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Next Stop: Dubrovnik, Croatia

The bus fills the entire narrow lane as it twists around curves along the Adriatic coast. It comes within inches of limestone cliffs on one side, and sheer drop-offs into the sea on the other. Once we swing around a mountain a few hours later, viola! The site of the walled city of Dubrovnik sits on the sea in the distance and blows us away.

dub-first-site

Dubrovnik at first sight

An American man approaches us at the bus station. “Do you guys need some directions?” he asks. “I’m very familiar with the area, and know how overwhelming coming into a city like this can be.”

Had I known he spoke English I would’ve talked with him on the three-hour ride.

dub-from-walls-2

Dubrovnik

“We’re okay,” Marilynn responds. “Got a place up on the hill.”

“Well, when you see all the construction on main street in old town, that’s us,” he explains. “We’re building a movie set.” He starts walking away.

movie-set

Building a movie set on main street

“What’s the name of the movie?” Marilynn asks.

Reluctantly, he says, “Robin Hood.”

“Another one?”

He shakes his head and continues walking.

A short, and reasonable taxi ride brings us to the top of a hill. “Follow serpentine street,” driver points. “Street too small for car.”

view

Our terrace. We could sit here all day!

Soon we step out onto our terrace that overlooks old town on the edge of the sea. It’s a sunny day, and we don’t want to leave the Guesthouse Slavka, but need to explore.

walls-to-selves

Ron walking the walls

We walk atop the magnificent wall that surrounds old town. Now, this is a wall! After this city was bombed, a major restoration used original materials to rebuild. Reminders of the bombings remain in a few piles of rubble.

living-rubble

There is still evidence of the bombings

Time for an Ozujsko beer at Buza café that hangs on a sea cliff. We have the wall and the restaurant to ourselves.

rest-to-selves

Beers at Buza

Walking through “old towns” has become one of our favorite pastimes, and often leads to interesting interactions with locals. Like the other day, a woman says something to me, and I think that she’s trying to sell something.

“I don’t speak the language,” I say.

wall-at-night

The wall at night from our terrace

As we walk away, Marilynn says, “She asked you if you wanted to try her restaurant. You said, ‘I don’t speak the language?’ What’s the matter with you?”

We laugh about the woman’s puzzled look, and my ignorance, most of the evening.

Time for some squid ink risotto mixed with seafood, topped with prawn. We’ll take an order of bacon wrapped scallop over hummus with that.

squid-ink

Squid ink risotto

So, the next day we’re walking around old town on a quest for oysters, and who do we run into? Yes, the restaurant woman who speaks perfect English. She remembers me, of course.

“You made me very confused.” She smiles. “Maybe today you speak the language and will eat at my restaurant?” We all laugh, and then explain that we are looking for the famous oysters from Ston, a nearby island.

town-square

Lucija’s restaurant

“The sushi place and four out of five restaurants are closed this time of year,” she says. “Where are you from?”

“The USA.”

“Oh, Americans,” she nods. “In the summer, there are too many Americans here. They all come on the cruise ships. You’re the first I’ve seen in months.”

water

The Adriatic Sea and Dubrovnik harbor

Eventually, we stumble into a new restaurant right on the sea. The Valentine’s Day gods smile upon us with a cold plate (sushi) full of tuna, octopus, squid, and marinated shrimp, atop rocket (arugula) salad.

cat

Someone smells shrimp

The owner presents us with two glasses of cherry brandy, on the house.

valentines

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Happy Valentine’s Day! In any language.        Ron Mitchell

 

 

10 Comments Post a comment
  1. ma & pa #

    Just beautiful…. wow .. now that’s a wall…. stay safe kids!!

    February 15, 2017
  2. Skip #

    Ron.. you are in the area of Jackie’s Uncle’s homeland. Uncle Nick escaped from there in the war.. fled with one friend, in a row boat, to Italy. Mostly on Korchula.. Nick Batistich… Beautiful photos and story, as usual.. Thanks

    February 15, 2017
  3. Alice Chambers #

    We spent a week in Dubrovnik before the troubles there and loved walking the walls and the marble sidewalks. That is where I learned to love squid which was prepared whole on charcoal fires. Please tell me these things still exist!

    February 15, 2017
  4. Back when I was traveling, this was on my bucket list, but didn’t make it. Thanks for your story and very beautiful pictures and for Marilynn keeping you in line. 🙂 Mariam Cheshire, taswos.com

    February 19, 2017
  5. Joan Ewing #

    I was there a few years ago in early June. Soooo beautiful. We walked the wall also but it was too hot to complete so we retreated to the shade. The old town is so historic and we loved wondering around the old streets, etc. It was hard to imagine the ravages of the war because the area has been so well restored.

    February 23, 2017
    • Yes, I agree that they did a tremendous job with restoration. Summers must be extremely hot. The cool weather is one benefit of off season.

      February 24, 2017

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