Fine, I Like You

Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik-Neretva County, Croatia
Dear Dubrovnik,
I didn't want to like you. I heard and read about all the tourists (like me) who visit you and walk into your Old Town and ruin you. How hoards of people on cruise ships and buses hang around you for a few hours, and that we all piss off the locals. How "Game of Thrones" and "Star Wars" has increased your visitors, as well as your prices. Here's the thing. I still like you. And, I've only seen you in the dark. In fact, I kind of love you. Because what is not to love? Let's back up...
This morning, I woke up after a fairly great night of sleep, in Dream Hotel. I took a walk, because I needed the fresh air and exercise. I had a nice breakfast and then decided to shower, pack, and head to the airport. The woman at the Hotel Dream reception was very impressed with my "Croatian" and said my pronunciation was perfect. "You might want to consider learning it more," she said. "You sound like you live here. That is not typical for an American."  Ha! I actually impressed someone today.
I went to the airport and decided to take the airport shuttle to the city centre bus station. It was only 35 kuna round trip ($5.35), and even with two Uber rides from the station to Ben Jelacic Square, it only cost me about $11 total. Cabs both ways would've cost 4 times as much. I didn't get to hang out into the square very long, and I visited Zagreb in 2016, but I needed to move around and do something. And, it beat sitting at the airport. 
After getting back to the airport, I checked in for my flight to Dubrovnik on Croatian Airlines. My carry-on bag was slightly too big and too heavy (maybe 1 kilo?) to carry on, so I had to check it in. I handed the agent my credit card, and said, "oh no worries, it's light." I thought that was nice. That is one clean airport. Wow! Very quiet and orderly. The flight was only 1 hour, and then I took the "Atlas" bus into the city center, with some other tourists. It was only 40 kuna ($6-ish), easy to ride and comfortable. It was dark, but I could still see the sea and some of the beautiful Adriatic Coast. I can only imagine that drive during the day time. 
The bus stopped at the Pile (Pee-luh) Gate (stone gate to the Old Town built in 1527), because cars are not allowed in the Old Town. I knew it was a short walk to my B and B, and thank goodness they gave me store landmarks, because the "street" I was looking for looked like a back alley. My room at B and B Andio is adorable and spacious. I'm not crazy about being on the 5th floor (with no lift and 56 steep steps. Yes, I counted), but it will help me work off the food I will eat. 
I went and had dinner at Pupo, which is known for its fresh seafood. I had the grilled calamari and mushroom risotto (with squid ink) for dinner, with a nice glass of white wine. The manager said I came to Dubrovnik at the "perfect" time and that up until 3 weeks, it was still busy. I am likely paying 30% lower prices now for my lodging. He said it's impossible to find lodging in summer. I walked around a little after dinner, had a chocolate caramel tart and a cappuccino for dessert (hey, could not find pumpkin pie) near the main drag, Stradun, and walked around a bit more. It's a balmy 50 degrees, no wind, and really nice for this time of year. I was able to eat outside. 
You will see from my photos why I love Dubrovnik so far. I'm excited to spend the next two days here and go on a walking tour tomorrow. 
Thanks for reading!
Dobra vecer,


Wendy Spice

Great photos, Jamie!