Wednesday Oct 1, 2014

Oh boy! There have already been more highlights than we can remember on this Midlife Madness Cruise – and today, without a doubt, we added another. The waterfront town of Kotor is located down the far end of Montenegro‘s most beautiful bay – and our first glimpse this morning was a foggy one, as we motored in through the misty, glassy waters of the fjord. First settled 2000 years ago, during the days of ancient Rome, today’s vibrant modern town boasts medieval architecture plus numerous cultural monuments (like an ancient wall leading up into the hills, built for protection by the Republic of Venice), making Kotor a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

We started our sightseeing tour by driving up the serpentine Lovcen Hills – on an edge-of-the-cliff road that took us higher and higher up the oh-so-steep mountainside, around 25-plus hairpin bends (I kid you not) – to a couple of heart-in-mouth photo stops, then finally to the small winter resort of Njegusi, (1700 metres above sea-level) where we snacked on the local specialities: smoked ham and cheese, brandy and wine.

We then headed down the mountains on a route that took us near Budva – another Montenegrin city on the Adriatic coast that they reckon was first settled more than 2000 years ago.

Few of us had ever been to Montenegro before, let alone gone mountain-climbing above Kotor. Were we impressed? Were we ever. In fact, we’d love to come back for a week …

PEOPLE NEWS: Another famous Yellow Ducky flew off this morning to reward a lucky Mad Midlifer:

  • Adrien J claimed our ‘Love Me Tender Award’ – for getting her start-times muddled up, and missing not just one but two ‘tenders’ (lifeboats) when our group went ashore in Kotor. But, true to our kind-hearted Kiwis, we didn’t leave her behind. And all ended well …

TOMORROW: We’ll be arriving (midday-ish) at the final stopover on this cruise – romantic, enchanting, musical Venice – where we’ll enjoy a sensory feast of criss-crossing canals, graceful archways, onion-domed cathedrals, priceless Renaissance art, echoing church bells, and gondoliers working their oars and singing “O Sole Mio …”

Yours bloggedly – JOHN

P.S. If you want to leave a message for someone in our group, just click on the little speech bubble at the top of this entry, and add your ‘COMMENTS’! Make sure you say who it’s for and who it’s from – and keep it brief. And if you want to receive future blogs hot-off-the-press in your INBOX, just sign-up (top-right) for your free Email Subscription!

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About John Cooney

John Cooney and his wife Robyn have enjoyed more than their fair share of travel. They hesitate to call themselves ‘experts’ – but they’ve grabbed every chance that’s come their way to explore new countries, cultures and customs. They’ve had the privilege (both on their own and as the leaders of numerous successful group-tours) to sample many stunning destinations: Europe, the UK, Singapore, Vanuatu, the USA, Israel, Egypt, Africa, Dubai, China, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. And their recent (and most pleasant) memories are of the places ancient-and-modern that border the Mediterranean. John and Robyn are at-home in airports, hotels, cruise ships, and the like … and they know how to make the most of a unique travel opportunity. Travel, they reckon, is an all-five-senses experience – a chance to see, feel, smell, hear and taste the world. And they’ve done it often enough to know for sure: sightseeing with a group of laid-back Kiwis is DOUBLE the fun – lots of laughs, great company, and memories that last forever!


  1. Greetings John & Robyn.. Thought I’d write a quick note..the tour looks amazing from your photos and everyone is having a good time and the weather is fantastic. Enjoy the last part of the journey. Bev & Denxx

  2. For Adrien Jennings. I wondered how you would earn your cute wee duck! An absoluely wonderful tour. Thank you to you John for the lovely photos and all the updates. Love Maggie.xoxo

  3. You’ve stirred my interest .. shows my total ignorance that I have never heard of Kotor – am checking it out on the web as we speak ha ha. Continue the good work 🙂 Love ya xx

  4. For Adrien Jennings! Looks like you are all having a FAB time!!! Have an amazing time in Venice – hope the time doesn’t go too quickly for you all 🙂 Bates is being lovely and having a great holiday … he is a great house guest! xxxx

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