Decembar 16, 2018 - Vjeverica Mountain Club from Kotor has used a sunny and pleasant winter day to plan and make an excellent hiking tour of Peluzica in Kotor to the pine forest on the plateau of the low mountain of Vrmac, where the fortress of the same name is located. Vrmac is just a perfect destination for the not so well trained hikers since most of its path is easy to follow. Most of the time participants are able to fully enjoy the spectacular views of Kotor and Tivat bays and the mountain of Lovćen, as well as the open sea perspective over the Luštica peninsula and great views on the slopes of Orjen mountain. A perfect couple of hours of sunbathing today was joined by hikers from across the Boka Bay.
A dozen hikers, members of the Vjeverica (Squirrel) club and people who responded to a public invitation to enjoy the hinterland of Boka Bay joined the expert Vjeverica guide, Marjan Šantić. Among them was Elaine, an Australian who has been living in Kotor for two years, and has spent more than a year enjoying excursions with the Squirrel and his experienced guides.
Divided between the Kotor and Tivat municipalities, Vrmac has great the beauty of nature, as well as the architectural masterpiece of mankind; the traces of the existence in this area can be read from the pre-Illyrian times.
Vrmac is a low mountain of marvelous morphology, extending from southeast to northwest. The slopes with dry junctions that are steeply descended into the UNESCO's Kotor, which has come to the World Heritage List thanks also to these sculptures that nature made in the stone. Just across this landscape, Franc Josef built one of the roads, which by the system of serpentines succeed in overcoming the unbelievable slope of mountains above Kotor. The route was created when it was primarily used for the supplying of Fort of Vrmac. It was 5 km long and led to the sea at Peluzica. One part of the trail now leads through the Novo Naselje built in Kotor after the Great Earthquake in 1979. It is a disadvantage that this path is not entirely preserved, but the remaining four kilometers will appeal to every hiker who decides on a light tour accessible regardless of the physical readiness of the pedestrians. The unique atmosphere made the fact that we walked to meet the sun's heat, as we headed from Kotor in the deep shadows. We rushed and caught the sun at least half an hour earlier than the ancient city of Kotor.
The Austro-Hungarian fortifications and the network of roads on Vrmac, although left behind, are resisting. Fascinating is the skill of the builder, as well as the perfection of processing stone from which Peluzica-Vrmac road was built. As with the rest of the infrastructure and buildings constructed by Austro-Hungarians, Austria has provided Montenegro with the notice that, at the end of a hundred years, it has ceased to be a guarantee for all segments of the Fortress of Boka Bay, a fortification system of over 50 fortresses connected by roads. Serpentines mostly resist the tooth of time, but in many places, it is evident that this valuable monument of culture deserves adequate treatment and protection, as one of the segments of the cultural landscape of the UNESCO area of Kotor.
Vrmac is a favorite destination of numerous citizens of Boka Bay, but also tourists and people who have been in Boka recently. Among them is Elaine from Australia, who found her new home in Kotor.
"I love Vrmac, this is not my first time here," explains Elaine, who has been living in Kotor for two years now. "I sailed in on a sailing boat and fell in love with the Bay of Kotor. So, I decided to buy an apartment in the Old Town of Kotor."
Elaine had been working on board a sailing boat for 11 years, and she was pleased with her decision to make Kotor her new home. "Now I'm a private chef, I'm land based only, I quit sailing. I love having a normal life and freedom, what I really find here. I love the Bay and every time I look at it from some other perspective, I know I made the right decision to buy a property here. I like the freedom, safety, and beauty."
When it comes to socializing with local people, Elaine suggests: "You have to make what you can of it, so you have to be outgoing and join groups. You may not understand what's going on, but just be part of what you can, enjoying NGOs and hiking groups and any social group you can."
Elaine loves Squirrel and has spent time with them for more than a year. "We go to some amazing places. I'm so happy that I get to share it with this group of like-minded people. Also, if I have anyone coming to visit me at my apartment, I always recommend hiking or at least to join the hiking group to get the most of their stay here. I suggest they get out and about to see the beauty."
Elaine today enjoyed beautiful vistas along the serpentine's path. Also, she joined the rest of the group at the end of the road, enjoying the top of the cliff that offers a fantastic view of Kotor.
From here through the woods, the main Vrmac road, connecting Trojica and Gornja Lastva, is an extraordinary engineering work which, through the art of masonry, as opposed to time to this day. Information is provided, if you decide to continue walking around Vrmac, the paths are well marked, and from the main road, from Vrmac, you can quickly get to all the upper villages as well as to the coast.
The Vjeverica team has not announced the destination and the term of new hiking tours. Tour dates usually are on the weekends, so further action depends on the weather. Activities are regularly reported on the Vjeverica Facebook page.