The Adriatic: Kotor, Bari and Corfu

Kotor, Montenegro

The old Mediterranean port of Kotor is surrounded by fortifications building during the Venetian period. Sailing into Kotor reminded us of our cruise around Lake Como in northern Italy, the scenery was simply stunning.

We took a tender from the ship and walked into the Old Town where we spent a few hours wandering through the streets, visiting a number of churches from various ages across history - including a medieval church - as well as a comprehensive maritime museum.

The streets were filled with tourist shops and tourists, and finally exhausted we sat down at one of the outdoor cafes and had a good strong coffee.

Bari, Italy

Back in Italy, we sailed into Bari, the second most important economic centre of mainland southern Italy after Naples. It is well known for the Basilica of Saint Nicholas, and its beautiful walls including an amazing fort in which we spent quite some time.

In Bari, the houses were tenements and the women stand on their balconies and talk to each other across the narrow streets. It was washing day and we couldn't get over the number of stores that just sold washing powders! Unlike much of Italy, Bari homes are clean and well cared for.

At one point we stopped to listen to a 'conversation' between several people involved in an incident with two cars. We thought it was hysterical with all the arm waving and yelling. But then we passed a trattoria where several men were sitting down to lunch and were having almost the exact same 'conversation'. I guess it's just the way they communicate.

Corfu, Greece

Greece is one of my favourite places in the world and it was wonderful to be back. We hadn't visited Corfu previously and were pleased to see that although an island, it still has the Greek character.

Our tour took us up narrow windy roads to Paleokastritsa, a stunning beachside area on our way to a monastery. Like the monasteries of Meteora in northern Greece, this one was adorned with beautiful inlaid gold frescos. We then drove on to the Achilleion Palace which was built in the late 1800s by Empress of Austria, Elisabeth of Bavaria, known as Sisi. Sisi had a passion for Achilles, of Greek mythology; thus the name of the palace.

We finished our tour in the Old Town of Corfu, typical of Greek towns and reminiscent of the wonderful Plaka in Athens.