While the weather is foggy and the sky overcast, the temperature is still very mild, a light jacket for TBG a light sweatshirt for me. This has been the case for most of the trip. I am not hating it at all.
Today we have a Bon Appetite tour scheduled, with a visit to the market and then to a local home for cooking lessons. We were met at the ship by Sasha a delightful young lady who confided in us that it was her birthday. She learned she should not have chosen us to keep a secret. We made sure everyone on the tour, all nine of us, knew. We walked from the ship to the market, a delightful place that sold just about everything from fresh fish to locally grown produce to exotics, like pineapple and papayas.
There we met the woman who would be our hostess. She, along with her husband, welcomed us into her home. We relaxed in the living room and were given a short history of her path to playing hostess to groups of people. She had been an architect and professional singer, while her husband was a captain of ship. After her children were grown and gone, they retired and she decided to start looking into Montenegro’s culinary past. She published a cook book and gave some lectures. After a bit, Princess approached her with the idea to act as hostess to small groups interesting in the local foods and customs.
After that, she explained that her husband and his family had a local vineyard and they produced not just wine, but also olive oil, vinegar and something called Kvir (I’m probably spelling that wrong). It’s clear, 52% proof and very invigorating. She also offered a cherry and walnut version, which we all tried. The last two were too sweet for me, but I could get into the custom of tossing back a shot of Kvir every morning.
Then she led the way to the dining room where we sat to a table with a smoked ham, a specialty of the region, cheese, olives, red pepper chutney-like sauce, bread, and pickle. They also served water and their family wine.
Pleasantly stuffed, she then proceeded to the next course, which was gnocchi. She demonstrated how to make them and encouraged us to keep it simple, just rolling them and then cutting them into chunks. I suspect we would have been better at it before the wine and Kvir. Anyhow, they were served with a beef sauce that has been cooked overnight in the oven. It was thick and luscious, the meat was so tender that it fell apart when you touched a fork to it. It was just delicious.
Dessert was a simple plate of tangerines and grapes. While people were visiting, I bought a copy of her cook book, most for the photos – happily it was in English – and she autographed it for us.
To be honest, this was less hands on that I wanted, but that’s neither here nor there. She was lovely and gracious, it was kind of her to open her home and it was a lovely lunch. We marched back to the dock as a group and that’s where we split up. I wanted post cards and to go back to the ship, TBG wanted to find a bakery, some of the others wanted to climb the city wall.
I found my post cards and headed back to the ship. When I got to security, I realized my cruise wallet was gone. With an absolute sick feeling I hurried back to the vendor, but there was nothing there. I looked along the path I’d taken, but nothing. Feeling absolutely shattered, I came back to the ship. Happily, I had my cruise card separate from the wallet, so I could at least get on the ship. As I approached security, he looked at my card and said,
“Good news. We have your wallet.”
I could have kissed him. Of course, the 15 euro I had in it was gone, but my driver’s license and credit card was there. I was over-the-moon relieved. Someone had actually turned it in. Wow… I was so, so limp with relief. I got back to the cabin and had a good cry about it all.
I laid down, thinking I would just rest for a bit, then woke up and wondered if TBG remembered what time we sailed to find him beside me. I told him about the wallet, he was happy how it ended, and then he showed me what he’d bought. Kotor is a city of cats. Lots and lots of them. He bought a shopping bag with a great picture on it and a fun tee shirt. And the photos! He even got to pet some of them. :D
We watched Doctor Strange and enjoyed it more than we thought we would. TBG kept asking me questions about the universe, but it’s not one that I ever explored. While doing this, I wrote some more postcards and a birthday card, which we hope to mail tomorrow in Corfu.
We were a bit late for dinner, which didn’t matter because of the flexible times we have, but it meant that our favorite table was gone… alas. So we sat somewhere else. It was so funny, we were standing there with the hostess and our waiter came up, linked arms with me and whisked us to one of ‘his’ tables. He wasn’t going to let us be served by anyone else. It’s silly, but I felt flattered.
Dinner was a more leisurely than the previous days, which suited me just fine. I liked the time between courses. I started with a vodka tonic and lamb skewers (basically seasoned ground lamb on a skewer) and a nice cucumber and yogurt dipping sauce. That was followed by a Caesar salad and then Asian duck in a soy/Five Spice sauce with bok choy, leeks and a turned potato. TBG started with a Crocker Ricky (created by a friend of ours – a jigger each of Rose’s Lime, cranberry juice and limoncello and then fill the rest of the glass with tonic), an English lamb and vegetable soup, a Caesar and then a steak… sigh, he was so good in Venice. Dessert was a delight – finally soufflés! They had Grand Marnier soufflés, but when they came out, they were tiny… just the size of a small ramekin. So, we ordered two. A bit extravagant, but they said it would be the only time they would probably serve them.
We wandered a bit until it was time to head up for bed. Another time change, this time an hour forward to agree with the Greece time. We read a bit and then both feel into a deep sleep. It was probably the best night I’ve had since arriving, sans the first night at the Bauer Hotel. Hope everyone has sweet dreams