*Oct 15th, 2001
Perast, Yugoslavia:

From Kotor, I took a day trip to perast with Emery, an American I met in Kotor (one of only a handful of Westerners in the entire area). Perast is not very well known, but for those who have heard of the small village, they probably know that it has two small islands about three-fourths of a mile out from the coast. Over the past thousand years, people have made pilgrimages out to these islands by boat and dropped stones on their land - slowly adding to their landmass and making it possible to build a monestary on each.

Emery and I didn't need to think very long about trying to swim the distance out to the islands, but unfortunately, when we got to the first island, a monk waved his finger from the second story of the monestary and told us that it was forbidden for us to walk on the island. However, he did invite us to walk around on the other, slightly larger island.

After we explored the island, we swam back to Perast and wandered around the 700-year old ruins on the hill above the city. I sat in silence for an hour, watching the sun set over the Bay of Kotor. This was one of my favorite memories of my journey. It was a very spiritual moment.