Day 100 Sunshine, Fun Rides, And A Movie

Day 100 Sunshine, Fun Rides, And A Movie

Today was absolutely beautiful!  We woke up to a bright sunny morning…just gorgeous!  There was no excuse not to get out and go for a run this morning! Well, we tried to think up some excuses…but to no avail!  We put on our pseudo mugger outfits and headed out for a run!  Now, I am not sure who put cement in my shoes this morning…but if I find them!  Today was just one of those days that it was difficult just to put one foot in front of the other!  Luckily, after a huge storm last night, the ocean was all bright blues and greens, the sky was a brilliant blue…so the scenery helped to ease my pain!  Reid did his run/walk beside me and we were off!  All went well…and then of course there was the walk up the 10 zillion steps back to the apartment…ugghhh!

After showers, some time sitting in the sun on the balcony, and a bite to eat, we were ready to resume the day!  We decided to get the “Dubrovnik Card”  a 7 day pass that gets you into all of the museums in the Old Town, and gives you 20 bus rides.  There are a surprising number of museums and things to see in the Old Town, and we wanted to explore the surrounding area by bus, so we thought that this pass would be great for us!  Since we have 7 days to use the pass, we can space the sights out between the days. Since today was Monday, not a lot was open…so we thought we would go to a museum and then try a new bus route to see if would could find a stop closer to the apartment, so we don’t always have to make the uphill trek if we don’t want to.

Okay before I go any further…let me just say bless Croatia’s little heart!  This country has been trying to make it’s way in the world for the past couple of decades since the war…and they are doing a great job…I mean hello they just elected the first female president in Croatia today!!!  Now, I say this because this great country of 4 million people is still a little rough around the edges.  Sometimes this becomes a bit more evident than others!

The Old Town of Dubrovnik is amazing, a must see!  It is a UNESCO world heritage site, and there is a good reason for that!  The city came to be Dubrovnik in the 12th century and was a maritime city that had a strong Venetian influence.  Going into the Old Town is like stepping back in time.  There are still several thousand people who live in the Old Town, and it is just a great place to explore!!  There are churches, fountains, palaces,museums,  monasteries, bell towers, forts, bridges, restaurants, shops, a pharmacy that dates to the 1300’s, and then there are the walls…you can walk the walls of the city and it is unbelievable!  Such culture and history!

I was excited to visit our first museum in the Old Town…the Ethnographic museum.  In what I read about the museum it is in the old granary from the 16th century and has items and photographs from everyday life and work…or that is what the brochure says. Mind you none of the written materials they provide you with ever totally make sense..or are grammatically correct…or have correct structure or syntax …but oh well. The museum is supposed to have traditional dress from different regions too.  I am thinking that this will be a great place to start our tour of Dubrovnik and Croatian culture.

We wound our way through the streets of Old Town and finally found the museum.  It appeared to be having a bit of renovation, but we headed in anyway!  We were told that the exhibits were all on the first floor…so we set off.  It was cool that every so often there were grates on the floor you could look down into to see the storage areas from the 16th century for the grain.  So as we begin our tour, there are a lot of displays of pictures and what looks like Halloween costumes.  Then there is a whole history about masks…okay…and it goes on and on…then a lady who works at the museum starts talking to us, and she take us to the next room where there are pictures of people wearing masks…people from the mid sixties…literally they look like they came from your grandmother’s photo album…but they are up on the wall in a museum…okay.  And she is telling us they are pictures of a wealthy family celebrating Carnival.  Moving on to the next room, she asks us if we would like to see a movie about the history of the masks and the celebrations they have…

She puts the DVD in the TV and the “movie” comes on!  It is in Croatian of course and is like a crazy chopped up documentary film from the 60’s…then it skips to the 80’s…they are in the country…on a farm…in a town square…at a private party…it’s black and white…then color…then black and white…. Now I don’t speak Croatian…but I know when sound doesn’t match a film.  There were lots of shots of people in costumes…best part is I guess part of the celebration for “Carnival” is men dressing as women or wearing a mask that has a penis for a nose… oh my! One of my favorite parts was when singing would start while showing some man giving a speech…it was a sh^&*t show! It reminded me of some bad filmstrip film you would have to watch in social studies class in the 6th grade. And it went on…and on….and on…and on… Seriously we tried to stay and be polite…hoping it would finish soon..but finally we left after about 30 minutes and it was still going.  As we got up to walk out, the museum lady seemed very confused.  We breezed through the last few exhibits of masks and costumes… ** Just a note here…these are not masks and costumes that are beautifully hand crafted…they honestly look like your mom made them for you at Halloween (no offense to your mother)… It was then that I realized there was nothing more to see at the museum!  As we are heading out the door, the lady tells us to come back in about 10 days and the other 2 floors of the museum will be open!

We walked out in silence, a bit stunned at what happened…and then we started cracking up!  It was an unforgetable experience to say the least!!!

We decided that it was time for us to take a bus ride to see if we could find a bus stop a bit closer to our apartment…just for those times when we did not want to walk all the way home! So on the bus we go!  The ride was actually really wonderful!  You go by the new harbor…drive by the water…it was such a beautiful day too!  We are really enjoying our ride as it twists and turns…and then I realize something…the loud talking that I have been hearing is coming from the bus driver…and no he is not talking to a passenger…he is talking on his CELLPHONE!  Yes friends, as we are twisting, turning, and of course stopping to pick up passengers…our driver is chatting away on his phone!  It was hilarious and frightening all at the same time!  Then at our next stop, this very Croatian looking grandmother hops on the bus.  She has several grocery bags, she is about 4 feet tall and about equally as wide, she has a mop of gray hair, a black dress and sensible mannish looking shoes.  She takes the seat next to Russ and begins to talk to all of us in Croatian as she is looking through her bags and trying to organize them.  She looked as if she had lived a long hard life…like she could make you some really great goulash…and still kick your butt if she needed to.  It was probably one of the first times I felt a little bit like I was a Croat.  It was awesome!

We ended our day at our new favorite pizza place called Tabasco…gotta love the name!  If you know Russ at all, you know he is a pizza snob.  Having worked at a few pizza places at different times in his life, he feels somewhat like an expert.  What really impresses him is pizza crust…and you must know there is no crust better than that of Roaring 20’s pizza., a now defunct pizza place that existed in Russ’ hometown of Yucaipa, Ca.  I think the place has been gone for at least 15 years, and for the last 15 years that is all we hear about…nothing compares to Roaring 20’s…well until now that is!  We have had pizza in about every country we have visited on this trip…France, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, and of course Italy…and out of all the places we have been on this trip…and all the pizza places we have been in the past 15 years…who knew that Tabasco pizza in Dubrovnik would be as good as Roaring 20’s.  Now saying it is “as good as” is super HUGE!  He has never said that in the past 15 years…not even close.  I will say that it is pretty delicious too!  Well, at least it made our walk up the 10 zillion steps on the way home to our apartment worth it…that crazy walk up the hill made me feel a lot less guilty for eating 2 pieces of Tabasco pizza!

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2 Comments

  1. Ben
    Jan 13, 2015

    Your mask story reminds me of a certain puppet you once started to make…I’m sensing a pattern here.

    Sounds like you guys are having a great time!

    • Wendy Alton
      Jan 14, 2015

      Ha! You might be right Ben Lee…on both accounts :-)!!!

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