still lacking in free time but I am going to try and write about some of my past travels before I get on the next plane… four new adventures already scheduled for 2015 so there will be new stories 🙂
Geneva is a gorgeous place and water plays a major role in its beauty. But it’s kind of sterile and apparently it’s full of dictators, drug lords and arms dealers who have cut a sweet deal on taxes with the Swiss government so, Dubrovnik, there is no need to be jealous. You don’t need to recreate Lake Geneva in the squares of the Old Town.
It was my final day in Dubrovnik. It all started innocently enough. I had my penultimate delicious multi-course breakfast washed down with delicious Croatian sparkling wine as light danced on the walls of the Old Town in the distance. As I walked toward the Old Town, there were little sprinkles of rain. But I live in Vancouver so it wasn’t even umbrella worthy. I was looking forward to shopping in the outdoor markets and taking home as much local handicraft as I could squeeze in my suitcase.
But I had bought the attractions pass at my first museum and needed to knock off a few more to get my monies worth. By the time I got to the Rector’s Palace, it was definitely raining. I’d just pop indoors for an hour or so and come back out to sunshine… Not exactly… I thought I had seen violent rain in Singapore. Now I understood why everyone was so excited when I arrived that the rain had stopped. I gather it is unusual so you SHOULD go to Dubrovnik in September.
And even if it rains, it will be fascinating. Most of the Rector’s Palace is indoors and the rain was no problem but there is also a courtyard. The pillars seemed to be designed to perfectly channel the downpour into the center of the courtyard. There were three people with large brooms sweeping the rain to the drains so the tourists didn’t have to swim to get through the courtyard. A lot of us were taking pictures – it was an extra attraction 🙂
It was a little wet in the Rector’s Palace but I didn’t realize how sheltered I had been until I exited. An umbrella wasn’t a lot of help. I expect this is why they recommend not travelling to tropical places during the wet season. What had been quaint medieval cobblestones the day before was now a shallow lake. Most people had their pants rolled up and their shoes in their hands. Groups of tourists were huddled under awnings. It was quite the site but it was raining too hard for me to take a photo.
There are steep, narrow side streets off the main thoroughfares and the water was gushing toward the square at such a ferocious speed that it looked like Iguazu, a series of mini waterfalls. I had thought I was smart and would just tough it out instead of trying to pack into an already overcrowded awning shelter so waded my way through the waterfall in search of the War Photo Museum. Obviously, the War Photo people were smarter than me and the museum was closed. I realized that opening the door might cause a rush of water into the building so it may be a challenge to find refuge until the rain abated.
I got lucky and found refuge in D’vino, a wonderful wine bar I had already discovered. Croatian wine is delicious and undiscovered so it was far more than refuge from the rain. I even met a fellow solo traveller from Melbourne. She had even been in Russia, a country that is still on the list. She proved Aussies are intrepid travellers and that Dubrovnik is far from everything else in Croatia. She was doing a day trip from Split – at least eight hours of travel. She definitely wasn’t going to see the Dubrovnik I fell in love with but it would be a story.
The rain eventually abated and even stopped at times so I was able to do more than sip Croatian wine and chat with strangers. The War Photo Museum allowed me in and it was a really poignant experience.
It is the intent of War Photo Limited to educate the public in the field of war photography, to expose the myth of war and the intoxication of war, to let people see war as it is, raw, venal, frightening, by focusing on how war inflicts injustices on innocents and combatants alike.
When it stopped raining for a little while at least, I indulged in my obsession with ice cream. Dubrovnik is crawling with places to satisfy your cravings but my earlier samplings had just been OK. I am sure I wrote the name down but I can’t find it. I apologize. If you enter from the Ploce Gate, walk almost to the end of the main street and look for the line 🙂
Excelsior Hotel is a cornucopia of delights and there is no requirement to leave so it was tempting to not risk more rain that night but it was my final evening in Dubrovnik and I wanted to experience as much as I could. Started at La Bodega for a simple dinner. Then wandered the romantic flood-lit streets able to wear shoes again. I happened upon a good jazz band playing in the street so decided to sit and order a glass of wine and soak up the atmosphere. Dubrovnik is a small town 🙂 Ryan and Peter – the Scots from the previous day’s sailing adventures – happened to walk by so they joined me before heading to a casino.
Was trying to see if I could stay awake long enough to check out a nightclub called Revelin that I kept seeing advertised. Of course, it didn’t open until midnight and
the real action would take place at 3am. But it was my last night. You definitely need to stay up late but it is quite the scene and in an old stone tower. It’s the new eastern Europe giving Amsterdam and Berlin a run for their money.
I go to nightclubs to dance but I realize lots of people go for other reasons and there is generally some entertainment in addition to the dancing and people watching. That night it came courtesy of Boris. Like Patrick from Ireland, how can you not talk to Boris from Croatia? I do love the confidence of young men who think they can teach me stuff. A reverse Mrs Robinson 😉 I really doubt it but the conversations are entertaining.
Boris was too alpha male for me though. He was gorgeous, had an Ivy League education and spoke excellent English. I doubt women say “no” to him very often. He walked me half way to my hotel before I convinced him he should just go back to the nightclub and find some boring young girl. But it was flattering 🙂 I think the highlight though was when some Australian guy stopped us looking for pen and paper to get some girl’s number. I do all the technologies so could help him out. Hopefully he got a date.
On planetm, life is never dull 😉