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Wednesday, September 4: Day 135 – Caving In

We are up early to catch a jet boat to ride through the Bay of Kotor and out to swim in the Blue Cave on the Adriatic Sea.

We have an international group of 8 people: Americans, Germans, Turks and Montenegrins. Here is a boat just like ours from the same company who is racing us.

I love to wave at passing ships but many don’t wave back. Alex, our captain, said that the non-wavers must be French. “The French don’t wave.”

We passed Mamula Island in the middle of the strategic entrance to the bay.

Alex said that the grandparents of many local people were tortured here in WWII during Mussolini’s time. Today they are building a resort here. That would be like putting a resort at Auschwitz!!

Resort built on Concentration Camp

I am dressed for swimming and when we arrive in the cave, I am eager to get in. It seems like the women of the group are leading the men. It was cool but pleasant.

We get back in our boat. There are several other boats here. Alex says that he always counts eight. One time he counted 10. The boats all look the same from the water.

Next we go to the black cave. This one is a little scarier but once again, the woman lead the way.

Alex said, “Does anyone want to swim into the cave?”

Magda from Germany says, “I’m going.”

A man from Turkey declares,”My wife is going.”

I say to Rob, “Well, if they are going, we should go.”

It was a swim over there. The first part was VERY blue since the light shone in but as you got further in, it was VERY black. I could not see the ladies in front of me. They could see me so I swam toward them with a few brave men behind me.

If we had a light, we might have gone farther, but we didn’t know how far it went…and what lived in the dark.

We decided that it was time to return. Alex acted like the boat was leaving.

There was one more cave called the bat cave, but we didn’t go there. Time to head back.

We stop at two islets. I am not sure the difference between islands and islets other than size but when Rob and I were touring the 1000 islands in the St. Lawrence River, they told us that a tree had to grow to make it an island. This needs more research.

There are two islands – one is a natural island and the other is made made.

The natural island used to be a cemetery. There are more bodies buried here per square foot than any cemetery in the world. Sveti Dorde is large enough to hold a monastery of St. George, but nothing else.

Two hundred shipwrecks loaded with stone from the battle with the pirate Barbarosa were the beginnings of this artificial island.

Battle of Castelnuovo

To this day, on July 22, fisherman and boaters bring rocks to enlarge this manmade island.

Our Lady of the Rocks

The difference between high tide and low tide is only 20 inches.

Alex showed us a submarine tunnel that was built by the Germans. It was used to hide submarines during WWII.

They closed the tunnel and used branches to cover it.

Here is the inside.

We are watching the World Cup of Basketball. Tonight is New Zealand vs Montenegro…and we are IN Montenegro!! Then I see something that I have never seen before. The New Zealand team does this loud intimidating show. It was awesome. A show of fierce fighting warriors. The Montenegrins looked like THEY wanted a war dance like that. It kind of reminded me of the way that the football team entered the stadium in the movie Remember the Titans.

The New Zealand dance is called the Haka. It is just for men but I really want to learn it myself. There is a lot of puffing out the cheeks and sticking out your tongue. (I did a lot of that on the fortress hike so perhaps I am halfway to learning it.)

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