be hardened by my ordeal in Plitvice Lakes National Park and unbothered by a relatively small shower - "'Tis but a scratch!" - yet I was put off from walking down the far end of the Riva to Kamerlengo Castle . The medieval castle (below) and her towers would've made for a fantastic viewing point, but with the stark and colourless sky now casting a grey pall on the city, I decided to conserve my energy for continuing my journey to Split.    

That's not to say that I was put off from Trogir by any means - in fact, at the next opportunity I'd love to return and visit the monuments I missed whether because of poor weather or because they were out of season. Case in point, Benedictine Monastery of St Nicholas (accessible by appointment from October to May), a 9th century convent boasting a rich collection of works of art including a 3rd century BC Greek relief of the God Kairos. 

TROGIR ONLINE 
20 Days, 20 Cities, 6 Countries - Part 6: Trogir, Croatia and Kotor, Montenegro

I made it to Split unscathed (if somewhat soggy) where the unseasonable shower continued to rain on my parade. Fortunately for me, the sun came out to play the very next day. The damp days continued in Dubrovnik and not even a day trip to Kotor, Montenegro could shake off the showers...


20 Days, 20 Cities, 6 Countries - Part 6: Trogir, Croatia and Kotor, Montenegro


Let's fast forward to...

◈ DAY 14 

KOTOR, MONTENEGRO

The funny thing is, "kotor" is the Malay word for dirty. "How apt", I thought to myself as my long skirt dragged into the many muddy puddles that gathered in the cobblestones of Kotor Old Town"Kotor in name, kotor in nature..." 😅  It was a wet world apart from the sultry, sun-drenched summer I spent in Montenegro 4 years ago, and on this occasion it was not the destination but rather the journey that made the trip. On my previous visit in 2013, I mostly made my way around Montenegro by speedboat, enjoying the Bay of Kotor and floating monuments like The Church of Our Lady On The Rocks up close and personal. This time, driving through Montenegro's steep and winding mountain roads offered a look at "the bigger picture", if you will. The famously black mountains, already so imposing even against blue skies or dusky pink sunsets, is downright intimidating when crowned in fog and draped with storm clouds. What an dramatic backdrop for the fortified Old Town of Kotor - a vision that took my mind off the chill and damp of being caught in the rain.

KOTOR TOURISM PORTAL 

20 Days, 20 Cities, 6 Countries - Part 6: Trogir, Croatia and Kotor, Montenegro

20 Days, 20 Cities, 6 Countries - Part 6: Trogir, Croatia and Kotor, Montenegro

20 Days, 20 Cities, 6 Countries - Part 6: Trogir, Croatia and Kotor, Montenegro

20 Days, 20 Cities, 6 Countries - Part 6: Trogir, Croatia and Kotor, Montenegro
NOT EVEN RAIN CAN PUT OFF THE DEDICATED CAFE-GOER
20 Days, 20 Cities, 6 Countries - Part 6: Trogir, Croatia and Kotor, Montenegro
NARROW ALLEYS OPEN UP TO BREATHTAKING MOUNTAIN VIEWS
20 Days, 20 Cities, 6 Countries - Part 6: Trogir, Croatia and Kotor, Montenegro
PERHAPS I SHOULD'VE PRAYED TO THE SAINTS FOR SUNSHINE...
20 Days, 20 Cities, 6 Countries - Part 6: Trogir, Croatia and Kotor, Montenegro
...POOR WEATHER ASIDE, KOTOR OLD TOWN IS WORTH THE TRIP.
20 Days, 20 Cities, 6 Countries - Part 6: Trogir, Croatia and Kotor, Montenegro

Of course the sun came out to play as I was leaving Montenegro. 😂 I wish I could say that that was the end of the rain, but I was subjected to more showers in Split and Dubrovnik. Happily I had more time in both cities to ride out the storms, which eventually passed to reveal gloriously hot days, as you'll soon see... 

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