Thursday, July 3, 2008

Dubrovnik - The Pearl of the Adriatic

Well, that journey from Rome to Croatia was interesting, to say the least. First, a three hour train ride. Then, figure out the buses in Bari (still in Italy!) to get to the port (photo at left - KK is happy to be on the bus finally). Next, figure out how to get on ferry...that took some serious charade-playing!

While waiting in line, the sign for the ferry did not inspire much confidence in the boat's ability to make it to its destination, see why below! Finally on the ferry, and our best option for comfortable space are these slightly padded chairs that are reclined almost 45 degrees. Doesn't sound too bad does it? No, not until you wake up every 15 minutes to shift position cause the chair is hitting all kinds of pressure points. Really, it would have been much better if we'd been drunk. Anyway, needless to say, we didn't get the best sleep last night.

But we finally made it to Dubrovnik and it is beauuuuuuutiful. I'm not sure that we will be coming back to the States. From the balcony of our guesthouse, which turned out to be kind of in the boonies, you can see the port and all the little boats bobbing on the azure blue water. Of course, in order to get to said view and corresponding balcony in guesthouse, we have to walk up the world's longest staircase. Times 2.

Photo, left: hoofing it up the countlessly unending stairs to our guesthouse

The old city is inside the old city walls, and its basically just a huge castle complex, only my perfect fairy tale! And it has lots of beaches. And lots of shopping and seafood. We are happy as the clams we just ate. :)

Photo, right: the view from our balcony!

KK and I have gone to two different beaches, explored the finer points of the Dubrovnik bus system (imperative since we are lodged like 2 miles away from the Old Town and part of the on-foot journey includes a million stairs, and since we have figured out the bus, we only have to take 750,000 stairs!), eaten some meat! (eating in itself is victory for us, when we spent the first two days only eating once a day), found a lovely bakery that makes donuts with nutella inside, had way too much gelato, and walked around the gorgeous Old Town. Oh and sweated out about half our weight, only to drink it back in water from the fountains here.

Today we went on a boat trip to three different islands outside of Dubrovnik. The first two were tiny quiet little places, and I'm pretty sure the only reason we went there was because the excursion company had a contract with the tourist board of those islands to bring in business. Good thing we only had 45 minutes on each of those places. Then they fed us lunch on board the boat of grilled whole fish and zucchini...soooo good.

The last island was pretty great, had a nice sand beach (a luxury to have sand here!), so KK and I swam and laid out, and then spent a good hour searching for rock-skipping stones in the water. While we were sifting through the rocks we started finding sea glass, so we converted our search and managed to find a good handful of it, which we will find a crafty use for when we get home.

We reapplied SPF 50 today, twice, and I still managed to turn a little medium rare on my back. But it's not bad at all, and we have the remedy back at our place. Our plan for this 4th of July is to enjoy a picnic out on our terrace, we bought a bottle of Croatian wine last night, and some fruit today, and we are about to pick up some bread, cheese and ham. Yum! Oh, and KK and I have managed to find every Irish pub within range of our radar so in Rome and two here. Cheap beer, too bad the Croatian beer tastes like Bud Light, all kinds of watered down. Sticking to the Irish Harp until I find a better substitute elsewhere. It will be a happy search, if we ever make it out of Croatia.  Not likely at this point....

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