Day 99 Another Day in Dubrovnik

We are staying in such a great place in Dubrovnik!  Our apartment has this amazing view of the Old Town and of the ocean…complete with boats and islands!  We have amazing sunrises and sunsets…who could ask for more?  Oh and it is a 2 bedroom apartment…woohoo!  So Russ and I have a little privacy…much needed on this trip!  Well, you know how all good things have a catch…nothing in life is free… all those sayings??  Well it is true for us here too!  Our beautiful apartment is on a high hillside above town…a hillside we have to navigate for anything we need!  If you want to go to the store….dinner…a bakery…museum…bus…laundry…seriously anything…it is a 10-15 min walk down and a 20-30 minute walk back!  Why the difference in the time?  Well, because down into town is downhill…and back home is up. up. up. up hill!  Yes, on the bright side it is great excercise…but on the other side  you have to make this walk anytime you need something!  I guess it wouldn’t be so bad if you had a car…but I am not so sure that I would want to drive the switchbacks…that is a whole other story!

For our resolution this year, Reid and I have committed to running at least a mile a day!  Of course going on our run does not count the hike up and down the hill.  We have to hike downhill just to get on a regular road to run.  Oh and I think every road in Dubrovnik is a hill…maybe that is why it was so well defended for centuries!  Well hey, we are not trying to conquer you Dubrovnik…we just need some exercise! The best part of our little running trips (and when I say little, I mean little…we are only up to 2 miles at this point!) that Reid doesn’t even need to run, he just walks fast next to me!  I am only slightly humiliated!  Speaking of humiliating… our workout “gear”… no, actually the wardrobe we wear is kind of awesome…I feel that we may appear to be a mother and son mugging team…dressed in all black, with scarves, hats, gloves…it is quite a sight.  We probably are not too intimidating…going at a snails pace…but hey at least we are out there right?? Today was a stormy day in Dubrovnik…and normally I would say that we need to go anyways…but with the cool temps, the rain, and the walk back and forth…I decided that perhaps we would workout in our apartment!

So, it was on!  We have a Jillian Michael’s video on my computer…so we cleared the furniture and it was family workout time!  We were huffing, puffing, and sweating like a true little family would!  We are almost done with our workout, when our landlady knocks on the apartment door.  Here we are sweating and panting…I am sure she thinks we are a bit crazy!  But then you have to know our landlady, Majda!  She is about 6 feet tall, blond hair, blue eyes, and about 55 years old.  She has a low pitched voice, combined with her smoking and her accent makes her sound a bit like Natasha from the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons.  She is hysterical!  Any visit from Majda is always an animated conversation that is super intense…whether you are discussing bath towels or politics…she is amazing!  She is seriously like a Croatian mother…one you love but are a little bit afraid of all at the same time!

After a discussion about the internet (we seem to always be having problems with it)…it turned into a political discussion about her country.  One thing I have loved about this trip is getting to meet and talk to native people.  To hear Majda compare  life in Croatia now versus when it was Yugoslavia was fascinating!  It is always a treat for me to hear what people think about their country, their way of life…the good, the bad and the ugly!  After several minutes of animated and sometime hilarious discussion…even after she said how stupid her country is…as she turned to go she said…but I still love my country, of all the places to be Croatia is where I want to be…and this huge warm smile came over her face…then it was Ciao and kiss kiss and she was gone!  Like a Croatian whirlwind…thrilling, exciting, and a bit unnerving…

After showering and having some lunch we set off for the Old Town.  Our plan today was to take the bus in Old Town to check out a new route and maybe see some new parts of the city, then go to the store, and then head back home…big plans huh?  Well, the hilarious thing is we didn’t even complete them all!  We actually walked down to town, and did a bit of exploring…which was when we realized that the few grocery stores they have in Dubrovnik were closed on Sunday!  Yikes!  When we finally found one that was open, so it was time to shop!! The store did not have a huge selection of food…so dinner plans changed…we bought what we could…and then headed off to the bakery!

Of course, the bus trip was off, because who wants to ride the bus with bags and a backpack full of groceries???  So into the bakery we went!  We had to change what we were having for dinner, because there was no meat in the store…and the butcher was closed… When we got to the bakery, we discovered that they had pizza slices, pastries filled with meat and cheese, and so we got a little bit of everything! We were loaded with food and baked goods…you know because we might starve to death otherwise :-)!

It was time to head back up the hill…as the wind picked up and dark clouds loomed…the race was on!  Would we make it back to the apartment before the downpour??  Of course was we walked, we had to stop and acknowledge the cats along the way!  Dubrovnik is filled with cats…they are everywhere!!  On our walk to the apartment from town, we counted 8 cats out and about!  I am guessing that there is not a huge problem with mice or rats here!  Reid is always wanting to pet these cats…and I am forever telling him no…it is like a game we play!  At first, I thought that the cats were only on our route from the apartment to the city, but actually I was wrong, the cats are everywhere!  You see them in the Old Town, in alleys, on door steps, at churches, near fountains, there are 2 that even sit on a Vespa, they are literally everywhere!  And of course with cats, comes cat poop…so you have to always be on the lookout!  Luckily, all of the dog poop in Paris has trained us to be mindful of the piles that might be awaiting our feet at every turn! Despite the cats and the poop…we made it back to the apartment before the rain!!Yay!

Tonight we enjoyed an amazing sunset (storms seem to do that to the sky), and have been slowly consuming our yummy treats from the bakery for our dinner!  The boys are watching a show about pirates, and I am trying desperately to catch up on my blogging…ah all is well in the world!