DUBROVNIK A CHARMING LITTLE CITY

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I was waiting out a rain storm on Karcula Island. One thing about old towns is the old sewer system. Sewer gas smells frequently permeate the air. My room had that, but with all the amenities that helped me ignore the occasional odor. I offered the landlady a little more than 1/2 what I was paying, she refused, the weather cleared so I caught the ferry to the mainland.

20131005-125150.jpg BRINGING A BIKE COST THE SAME AS A PASSENGER TICKET.

20131005-125339.jpgBOAT RIDES ARE ALWAYS FUN, BUT THIS ONE WAS ONLY 15 MINUTES.
I’m feeling the pressure (and colder weather) to get this show down the road. It’s about 100 km to Dubrovnik, maybe a full hard day of riding, it’s 2pm. The bus was the next morning. So I ride out of town and try hitchhiking, nope. So I ride (walk) several mountain passes.

20131007-140332.jpgBIKING ALWAYS PAYS OFF WITH FANTASTIC VIEWS

20131007-140430.jpgTHERE WERE VERY FEW CARS, YOU COULD TELL WHEN THE FERRY HAD ARRIVED, GROUPS OF CARS WOULD PASS ME.

20131007-140621.jpgTHERE WAS A TOWN I PASSED THROUGH THAT HAD MORE THAN 10 DIFFERENT WINERIES (grape sampling)

20131007-140923.jpg IT’S LOOKING LIKE RAIN
I stick my thumb out again, an empty 12 passenger van pulls over. He speaks no English, but we both agree Dubrovnik is both our destinations. Bike is loaded in the van and I’m just smiling as it’s pouring down rain. We drive by this walled city called STON CITY
THE STON WALLS are known as the Great Wall of Croatia, they are about 7km (4.3miles) long.

I’ve got my computer out, map out a Hostel and he drops me 2 blocks from the Hostel. I’ve been told if your staying in DUBROVNIK, you must stay in the OLD TOWN. So I move to a hostel that is in the old town. When I first arrived it was an easy walk on shiny marble, using the wheel chair friendly walkways. Then this happened:

20131007-143418.jpgIT TOOK ME 45 MINUTES TO SEPARATELY CARRY MY BIKE AND GEAR UP THE MANY STAIRS TO THE NEW HOSTEL.
It was worth all the work to move

20131007-143714.jpgHOSTELS CAN ALWAYS BE INTERESTING TOO.

20131007-143834.jpg THERE ARE MANY BOAT TRIPS TO THE LOCAL CAR-FREE ISLANDS.
Dubrovnik is a great city but I’m burned out. I just want to sit in my room, no castles, no museums, no boat trips. I’ts been 6 months and I have no energy. My brother asked me “do you ever take a break?” NOW.
I decided that I could muster up the strength to take a walk

20131007-144521.jpgTHIS IS A PIECE OF ART CALLED “SUMMER TIME” (yep, has bikes)
The old city has a walkable wall, the advice is to wait until the cruise ship people go back to their boat. The cruise ships can carry thousands of people and there are many cruise ships in port.

20131007-151528.jpgTHE WALL IS A NICE EVENING WALK.
I meet an American women, Leslie from Florida, while walking the wall. I pretended to take her picture while actually shooting this Japanese tourist.

20131007-151818.jpgHER OUTFIT WAS SO INTERESTINGLY HOT?

20131007-151954.jpgTHISIS A PHOTO OF A BOMBED HOUSE BY THE SERBIAN AND MONTENEGRO ARMY IN THE EARLY 90’S.
THERE’S A VIDEO HERE OF THE ATTACK.

20131007-161313.jpg
KAYAKERS SHOT AT SUNSET FROM THE CITY WALL.
Leslie invites me to join her for dinner. One thing about traveling “alone” is eating dinner out by yourself, I HATE IT. So she’s vegetarian and that works just fine for me. It’s a Bosnian restaurant, I’m OK with that (I hadn’t seen the video of the war yet!)
There’s a performance of traditional Croatian Singing called KLAPA. Klapa singing is perhaps the most widely known type of traditional music from Croatia. Originating in Dalmatia and performed on the Adriatic coast and the islands, klapa songs celebrate subjects such as the sea, fish, wine, homeland, and loving Dalmatian mothers.

20131007-163623.jpgTRADITIONALLY NO MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS ARE USED ONLY SINGING. USUALLY MEN ONLY BUT THERE WERE QUITE A FEW WOMEN SINGING TOO (SEPARATELY!)
It’s time to leave Dubrovnik and get this show down the road. You can see the highway from the road, big buses and trucks and the usual no shoulder. Two Wheel Travel left a few days earlier by bus, I opt for that too.

20131007-164509.jpgI FIGURE LIVE TO RIDE ANOTHER DAY.

THANKS FOR READING THE BLOG, A LITTLE NICER THAN THE LAST POST? FOR THOSE WHO THINK I’M ON SOME EXTENDED HOLIDAY, THINK AGAIN, THAT’S SOME OF THE STUFF THAT HAPPENS TOO. I’VE BEEN NEARLY KILLED AND RUN OFF THE ROAD 4 TIMES. SO IF YOU THINK I’M LAYING BY THE BEACH WITH AN UMBRELLA DRINK, I’M NOT.
ALL THE CROATIAN PHOTOS ARE HERE
NEXT? FINAL THOUGHTS ON CROATIA
JEFF

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