Delectable Dubrovnik

Trip Start Jan 17, 2006
Trip End Dec 01, 2006

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Friday, June 2, 2006

So, now this entry is about the 'Pearl of the Adriatic'. It has been a goal of mine to come here ever since I saw that episode of Getaway three years ago. They made it look mighty fantastic. My experience here has been bittersweet compared to what I was expecting. Having lived in Bruges and having grown up in Perth has desensitised me to certain things such as beautiful medieval cities and wondrous coastline. On top of this, the place was 12 hours bus ride from my last destination and is hideously expensive. So, now that I have got my little bitch out of the way, I will start talking about the good things...

I arrived in Dubrovnik without accommodation as the youth hostel was full. I was playing a dangerous game when I embarked on my crazy journey down the coast, but I had the feeling that everything would turn out ok. When I got off the bus, I farewelled my Russian bus-friend and tried to go the youth hostel anyway - even though they said they were full, I know that these things can change. When I was waiting at the bus stop, I was introduced to Croatian tourism: thrown in the deep end. A man comes up to me and asks me where I am staying then immediately cuts me off to show me pictures of his guesthouse. It seems that the weapon of choice for travellers and tourists in Southern Croatia is to stay with people in their houses and share their bathroom and kitchen. So, I get into this guy's car and he drives me to his house and I have a look around. I was sceptical at first, but as soon as I saw the balcony and the view it had, I was hooked. I managed to haggle him down to half price and I ended up with a double room for myself for the price of one bed.

When I arrived at the house it was 8am, but it felt like about 11pm after my long bus ride. It was all a bit surreal to see people waking up and eating breakfast. There were eight people other than me staying in the house including a whingey-Westy from Cabramatta in Sydney and these two lovely English girls. I could have slept like my body wanted me to, but I thought to myself that I didn't want to waste a day here, so I just pushed it. I didn't want to pass up the chance to spend time with some of the Empire's finest hahaha. I talked these young lasses into giving me a tour of the city because they had been there for four days already. They took me around the city and we ate together and I taught them card games and other mindless chit-chat ensued. They insisted on calling me the Wild Colonial Boy - can't fathom why hahaha. For everyone out there, here is a link to a copy of the poem:
Sadly, I had to farewell these ladies that night after just one day of fun, but that is one of the vices of travel.

One of the main reasons I came to Croatia was for Cevapcici. Cevapcici is a Croatian/Bosnian dish that is veal and lamb mixed together with herbs and garlic. It is cooked in the shape of little skinless sausages and then put in bread-clam with a spicy-capsicum puree and fresh onion. TASTY AS. I had this a few times in Dubrovnik and I think I want to have it again before I leave the country. You can buy it in Perth, but from memory, it isn't as good as the stuff here, but that is to be expected. Go get some from Dubrovnik's butcher near the Meltham traino on that bridge. For people outside of Perth reading this, bad luck hahaha.

The next day after farewelling my English friends, I met up with a group of five American girls at the guest house who had just checked in. We walked the ancient city walls together. Two of them had just graduated from medicine at uni. Those of you who have met me, which is everyone who receives this blog, will know I like to take the piss out of people. Anyway, I ask one of the doctor girls if she should be spoken to with respect because she had Dr. in front of her name (all jovial-like) and she snapped back "YES, I DON'T LIKE IT WHEN YOU DON'T!" I decided that she had a tumour in her humour and avoided her for the rest of the time. This avoidance of members of the group continued until there was one left worth talking to; I don't think I've ever met a more whingey group of prats in my life. In the end we were dining at a restaurant and I just had to pay myself up and piss off because their eternal bickering about EVERYTHING was unbearable.

I decided to get on a boat and go to a place called Lokrum Island. It is a national park with turkeys on it. I was walking along this trail and some dude spotted me and he was looking down over this overhang and called me over. He called me over with such enthusiasm as if there was someone nude sunbaking or something - this is what men do. When I got there, he was looking at a turkey. It wasn't a particularly impressive turkey either. I walked off to peruse the coastline of this island and found myself alone on the cliff-face. It was really nice to be out there where I was alone, but the overwhelming feeling was that nobody had a clue where I was and if I slipped down the rocks and cracked my head open, I would surely die; alas. I walked back onto the beaten track and I ended up in a nude sunbaking area with loads of fat old dudes with no clothes on - yeehar. Back to the mainland.

Before I left Dubrovnik, I made sure that I went to the war memorial. For those who don't know, the Serbs bombed the shit out of Dubrovnik in 1991 and the ancient city walls still protected them - quite amazing. The war memorial wasn't anything special in terms of statues or a beautiful setting overlooking the water. It was actually just a room, but inside this room, there was a really well written paragraph about what happened and then the rest of the walls were covered in the photos of those killed. Most of them were about 21 years old: my age. The most touching part in the room was a piece of paper with "Hvala" (thank you in Croatian) written on it in child's handwriting with a single rose attached to it. Even now when I am writing this, I get a swell of emotion from the image in my mind.

On my last night, we didn't sleep because we were hanging out with these two Candians. We drank and talked and laughed until the sun came up and in the end, I didn't even go to sleep until I was on the ferry up to Split. Good times. On the ferry I had what was called a 'deck' ticket. That means I can go anywhere, except into a cabin. Fairy-nuff I thought. So I went into this seated section and asked a dude if I could share his table. I had fallen asleep with my head down on my folded arms on the table and the next thing I know the dude is waking me up and all these French old people were standing around me. In the confusion I got up thinking that it was their seat, even though I had claimed it from the start, but I was dog-tired. Anyway I cleared my bags away and was on my way to sleep on the floor and I looked back to see the French guy making fun of me for sleeping. I glowered at him until he stopped, but what a f***ing idiot. I was told later that he was told off by some people around who saw that I was clearly confused and acting in good intention, wheras this guy was just a straight out dickhead. I did meet some nice people on the boat when I woke up though.

Anyway, off to Split.
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