We have returned to our favourite anchorage in Tivat, opposite the old 16th-century Bizanti Palace. The dilapidated palace is in an enviable elevated position, located in the middle of an old cypress forest park within what is known as Zupa Park. Amongst the elegant evergreen cypress are plenty of thriving old fig trees that are currently fruiting, and there are many outbuildings, including an old family chapel. This once was a renaissance-style summer mansion that belonged to the noble Bizanti family and it was in their holding for 300 years.
In the 19th century the Austrians dominated the Tivat region and they ‘acquired’ the estate for the Austrian/Hungarian army, converting it into barracks. After some time, the Yugoslav army inherited the palace. But it seems nobody cared about any historical significance and today it is a sad and empty shell with its watchtower still intact. The buildings have seemingly been abandoned by everyone. The sweeping carriage drive still wends its way and columned gate posts with wonky wrought iron gates that once would close now barely cling on. The palace grounds now provide a pleasant walking place and there is a couple of south and east-facing beaches that everyone can enjoy. You can explore within the old building as it is open to view – but if only the walls could talk. There is some interesting and in some cases, talented graffiti art which in one respect I guess does the talking.
There is a group of seven boats that have been anchored across from the Bizanti Palace since the big bora winds blew over 40 knots two nights ago. It is now back to calm and the water temperature has hit 23 degrees. Yesterday we all met for a BBQ on the beach in front of the abandoned palace, just a mere few metres in front of where we are all hanging on the hook. It was a fabulous evening that went well into the night. We had a beach fire, cooked our various meats, and shared an array of delicious salads. And we drank plenty. The nationalities of our party spanned South Africa, Germany, England, India, USA, Finland, France, Estonia, and of course, New Zealand It was convivial in the extreme, sharing home-made Orang-cello (limoncello made with Seville oranges … yum!), and we enjoyed Irish coffees well into the night. A special highlight was when one of our parties arrived just after sunset, playing his bagpipes from his dinghy which echoed off the lapping water and out around the bay. A foreign instrument for many, it drew an audience and applause from others who were around the park grounds and beach. It was certainly a special Friday night shared around a beach fire in front of an old ruin of a palace, with our homes floating out front.
This morning things are moving a little slow, including the post-coffee morning paddleboard which was rather genteel. This weekend is three days long marking Montengro’s annual Independence weekend. It is the anniversary of their independence in 2006 when the country decided via referendum to leave Serbia. At that time quirkily, their internet domain name changed from .yu to .me.
P!NK’s lyrics are usually message-laden, about finding your own path and independence. “Just Like Fire” is her track from “Alice Through the Looking Glass”
Just like fire, burning up the way
If I can light the world up for just one day
Watch this madness, colorful charade
No one can be just like me any way
Just like magic, I’ll be flying free
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