5 November 2015

What a day!  And I only participated in half of it.  It was another beautiful, sunny day when we arrived in Dubrovnik this morning.

Lots of people were out on their balconies taking pictures.  I caught Bob in the act.

Char called early to remind Walt to bring his Kuna.  I told her nobody had ever told him that before (Kuna is the monetary unit here, as they are not on the Euro).  I decided not to go on the 4 hour walking tour of the city.  I was thinking of skipping it and then when Bob talked about all the stairs he remembered from his last visit here, that made up my mind.  So the others went off and I stayed at home.  We didn't know what happened to Char.  Walt, Linda and Bob waited for her at the bus...

Turns out that Char, who waits for no one and is always blocks ahead, had already gotten on the bus, which then filled up before Walt et al. arrived, so the others were on a different bus. They didn't figure this out until the end of the day when all were back at the ship. I got a text from Walt saying she wasn't with them, and I couldn't find her on the ship.  I even checked her cabin when Mohammed was in there cleaning, to make sure she hadn't collapsed or something.

In the meantime, I took a shower, had a delicious breakfast, did a load of wash (we are set now, until we get home), and sat and read a lot of my book while waiting for the dryer to stop.

My breakfast had been big, so I didn't have any lunch because our 5.5 hour "Vineyards and Vistas" tour was leaving at 1.  It turns out that the first hour or so of the tour covered a lot of the same ground that this morning's walking tour had covered, so I got to see all the Old Town after all and Char and Linda used the time to go shopping.  I thought it interesting that our tour guide, Marijan, tells us that about 4 million tourists a year visit Dubrovnik, which, coincidentally, is the number of olive trees our tour guide yesterday told us were in Corfu!  (There are also more than a thousand islands in Croatia, which I certainly didn't know before!)

Tourism in the major industry in Dubrovnik and so important that all construction (new buildings and repairs) is suspended from May to October, the high tourist season, so that nobody has to complain about noise or construction mess.  (So, Ned, you can go to Dubrovnik--it's NOT under construction!)

Like all the cities we have visited on our cruises with Viking, Dubrovnik has had its share of destruction by conquering armies.  Much of their destruction, however, is more recent.  Here is a map of the sites of destruction by "aggression on Dubrovnik by the Yugoslav army, the Serbs, and the Montenegrins in 1991-1992."

There are a lot of stairs in the old town, but climbing them is, thank goodness, not a part of the tour.

(One of the shops up this alley is a photo shop which advertises "selfie accessories."  I never knew selfies had accessories!)

We actually had free time that didn't require a mad dash for a far-away bus, so we finally did what I have been looking forward to doing ever since we started this trip.  We sat at an outdoor cafe and had some gelato and I had a capuccino.

(Linda and Bob found us there and joined us for a bit)

But then we had an hour drive through the Konavie Valley to the village of Komaji. We had gorgeous panoramas along the way.

(Char's photo)

We went to a private winery owned by the Crvik family, where the patriarch, Andro, gave us an introduction to his 300 year old family winery and how he produces his wine (his 2010 Merlot won an award).

(Here he is with tour guide Marijan)

Then, of course, we had wine tasting in his old cellar.

Over tasting (poured by Mrs. Andro), we made new friends of Dennis and his wife Elma (on the left).  They live in the Durango area of Colorado, but had lived in Hayward in the late 60s and we chatted about all the flower children in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury. Dennis was also impressed to hear Walt's grandfather had lived in Ouray, Colorado and that Walt knew how to pronounce it properly.

Then we drove to a smaller family-owned winery, Cilipi, where we saw their lovely garden and were invited to taste their wine and share some cheeses and olives.

They had musicians who performed for us, and got everyone clapping and singing along to an odd selection of popular American songs like "Take me out to the ballgame," "Country Roads," and "Que Sera, Sera"

After dinner, on our way to the bus, we stopped in the small gift shop, where everything is homemade.  We decided to buy a little bottle of cherry brandy, which was delicious.  The price was 37 Kuna and Walt tried to pay the woman with two 20-Kuna bills ($1 = 6 Kuna) but she had no change, so she gave us our change in postcards!

On the way out, Walt made a new friend.

It seemed like it must surely be 10 p.m. by the time we returned to the ship, but it was only a little after 6:30.  Nobody was hungry but we decided to "snack" at the World Cafe at 7:30.  I really wasn't going to eat anything until I saw the crab...

Char went off to sleep after our "dinner," but the rest of us went back to see Paul Fredericks again, another really fun show.  Now it is nearly midnight and I am despairing of getting this posted before 1 a.m. since the connection is so very slow!

But this ranks up there as one of my favorite days so far on this trip.  Tomorrow, still in Croatia (we have to spend the rest of our Kuna), but in Split, which Marijan says is 200 km from here.


Another weird food day.  For breakfast I had a cheese omelette and...lamb chops.
They are on the breakfast menu and someone I saw was eating them the other day.
What a great way for a lamb lover to start the morning. They were delicious.
I didn't have lunch, but we had cheese, olives and prosciutto with wine tasting
(I just had water), followed by an apple strudel.
When we got back to the ship, I was not hungry. at. all.
but they were having crab and shrimp again, and I couldn't pass that up,
but that's all I had for an evening meal.


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