Saturday, June 30, 2018

Beautiful Restaurant: Konoba Catovica Mlini

Mostly it's the food, but sometimes a restaurant's setting or ambiance pushes it over the top. Such was Konoba Catovica Mlini, up the road a bit from Pestar, and which we'd read about from Rickie Stevie. (Our search, in the Balkans, for an English guidebook to the Balkans, turned out to be futile, and so we just downloaded the most recent (2016) version of Rickie Stevie's guide to Croatia/Slovenia; it has proved more than adequate, although doing a guidebook on the phone or Kindle has been a trial).
It did not start well: we followed the GPS and the signs, but the road led to an
underpass we could not pass under; we parked, and I set forth on foot to reconnoiter

The resto was just around the corner a couple hundred meters;
but things did not improve when I saw the menu--every
item was seafood! Vicki does not eat seafood, although she
has often sacrificed on my behalf...; I walked back to tell her
the news, but she was already determined to try the place

The underpass turned out to be a defunct mill in an area studded with the clearest
of springs--all only a couple hundred meters from the Adriatic

One enters through a forest of bamboo

And we were shortly seated with this view and presented a fuller menu that
worked just fine

The place was gorgeous, atmospheric

Nearly all the seating is outside; in a climate that rarely goes below 50 degrees
F, why sit inside?

The salads were 2E and 4E

Her pasta carbonera...maybe 10E

Me, suitably attired for the mussels, maybe 10E

Thus, and cooked just right...although with perhaps the most garlic I've ever
seen on a dish...except for a roasted bulb, maybe

A local cake thing we shared for dessert

Just wandering around the place

Inside dining under the barrel vaulting

Not to miss!


Perast is nowadays another beau village on the Ria of Kotor. In its days of glory, it was the principal guardian of the narrowest part of the ria (bay, gulf, fiord, what have you), a free city associated with Venice, and, later, a major ship-building center. But now it's girding mostly for the tourists. It is just a few miles around the ria from Kotor.
There it is, upper left

Off-shore dining

Apparently the tallest campanile on the coast, in its time

Miscellaneous church interior

Much construction going on in Perast now

Spare parts

Lots of churches

The most interesting of the old palazzos is now the museum

Among Perast's claims to fame is Our Lady of the Rocks, the only artificial
islet in the Adriatic; they built the islet and then the church because the relic
insisted on staying there...look it up

There is also nearby the islet of St. George, which, alas, is not artificial and
also lacks a relic; but it has a chapel, of course

Street scene

Marina scene

Art class scene

The Club de Boule...a legacy of the Napoleonic era?

The Boule Pen

Kotor; And Today's Geography Lesson

We drove on, now coastal, now highland, now coastal, into Montenegro, aiming for its coastal city of Kotor, at the end of the immense Gulf of Kotor. It is not actually a gulf, nor a bay, nor even a fiord, although that is what it most looks like. It is a ria, a river canyon that has been submerged by the rising sea. Or a sinking land mass, e.g., Britain. I had never heard of such a thing. But they are fairly common, and now I know I have seen quite a few, in Europe, the US, Australia, and especially in New Zealand, which has dozens, on both the big islands. Most of the southern coast of England is ria country. Bantry Bay, in Ireland, is another. So there is today's geography lesson. Travel is so enlightening.
Helpful map of the Ria of Kotor; as you drive around it from roughly left to
right it really does seem like a great Norwegian fiord; the big background
mountains certainly reinforce the view

On the other hand, it's warm and sunny, skimpily-dressed people are in and on
the water; this is definitely not Norway 

Kotor is another walled town, sometimes referred to as a mini-Dubrovnik; both
are World Heritage Sites; here is one of the lower parts of the wall, along a river

Much of the wall switch-backs its way up and then down the heights above
the city; rather fewer people walk the walls at Kotor than at Dubrovnik; we
certainly didn't

We were content to just wander the little wall-girt town, enjoying mostly the little

Cathedral of St. Tryphon

Spare parts all over the town, which is mainly Venetian in age, but bits of it
go back to Justinian and late antiquity

Fragments in a little chapel; 13th century, the lady said

A Last Supper?

Many old things to appreciate

Interior of one of the Orthodox churches; giant pictures of the Gospel writers

Dress code for orthodox churches: no fedoras!

Interior of another


The town pump

The camper parking was right on the water; 30E but nice
and quiet

Only a block from the walled city; we went in for a stroll after dark; the towers
of the upper wall are illuminated

Next morning we were awakened by announcements for the shore party,
outside our window

Early morning at the street market under another of the walls; I was out searching
for some prized Montenegrin prosciutto...