Dubrovnik, last stop in Croatia
Dubrovnik Travel Blog› entry 9 of 14 › view all entries
We left Hvar for Split on the morning ferry, but booked a night bus to Dubrovnik so that we didn't waste a beautiful day of sunshine sitting on a bus. Our Aussie friends were also on that ferry, and their ferry to Italy didn't leave until later that night, so we all checked our bags into storage and headed to the beach. A little swimming, a nice dinner (on the same patio that Ness and I ate at a week before), and we said our goodbyes and headed off to our separate destinations. Ness and I caught our bus, which we had thought was an overnight bus but actually got into Dubrovnik at 2am. And we had no accomodations booked. Oops. Guess we'd figure it out once we got there! One very winding and very scary bus ride later, we arrived in Dubrovnik at a nearly deserted bus station...with one woman there to offer accomodation. YES, WE NEED IT! She could have charged us a ridiculous amount for it, since we were deseperate, but it worked out being pretty decent. The travel gods were on our side! The apartment was also a 2 minute walk from the bus station, which our backs were grateful for. Those bags are getting heavier by the day.
Day 1 in Dubrovnik was tourist day, so we headed out to find our way to Old Town, which was about 3km from our apartment. We caught The Most Crowded Bus of My Life (Location: Pile. How ironic.), which was an experience in itself. At one point I was standing in front of a guys seat with my ass in his face, another womans ass up against my crotch, and a guy pressed up against each side. I honestly believe you could not have fit 1 more person on that bus, unless you started stacking us. Add to that the fact that it was 35 degrees outside, the bus had no air conditioning, and everyone on the bus was yelling in Croatian. It was probably the most uncomfortable ride of my life. We finally made it to Old Town, which Ness and I made our way through painfully, sweating buckets the whole way. The city was very interesting, quite beautiful, but very very hot. It also had stray cats everywhere (looking painfully haggard) which made the place smell like a giant kitty litter box. We finally had enough, and headed back home to air conditioning and a cold shower. We rested up and donned our Croatia gear for the game against Turkey. We headed back down to Old Town around 7, and did the walk around the high city walls. These walls are quite tall, and go all the way around Old Town. It was so pretty at night, much cooler than during the day and the sun was sitting low on the horizon. Gorgeous. We then headed down for some pizza, then grabbed some beers and headed to the center sqare to watch the game on a big screen. The best place to sit? On the steps of a church. Drinking on the steps of a church? Yeah, sounds like something we would do! We grabbed a seat and watched the square fill up with Croatians in their red and white checkered memorabilia. It was completely packed. We were really hoping Croatia would win, it would mean a great afterparty! The game was great, the crowd was really into it, singing and cheering. We met some New Zealanders about halfway through when they went for a beer run (beer? Yes please!), and let them share our prime church seating. Unfortunately, Croatia lost (in a shootout, so exciting), so the crowd wasnt very happy...breaking bottles, swearing, some crying. It was actually a little scary! We snuck out of there and went with the New Zealanders to a place called the Latino Club. Lots of dancing and drinking went down, trying to consol the Croatians. We eventually headed out around 2, and decided that it would be a great idea to walk the 3km home. We had a map, but didn't need it (obviously) because we'd already taken the bus there 2 times. We reached an intersection that Vanessa thought we should go straight through, and I thought we should go left. Me being the more stubborn of us two, we went left. 45 minutes later, we saw the big bay that our apartment is on. Unfortunately, we were on the wrong side of the huge body of water. Ummm, I think we maybe should have gone straight through that intersection! We double back to ask the two policement we passed earlier (who we crossed the street to avoid) where the heck we were. We showed them on our map where we were supposed to be...and they bust out laughing. We are very very very far from there. Thankfully, they offered to drive us home! We hopped into the back of their paddy wagon, and spent the ride taking pictures with their hats and vests in the back seat! One of them looked back laughing and asked, “beer?”. Uh, yes. Just a little. About a 30 minute drive later, we pull up in front of our apartment. A wonderful end to a stupid mistake!
The last day in Dubrovnik, we booked a ferry for 4pm to Italy, dropped our bags at the bus station luggage check, and set out to find a beach. We had passed one on the bus to old town, so that's where we headed. One crowded bus ride later, we hopped off at the spot where you can see the beach at the bottom of a cliff. How to get down? We wandered for quite a ways before we found a super sneaky way down. 200 sweaty steps later, we made it to the beach. It was gorgeous: bright blue water, smooth pebble beach, fresh water showers. We soaked and broiled in the sun for a couple hours, then headed back to find internet, grab our bags, and hop on the ferry.
On the ferry we ran into 2 girls who happened to be on our ferry on the way TO Croatia. Very strange! It turned out to be a fortunate coincidence for us, because we didn't have any accomodation booked and they had just reserved a room in a hostel in Bari. We decided to cab it with them to the hostel, and hope they had more bed available. We picked up another 2 Aussies, a couple we had met in Split, who also needed a place to stay. When the ferry docked the 6 of us jumped in a cab and 20 minutes later pulled up in front of a very deserted-looking building. No lights, doors locked. It was the right address, but obviously the place was shut down for the night. Uh oh. Luckily our cab drivers took pity on us and brought us to a cheap hotel they knew of that was close to the train station. Another 20 minutes later, we arrive at the hotel to find that they have only 1 room available. They put 2 extra cots in the room, and we and our huge backpacks all piled in. It was tight, but at least we had beds! In the morning we all lugged our bags together to the train station, and all headed in our separate directions, Vanessa and I to Napoli (Naples).