Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sunday in Dubrovnik

This morning, Emira and I awoke to a beautiful morning, with the sun shining over the Old City and our rented room. We meant to get up earlier - but seeing as this is also my vacation, managed to sleep in until 8:30. I made coffee from the tiny machine our landlady set outside the door, along with home-made apple strudels.

With my camera newly charged, we walked took the long stairways (about 500 steps, straight down) to the Old City gates, in search of a bakery. We wound up at a tiny grocery store, where I bought yoghurt, and later Emira found a bakery where she bought a meat pie. She claims it's not as good as what we could get in Bosnia...

Around 10:15, we found ourselves at the port, looking for boat trips to the various islands around Croatia. We ended up booking ourselves for the student rate to the Elephiti Islands: Kolocep, Šipan, and Lopud. We bought a few souvenirs from a nice old lady and then met the boat at 11am. As the day was young, and the Old Town fairly well explored, we were both really excited to see some of the surrounding area.

The first five minutes should've tipped us off to the crazy adventure we were in for. It was a double-decker boat, but the moment we left the harbor, the guides announced that everyone should get off the top deck, due to high winds. Huh. That's when Emira turned to me and asked if I'd packed the dramamine. Nope, I said, it was back at the room.


Fifteen minutes later, I was sitting on the prow, staying a safe distance away from Emira's head, hanging off the side. We both must have looked a little green, because the captain and most of his crew came by to see how we were doing. We ultimately ended up at the back of the boat, praying to JC and breathing in the lavendar sachets that I bought, to keep us from collectively hurling.

The first island was relatively close. Once we wobbled off the boat and set to exploring, it was really lovely. The islands give off a mediterranean feel - kind of like a Monet painting, with all the poppies, rosemary plants and yes, even some cacti. The port was super peaceful and surrounded by awesome paths, one of which led us to an abandoned church and cemetary. We headed back to the boat for a catered dinner of fresh whole fish, cevapi, cole slaw and all the terrible terrible wine we could drink. We laughed ourselves silly.

After that, it was one to Sipan, which was ok, but we only had forty minutes and there wasn't much to see. The last island, Lopud, was the best. We had 1.5 hours to check out the Francescan monestary, the botanical gardens and to eat a huge calzone the size of my head. Plus, have I mentioned that the cappucinos here are to die for? Like, three inches of foam and two of delicious dark coffee. I've had six today already and I think I might type all night. Anyway, we had some cappucinos in the port.

By this time, it was 4:15 and we had to head back to the boat. I was seriously not looking forward to it, and it turned out my instincts were right. The wind had only intensified, and it was two hours of absolutely hell. Once out into the wind, we were broadside to the shore, meaning we took the brunt of all the waves right into the bottom of the boat. My shoes were soaked, not to mention my shivering legs (good thing I was wearing a skirt, because my jeans would've never dried). Also, neither of had jackets and Emira kept her face flat against the table, trying not to hurl. I had to stare at the horizon, because it was the only thing that wouldn't move.

When I teased Emira that JC must not have heard her prayers for today, her only answer was, "Hey, the dude can't be at our beck and call. There are also wars and shit to take care of." The laughing did kind of help the nausea to subside, but not by much. I'm sure the crew thought that we were certifiably nuts.

Anyway, we got back a little wet and worse for wear into the port at 6pm. Neither of us wanted to talk much, so we marched back up the 500 flights of stairs shivering and swearing all the way. I hopped right into warm clothes and bed while Emira collapsed right on the floor. It took us a good hour to collect ourselves (and comb out the serious wind-hair) before we were ready for supper.

We marched BACK down the stairs and back into Old Town right about the time it started to rain, but we were not to be daunted. We ended up at a very cute local restaurant in a back alley, out of the way, and had a heart-warming meal of delicious pasta and lots of wine (ending with cappucino, of course). Now Emira is waiting patiently while I regail these adventures to teh interwebs at the same internet cafe as last night, and then we're going to gingerly test the night-life here. I say gingerly, as I think both our systems are still kind of nautious...

Anyway, that's all from here. We're back to Sarajevo tomorrow, but this has been the best of best breaks for both of us, all hurling aside :)

M is for motion-sickness;

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