I am just asking the question because the place I would get married, should it ever happen, seems to change as often as my neighbour’s daughter changes her hair colour and, believe me, that’s often! So, if I were to get married, where would I like that to be? Well, it’s changed recently to Perast in Montenegro. OK, so let me tell you the story…
This time, the Lonely Planet came up trumps! I was scanning the guide on my kindle and decided that, as I was in Kotor, I may as well see what Perast was like because it sounded good. I was delighted to discover that it was only a 30 minute bus ride from right outside the old town. I didn’t even have to go to the bus station – result! So, one afternoon, I hopped on a Blue Line bus, paid my €1 and sat down by the window on the left-hand side so I could enjoy the view and it was good because the road follows the bay.
Even now, as an experienced traveller, I still get a little concerned about missing my stop when I get on a local bus. I really didn’t want to miss the stop because it would mean waiting an hour for another bus or having to walk on the busy main road. There was no need to worry though because the bus driver was great and shouted out, ‘Downtown Perast’, when we arrived. That’s kind of funny because Perast is tiny. It’s basically one narrow road that somehow accommodates two-way traffic – buses included!
Having alighted the bus, I started walking down the road in the same direction as the bus and stopped to take photos. During that time, I saw someone approach a couple about taking a boat ride. That reminded of the guy I had been told about. Basically, another travel blogger happened to be staying at the same hostel as me and I was chatting to her the night before. She had been to Perast and recommended the guy who took her out on a boat. So, I started looking for that guy. You might be wondering how I would be able to find him. Easy, I was looking for a man in black. Because it was so hot, I didn’t expect to see many men in black taking people for boat rides and I was right. Believe it or not, I did find a man in black so I stopped and asked if he took an Australian girl to the island a couple of days before. He seemed a little taken aback, as he looked at me quizzically. The guy next to him, wearing a stripped blue and white top and shorts said, ‘Yes, that was me’. Then I asked him what must have seemed like an even stranger question, ‘Were you wearing black?’. He thought for a second and answered, ‘Yes’. ‘Ah, great’, I responded, ‘You’re the person I’m looking for! My name’s Teresa. Can you take me to the island? The Australian girl recommended you.’ He smiled and replied, ‘Yes, of course. My name’s Nikolou’. I had no idea if it was actually the same guy but he seemed nice enough.
We set off to the island, which he told me was called, ‘Our Lady of the Rock’. I just love that name and it is so fitting because it is such a beautiful little island. When we approached the island, he asked if 30 minutes would be enough time for me on the island. I shrugged my shoulders and said, ‘I don’t know’. He urged me to visit the church and museum and said that 30 minutes is generally the length of time people stay because it is so small.
Just before we landed, a bigger boat with a large group of people descended on the island and, as they were about to go into the church, I hung back and sat down at one end of the island to enjoy the view and take photos. I wandered around the island but didn’t go into the church as it was still crowded.
Nikolou returned and asked if I had seen the church. When I told him I hadn’t and asked if it was worth it, he said it was and that he would return for me in about 20 minutes. That was that, I’d visit the church. The people were leaving as I entered. Entry is free and the lady at the entrance was really nice. She told me that they only use the church for special occasions, which includes weddings. For clarification, I asked, ‘Local weddings?’ but she said, ‘No, international weddings too.’ That was it; my romance head was on! She continued to say that, as a tradition, brides tend to leave their bouquets in the church and the most recent one was left on the altar a few days before. It’s a tiny church but ornately decorated and has the same name as the manmade island on which it is located, Our Lady of the Rock. They are named after the first rock used to build the island, which is located behind the altar.
The next time Nikolou came for me, I was ready to leave. When I returned to the mainland, I thanked Nikolou and paid him the €5 I owed him for the boat journey. I stayed in Perast for a few more hours because it was quiet and relaxing. As I looked over to the island, all I could think of was what a wonderful place to get married – in that tiny church on the tiny island. Then as I walked around, especially as it started getting dark, I realised how romantic Perast actually is. There are a few restaurants that have tables by the waters’ edge and it looks very romantic with the tea lights at night.
I had been seduced by the romance of this small town and particularly that tiny island. So, until I find another place, Perast and Our Lady of the Rock is currently my number one place in the world to get married.
I would hate for Perast to be overrun with visitors but, if you happen to find yourself in Kotor, it is worth taking the time to visit Perast even for just a few hours as I did. If I was going back, I would probably stay in Perast so I could have more time there.
This map shows you the location of both Kotor, Perast and that beautiful little island, Our Lady of the Rock.
Have your say
What place have you been seduced by? If you were going to get married, where in the world would that be?