Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Dubrovnik, Croatia

We left Hvar the next morning (early because it was the only ferry out of Hvar to Dubrovnik...I must say I got very little sleep on this trip.) We left from Stari Grad in Hvar on the Marko Polo, aka the Titanic. I swear 500 cars drove off that ferry when it came up to the port. When we had looked at the ferry schedule in May-ish, it had said the ferry was 3 hours. It was more like 7 hours. We left at 8 in the morning and arrived in Dubrovnik around 3 PM. I think this was due to it being a car ferry, so it was rather slow. We didn't have seats so we wandered around the ship. We started inside in the air conditioned room on the floor. We watched Mamma Mia. Then a dog peed on the carpet, we got grossed out, started thinking about if that had ever happened where we were sitting, and moved outside to the boxes that held life jackets. We made a stop at the island Korcula, which was beautiful and then on to Dubrovnik. The scenery was beautiful! (I was slightly unaware of time passing because my watch had died while swimming the day before. It still worked technically but the alarm was stuck on and it kept beeping so I threw it away, but 7 hours later I knew it was longer than 3. So much for being water resistant.)
(this is a palace at the entrance to the harbor our ferry came in to).

So we arrived in Dubrovnik and took a taxi (for a total of 8 dollars) to the walls of Old Town. We stayed in the only hostel in Old Town. While it was a beautiful hostel, we soon realized why it wasn't necessarily a good thing to be in Old Town. It was the longest walk in the entire world. It was about 100 degrees outside (literally) and our hostel was at the top of these stairs:

The Croatian "Spanish Steps," along with 50 or so more on the pathway up to the hostel. Normally I pack light but I couldn't for this trip and my suitcase weighed about 5 tons and Ashley had all of her things from living in Hungary for the last 2 months. It took a realllllly long time. By the time we arrived at the hostel, I was extremely hot and breathing hard and they said "You survived the climb. Here's some ice water!" let us catch our breath and then we checked in. We hiked 3 more flights of stairs to our room. We decided to change our plans and stay in Dubrovnik all 3 nights, instead of spending one night in Mostar. We still visited Mostar, but didn't spend the night. We didn't want to lug our stuff up the stairs again. (We still had a perfectly decent amount of time in Mostar-it's a very small town. See next blog).

This was the view from our hostel. Kind of incredible. Made up for the hideous climb.

That first day there we headed to the bus station (next to the ferry docks. who knew?) and bought our tickets to Mostar the next day (8 AM. I wrote in my journal "I don't think I'm ever going to sleep"). We got dinner and then wandered around the Old Town. It's walled and very old. We looked into one of the big churches (no pictures as usual) and then just wandered through the streets, alleyways, really old archways and squares. It's a gorgeous city. We got some ice cream and sat on some benches along the waterfront, just looking out to sea.

The pictures in this will be a bit out of order, but still here. The day after we went to Mostar we finally slept a bit more than normal. We went outside the city wall to get breakfast. It's a bit cheaper outside of the Old Town. After breakfast, we decided to climb the wall. The climb came highly recommended. I am pretty sure that those people did not climb the wall at noon in the middle of August. It was kind of ridiculously hot. But it was amazing. It took a couple hours to walk the wall, which went all around Old Town. However, I was wearing a tshirt and got the worst farmers tan in just that 2 hours...Afterwards, we headed back to the hostel to recover from the heat a bit and go swimming. There were people at the swimming hole that were jumping from ridiculous heights! One girl actually got hurt because she landed on her side. I saw her get out of the water later and she had HUGE bruises. Later, we walked around the city some more, more alleyways and cute streets! As we were walking along the waterfront, we ran into Amy and Liz (the girls from Australia we'd met in Split). Amy had texted me and I hadn't gotten it immediately and then we couldn't get ahold of each other to see if we'd be in Dubrovnik at the same time. but we were! We met up with them (and a girl named Eileen they'd met on their sailboat tour) after they climbed the wall (at 6PM which was a better idea than noon I think...) We got pizza and talked for a couple hours then got ice cream and sat at some benches outside the main gate to chat some more. It was really nice to accidentally run into them again! Ashley and I headed back to the hostel that evening and went to Montenegro on a tour the next day.

My amazing tan line....

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