Saturday, May 26, 2012

Croatia: Dubrovnik

Before I start, I have to warn you that I figured out how to use some of my photo-editing software so I might have a little too much fun with some of the pictures on future blogs. I'll try to keep most of them more on the raw side and leave the funky effects for Facebook but I'll probably throw in a few fun ones for you too. 

When we boarded the Noordam in January, neither Ron or I had any idea about what to do in Croatia. We didn’t know much about the little country at all really (I’m sorry to report that we haven’t learned much about it since either). But just before the crossing (from Florida to Europe) a friend told us about a place where we could go cliff diving. His instructions were: Take the shuttle to the town. Cross the bridge. Turn right so that the mountain is to your left and the ocean is to your right. Then go past one or two statues and a church and look for some holes in the wall. Stick your head in and if you can see a bar and people jumping in the water, you’ve found it. Well, OK. We’ve gotten worse instructions than that so we decided that is what we wanted to do that day.

We were lost pretty much immediately after crossing the bridge into town. There are a LOT of tourists all crammed into the walled city of Dubrovnik. Most of them are eating ice cream. Seriously. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen so many people eating ice cream at one time in my life. Anyhow, we wandered around the city for a while and I took the opportunity to snap a few pictures of some of the cutest little streets you can imagine. At every turn there was another darling little street with hanging laundry, shuttered windows, and crawling flowered vines. It was pretty fairytale-esque (provided you didn’t run into a group of people chomping on an ice cream cone). 

Then we had lunch at a cute little cafĂ© overlooking a large church and some markets. Now, I know some of you are going to look at this picture and think it looks gross but you’ve got to keep an open mind when you travel or you miss out on some of the best stuff. It really was delicious.

Finally after lunch we found one of the “holes in the wall” and made our way unsteadily down a winding flight of rock stairs that led to a bar and then another longer, more treacherous flight of stairs that led to some large rocks next to the ocean. While it wasn’t exactly cliff diving, we did jump off the rocks into the frigid Adriatic sea. 

After soaking up a little sun and inspecting the war wounds on our hands and feet inflicted by trying to climb over barnacle speckled rocks to exit the ocean, we hiked back up to the city. We were informed later that there was a 60 foot cliff right next to the bar that we could have jumped off of but nobody was out jumping at the time and I wasn’t about to give it a test run before watching someone else make it out alive. I may enjoy a good adventure but I’m not stupid.

After that we just took the shuttle back to the ship and promptly passed out for an hour. 

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