Sunday, November 8, 2009

Next Up in Croatia: Dubrovnik

The morning dawned early and bright as we set out of Split to drive the 4+ hours to Dubrovnik along the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia. I am including another map so you can visualize our road trip. Split is about halfway down and then Dubrovnik in the far southern tip. The most exotic part of our journey is that to get to Dubrovnik we had to drive in and out of Bosnia-Hercegovina for about 10 miles. BOSNIA, oh gee.Croatia was once a part of Yugoslavia. But today it is free and that freedom means everything to these people. As it should. Because with a coastline like this, who wouldn't want to lay claim?
Our drive consisted of some of the most gorgeous scenery I have ever set my eyes upon. We heard so much about the Croatian beaches before we left and now we understood why. Both little ones put their feet up and before long they were snoozing away while we gasped at the world around us.
The only hiccup came as we were outlining that stunning coastline, around the mountain curves. The speed limits changed very strategically and very often. We rounded one corner on the tail of one speed limit just as the law halved it and sure enough we turned the corner and a policeman waved us over. We couldn't have been 100 feet into the new zone. He spoke not a word of English, gulp. He demanded the equivalent of 250 dollars for the infraction - gulp, gulp. He demanded it on the spot and in cash - triple gulp. We honestly told him we didn't have the cash on us and he bargained, OK well then how about 100 dollars? That was when we got suspicious - but he had a badge and a gun so who were we to second guess? We forked over the cash and for the rest of the trip beat ourselves up about the trickery of those crafty Croatian police. And we traveled VERY slowly. The police had cronies who clocked us across the mountain pass leaving time for them to hand him the info as he sat waiting to snag us. When we pulled away another victim was being snared. So needless to say after that, Bosnia proved a mundane part of our trip! We did note this American Naval Ship along the Bosnian coast which we all scratched our heads at, but other than that all was fine.
We breathed a collective sigh of relief when we reached Dubrovnik. This charming city was worth the speeding ticket and every minute of the long drive. Dubrovnik is nicknamed the "Pearl of the Adriatic" and it didn't take a second look to know why! The white stone and the warmth of the orange tiles exuded character and spunk.
We waltzed down the Stradun promenade in the heart of Old Town and grabbed lunch at the locals' unanimous choice for Dubrovnik's best eatery, Konoba Kamenice. Connor had fruit from the adjacent market. Her parents were more adventurous: Kirk had octopus salad and I had squid risotto. If they had told me it would have been black from the squid ink, I probably would have reconsidered...
After lunch we walked the walls above and around Dubrovnik. We were on top of the world and could breathe in the special beauty of this city. With a sea of orange roofs on one side and the actual sea on the other we felt alive and fulfilled.You get a good sense for the wall-walking in this photo.I'm not sure Will was all about the wall walking! Do you think Dubrovnik's ramparts have ever seen the likes of TWO matching Bob Strollers?!?While the guys completed the wall track, Adair and I brought the kiddos back to the main square where we saw Croatian dancers during a folk festival, and indulged in ice cream. Can you tell that Connor had PINK ice cream? Both Will and Connor honestly painted their faces with ice cream. The Asian tourists were having a hay day snapping shots of the two of them laughing together and covered in the sticky treat as we strolled them down the street.As we were leaving Connor kept asking for us to make our Bobs "kiss" --- have you ever?!?
We were happy to fall back into our cozy home at the end of the night after a long day of driving. There was a pool-sized bath tub for them to splash around in. I still cannot get over how much these two look like they should be siblings.Two thumbs way up for Dubrovnik! It would have been even better without the onslaught of cruise shippers. But Croatia is discovered and certainly an up and coming hot spot. The aftermath of war is still in the air, but everything is rebuilt with grace and vibrant color.


Dallas said...

Are these older pictures or did Connor get a haircut? Her curls are gone.

Reid said...

They seem to come and go with a mind of their own. We are shooting for Connor's first haircut at Christmas.