Montenegro is one of our cruise destinations of which I was previously totally ignorant. Montenegro is the smallest of the six countries that emerged at the breakup of Yugoslavia (Croatia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Serbia, Albania, Macedonia) after the death of Yugoslav dictator Marshall Tito in 1980. Historically, Montenegro was ruled by the Venetians, (and later the Ottoman Empire) who built the UNESCO world heritage recognized city of Kotor, which the Viking Star visited for a few hours.
Kotor is a small city at the end of the Bay of Kotor, “Europe’s southernmost fjord” which creates a protected harbor at the end of its seventeen mile length. Actually, this long inlet from the Mediterranean is not technically a fjord, which refers to glacier-carved inlets created during the Ice Age. Instead, the Bay of Kotor “fjord” is technically a “rio” which refers to a prehistoric valley carved by thousands of years of erosion prior to the Mediterranean being filled from the world’s oceans when the Strait of Gibraltar opened to the oceanic deluge known as the Zanclean Flood. (See Zanclean flood – Wikipedia)
Our short visit to Montenegro is just one example of the frustrating lack of opportunity to explore our destination countries beyond the superficial impressions that a stop of a few hours offers. The whole Balkan area, which includes the former Yugoslav territories, attract a possible future land tour. A future blog will focus on Croatia, where Game of Thrones was filmed. Montenegro (literally “black mountain”) is a small country, speaking the same language of its neighbors, but which nonetheless wanted to be a free and independent country. This is the desire that fuels the Ukrainian resistance to the Russian invasion.