Marketing in Paradise

Town of Perast along the Bay of Kotor, at dusk

Town of Perast along the Bay of Kotor, at dusk

What do you sell when you are already in Paradise?

As we crossed over the dry high plateau that covered most of the Republic of Srpska into Montenegro, all we encountered was an hour long wait, with none of the smart talk that we had experienced while entering Bosnia, even though our own President had just shoved aside Montenegro’s top man for a photo-op just a few weeks before our arrival into the country.

As you descend down the hillside into Kotor Bay, the stunning beauty of the aptly-though-inaccurately named southernmost fjords of Europe will simply blow your mind away. A narrow two lane highway runs all around the Bay and it forces you to take your time and soak in the surroundings.

Our Lady of the Rocks church on an islet in Kotor Bay at dusk

Our Lady of the Rocks church on an islet in Kotor Bay at dusk

We arrive in Perast, which is a fascinating small town especially because of it’s 2 UNESCO sites in the middle of the Bay of Kotor, and were transported to our hotel room overlooking the Bay by the bellboy who asked, “How do you like it? The view.”

“Unbelievable! Gorgeous! This is Paradise.” Was there any other possible answer?

As we climbed up the 65 odd stone steps to our room, the bellboy complained, “After a while, you will find this boring. We see these views every day, and have seen it from every possible place and in every possible season.” Echoing the sentiments of the restaurant owner from Rovinj earlier on our trip.

Early morning in Perast along Kotor Bay with it's UNESCO island churches

Early morning in Perast along Kotor Bay with it’s UNESCO island churches

As we drove along the Bay towards Kotor the next day, and on towards even more fabulous towns such as Sveti Stefan, we wondered about the bell boy’s quandary. What do you sell someone who is already in Paradise? The answer was staring at us straight in the face as we snaked our way along turquoise waters in the numerous billboards that frankly, spoilt the view.

Sailboat in the Bay of Kotor near the town of Perast

Sailboat in the Bay of Kotor near the town of Perast

There was promise for luxurious living – ads for large mansions overlooking the Bay, at an affordable $65,000. There were an invitations for magical snow filled skiing in Serbia. Tickets to a historical travel back in time in Athens and the Peloponnese. And the lure of sun-tanned supermodel bodies through countless Calzedonia and Extreme Intimo ads.

So just like any other place in the world, you sell what’s not available, and sometimes, you may never obtain, regardless of need. And there is always plenty of that.

The mouth of the Bay of Kotor, with a cruise ship sailing in

The mouth of the Bay of Kotor, with a cruise ship sailing in


Also published on Medium.

Posted in Balkans, traveling.