Re-edit (22/10/2017): I sat at a Montenegrin cafe by the shiny ripples and met a Montenegrin-American lady, who was revisiting her family after two decades apart. She had fled to Oregon during the civil war. Despite of the beautiful landscapes of Oregon, the lady still went back to Kotor every summer. When I asked her why did she fly back tirelessly, she said, “Everything is so quaint. I find my connection.” She did not articulate what was the connection as I also comprehended unofficially. Below was the excerpt journal I had upon finishing the trip last year.
Montenegro is “quaint”. This Eastern European country is easily forgotten by many, but it is quickly becoming the fashionable resort. One can conveniently fly from Gatwick.
Dobrota preserves the quietness of local life. You can swim in the crystal-clear Kotor Bay or hike up to the St Giovanni’s Castle. I stayed fit hitting the mini gym in the Kotor Centre. I jog miles along the coastline and dip in whenever I want. Alongside I saw the layers of sky from blue to orange varying as I ran until stars lighted up and the sunset faded.
One day I decided to take a one-day trip to the starstruck Budva, where many mistook as the shooting location of Casino Royale. I hired a local boat at the cheap rate and went on cave hunting. In between when we found a good spot among the endless Adriatic Sea, I could not resist but threw myself into the chilling ocean like a mermaid.
A decade ago, this loving country was still in bloodshed. I can barely imagine the massacre when I was dinning in the dreamy cafe by the lake. The civil war is over. The housing price steadily rises. Modernity and capitalism come into play. Montenegro will probably be the next Poland and the Economic backbone of EU resurrection. For me, I will just keep the privacy of the Montenegrin sunshine in my heart.
One of the memories I had was the most beautiful islet I have been so far – Our Lady On the Rocks. It is a secluded monastery not far away from Dobrota by taxi and ferry. The whitewashed waves clapped on its rocks as the nuns conducted their routines. The Lady on the Rock was a wife of a fisherman from ancient time as the port was the famous for fishing. However, fishing was a dangerous living and many men never returned from the sea. The lady used her hair to weave a picture of Virgin Mary and prayed for the safe return of her husband. After she finished the piece, her eyes were blind. 10 years later, her husband returned. Lady was deified since. I have attached a picture of her hair-made Virgin Mary.
Blessed by the heaven message, I asked the nuns could people have wedding request here. The nun looked at me kindly and said yes, but added, “At least one of the couples has to be Catholic.”