John and I went back and forth about what we wanted to do on our second day in Dubrovnik. One idea was to stay in town and do a hike up to the overlook. Another was to take a ferry out to Miljet National Park. Another was to drive down to Kotor in Montenegro. The decision was easy once my friend Janna sent me this great article: “European Gems that Tourists Haven’t Discovered.”
The first place listed in the article is one of my favorites on earth: Carcassonne, France. And the second place on the list is Trier, Germany, where my college roommate Bridget and I went shoe shopping on the weekends when we lived in Dijon, France. So I was already trusting this list! Kotor was number 6, so John and I decided it would be best to head there for the day.
The drive south from Dubrovnik was stunning. Craggy coast and sweeping views of the city. We got to the border and waited in line to get our passports stamped. I was intrigued by how instantly different Montenegro was from Croatia. The infrastructure was years behind: the roads were full of holes, the signage was poor, and so many buildings were half finished or falling apart.
Driving was slow as we wound our way all around the bay in the rain, until we finally got to the town of Kotor. It was pouring when we parked. So we did a quick TripAdvisor search and found a restaurant for lunch. We chose Bastion, which was really delicious. We ordered soup right away so we could get warmed up. Then we shared octopus and mussels. Really yum.
We toured around the walled city as the rain slowed and finally stopped. There was a whimsical art project in town with 10 installations by artists all over the world. My two favorites were the larger than life laundry, and also a net full of gloves that looked like wings. We rounded out our tour with a walk along the harbor to look at all the luxury yachts lined up in a row. Soon it was time to leave, so we waved goodbye and started our way around the bay.
Back in Dubrovnik we went to the beach then soaked in the hot tub then had a rest. We walked back into old town for a pre-dinner drink. We found THE Croatian microbrew that we would later encounter at restaurants all over the country. It was very flavorful. We were pretty tired, so we decided to have a light, easy dinner near the hotel. We grabbed salad and pizza at El Toro, then headed back to enjoy our beautiful view of the Adriatic.