Saturday, July 11, 2015

Last Day in Dubrovnik

Our last afternoon in. Old Town. We are sitting in a little cafe, Klarisa, jus inside Pile gate, while we whittle away the next hour before our airport pick-up. Seems like he perfect time to write the last blog on Croatia.

Turning back to yesterday, we woke up and realized we didn't have a plan. The company where we rent sent over one of the owners to retrieve Claire's bikini that still lurked in the tree where I dropped it. He said, "The wind was crazy last night! We couldn't sleep because of the wind and rain. There was a tornado outside Venice!" I didn't correct him as to the displace mr of said bikini...

He suggested we go off to Cavtat for the day, which we gladly did. We packed up our beach gear and caught the boat. The ride was about 45 min and just choppy enough that I was happy to get off before the usual maureen reaction occurred. We had a nice lunch right on the harbor, then meandered on the peninsula path for a beach.

We found a quiet somewhat secluded beach, where I could have shade and Claire sun. Having spent four days this week on various beaches on nice sun loungers in shade, I'm coming around to beach holidays. I get a nice relaxation on the beach and time for the journal and a book.

We caught the 5:30 or tried to, but it was too crowded to get on, so many of us had to wait for the next boat. Luckily, we only had to wait 10-15 minutes but we were going to barely get back on time. Docking at 6:45, we rushed home to shower, dress, and make our dinner at Nishta only 15 min late. Thank goodness Old Town is small! The dinner again was superb: appetizer, dinner, and dessert. Heaven.

We tried to get to see part of the opening ceremony for the summer festival, but it was VIPs only. We did get moved aside by some security guards as at iPs were brought to the entrance and shook hands with Someone Very Important. We could see some from behind the barricade, but only the choir atop the building for the national anthem. They did some pretty great video projections on the side of the building in the square.

We soon left and went to Banje Beach to watch the fireworks. They started late, but we watched all the VIPs hike up the road and the boats position themselves. When the fireworks started, they were brief but lovely. It made me think about July 4th and how people are more aware of combat veterans who might be suffering from PTSD in their neighborhood. What must it be like to hear fireworks when you spent the war holed up in your city with those sounds all around you. Soon it was time to meander back home for our final sleep in Dubrovnik.

Today was a morning of hustle and bustle. We packed and cleaned and prepped for our day out. Today has been a day of shopping, souvenirs, churches, food and drink.

First church, the coal Cathedral. Nothing too special, but we did pay the 20k to see the treasury. It turned out to be a very small room, containing the arm, leg, and perhaps the skull of St Blaise gilded in a case. What a gruesome strange tradition.

We then went over to the Dominican Monastery which had a much better holding for 30k. A gorgeous cloister garden, two interesting museum rooms, and a lovely little church. An eclectic collection of art in the church and interesting old jewelry from Dubrovnik. Finally, up the steps (aka GoT steps to the Sept) to St Ignatius church, which had an elaborate altarpiece. And that was that for the churches.

So, off we went to have a drink above the sea just outside the city wall. We enjoyed our juices in the shady cliff and then went back to a lovely little cafe in the same square as St Ignatius. A little shopping and we are here, listening to jazz on the speaker and relaxing.

It's been a wonderful week in Dubrovnik, and I'd come back in a heartbeat. We've eaten well, seen some beautiful places, visited two new countries, and had a fabulous time together. Now it's time for England and more friends and their babies and much much more.

I am, as always, grateful I can do all this travel.

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