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Published: April 21st 2015
The sad saga continues.
17 April 2015 Friday. After an uneventful flight from Helsinki, I was met in Dubrovnik by my friend Mike. After picking up my bags we proceeded to the rental car company. The cars were parked closely together so when we noted the scratches and dings, we couldn't really see the lower part of the car. It was only a couple days later when we saw the full side of our car that we noticed a scratch on the lower passenger side front door. I'm sure that is going to come back to haunt me!
Soon we were on our way down the Adriatic coastline to Kotor, Montenegro, about a two hour drive. Our intent was to have lunch there and return to Dubrovnik about 4 pm while there was still daylight to see the town. Soon we were stamped out of Croatia and into Montenegro. Kotor is located at the end of a deep fjord. This geographical feature makes Kotor the best harbor along the entire eastern Adriatic Coast. The area has been inhabited since the Bronze Age, and successively inhabited by the Illyrians, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Slavs, the Serbs, the
Venetians. France (under Napoleon), the Russians, and the Austrians; which pretty much describes the political history of most of Croatia and Montenegro.
Upon arrival, we saw a Viking Cruises ship docked at the city. Normally, one does not want to be in a small port at the same time as a cruise ship, but its impact on the town wasn’t too bad. We walked around the historic medieval port with its narrow lanes necessarily restricting all vehicles, by following the Rick Steves’ suggested walking tour. Then we tried one of his recommended restaurants, where the food, in our case sea bass, was very good. We also talked to some of the other patrons who were off the ship. It turns out that this was the maiden voyage for that Viking ship.
By 2 pm we were ready to drive back to Dubrovnik via the ferry short cut. We were stamped out of Montenegro and into Croatia. Looking forward to our route, we could see that the precious pages of our passports would soon be filled with stamps going out of and coming into Croatia. The State Department really shouldn’t charge so much for extra
We arrived in Dubrovnik about 4 pm and our first challenge was to find parking. We finally found a place in the "tennis court" near the Buza Gate, which was close to our rooms for the night. The second challenge was to find out how to pay for parking. These two challenges took over an hour. Our third challenge was to find my sobe (a B&B without the breakfast). Fortunately, it was near the Buza Gate at the top of the hill. Unfortunately, no one was home. Fortunately, an American couple who was staying two doors down came to our assistance. He is the sea food distributor for a national grocery store chain, and used his company phone to call the number provided, which no one answered. After awhile the family showed up and I was able to get my room. So that took us until 6 pm. So there wasn't much time to tour the city before it was dark.
Mike and I walked down the very long and steep stairs to the Stradun, and from there to the Cathedral, Rectors Palace, the Dominican Monastery, and the old port area. The access to
the Wall was closed, which was my greatest disappointment, but Mike told me that the steps were very high and steep. Given my experiences with such step in the Inca ruins of Ollyantambo and Macchu Pichu last year, I guess it was for the best. And by then the weather had turned to rain. We ate dinner (spaghetti carbonara for me) and then headed up the long steep stairs to my sobe. I took an antihistamine and sleeping pill and for the first time in four nights got a good nights sleep.
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