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Report - St John's Castle - Kotor, Montenegro - October 2014

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by The Amateur Wanderer, Dec 23, 2014.

  1. The Amateur Wanderer

    The Amateur Wanderer 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Jul 22, 2012
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    St John's Castle

    The Explore

    Evening guy's, I don't usually get to explore much abroad, so when the opportunity to see former parts of Yugoslavia as part of a family holiday arose I jumped at the opportunity of fitting in a wee bit of exploration!

    This was never going to be easy though, our ship arrived in the port of Kotor at 10:00am and was due to depart again at 13:00pm, this gave me exactly 3 hours to climb to the top of Mount St. John, explore the fortress ruins and get back on the boat! So I packed light, taking only my DSLR, OM1 film camera, water, phone and set off on a mad dash through town, before reaching the foot of the mountain and scrambling up onto an old mountain path... It took me 40 minutes from getting off the boat, getting through town and ascending the 280 meter's worth of winding mountain paths to reach the fort near the summit... Not bad I don't think? I then spent 20 mins at the top, before scrambling back down and having a quick look around the old town and Soviet Hydro Power Station (Didn't have time to go in though sadly :( ). The climb/sprint especially in the heat expected from around the Adriatic left me pretty knackered, and the rest of the day was spent in the hot tub with a few beers on the ship, wish all explores ended like that! ;)

    Anyway, I've ranted enough, history time!



    The place is worth it's weight in gold for the epic views, and structures, but don't expect any amazing internals...

    Heading up the old Mountain Paths, they where in fairly good nick this low down...


    The paths are becoming overgrown and a little worse for wear as we get up higher, quick breather and a shot looking back on the old town, the Mountain may not be the tallest, but the paths do take you well away from the town...


    The sentry's must have been fit back in the day...


    Keep going...



    Loved this shot, reminded me of something you'd expect to find in South America :)


    First of the towers to have the old Iron Doors still in Situ...


    Moving on up...


    Shame it's not just as easy as accepting the risk back home...


    The top, finally... Now let's get inside and have a look around!


    Inside, stripped bare as expected sadly.




    Had a look inside here, but was just a large empty room, wasn't even going to attempt to shoot inside without a tripod...


    There was some awesome masonary in there, check this out...



    And finally looking back down on Kotor and the ship 'Thompson Majesty' a lovely view and gives you an idea of how far I managed to travel in 40 mins!


    That's all from the fort, apologies for it been so pic heavy, going to add a couple more though taken from the ship as we were leaving port. Montenegro appears to have been explored very little, which is surprising as the place seemed to be full of potential explores, had I not been tied to the ships itinerary I would have loved to have spent a few more days here exploring.

    Old Soviet Shipping...


    WW2 German Uboat Pens...


    Fortress at the mouth of the mouth of the channel, with battle damage from the war in the late 90's...


    Cheers for looking guys, and any of you guy's who explore outside of Britain often, do a bit of research and get yourselves out there, looks like so many potential explores! I would myself if I had the cash/time!
    #1 The Amateur Wanderer, Dec 23, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2014
    HughieD and WatchDog82 like this.

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  2. Bertie Bollockbrains

    Bertie Bollockbrains 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Sep 1, 2014
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    ha... I did this a few years ago in the middle of August when the temperature was about 40 degrees. You are right the climb is brutal. I dare you to return and do it in August.

    Just wanting to add a little bit of a warning as I spent 2 years out in the Balkans in the 1990s on peacekeeping operations and its a place I still go back to often (for leisure these days)... not a problem in Montenegro, but certainly in Croatia and of course Bosnia, but the ground is still littered with landmines and unexploded ordnance. The landmines are made of hard plastic and cannot be detected easily by metal detector. It is unlikely in our lifetimes that they will ever be cleared. So in general the Balkans NOT a safe place to be exploring off the beaten path.

    There's a fantastic abandoned hotel complex on a beach just to the south of Dubrovnik, but definitely is heavily mined. Entry could be very lethal. The Olympic Winter Games of 1984 sites are there to be seen, including the very depressing wrecked ski jump on top of a hill at Sipovo which serves as a tragic metaphor to what happened in these parts. It you want to be a warzone tourist, most of Bosnia and parts of Croatia are still heavily scarred from the conflicts with plenty of bulletholes and wrecked buildings to see, even in tourist centres such as Mostar. But seeing from a distance is probably all you can do safely.

    Anyways enjoyed this report, thumbs up from me.
    WatchDog82 likes this.
  3. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
    Regular User

    Mar 16, 2014
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    The Amateur Wanderer and the Raiders of the Lost Ark lol. Some awesome awesome decoration in the stonework. It's frustrating when you have to squeeze something in on a limited time frame, especially when there's loads of other cool bits lying around. Good effort for risking it and getting up there :thumb

    For a moment there I imagined you'd managed to set sail on the Tuexedo Royale from your last report. :D
  4. The Amateur Wanderer

    The Amateur Wanderer 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Jul 22, 2012
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    Cheers for the comments as always mate :D
  5. mw0sec

    mw0sec 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Feb 1, 2012
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    What a beautiful place. Interesting report.
  6. Bugsuperstar

    Bugsuperstar Irresponsible & Reckless
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    Mar 10, 2009
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    I really like this kind of thing. Thanks.
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