Saturday, August 10, 2013

Sometimes those in the know...don't

As it turns out weatherman and travel offices in Croatia both have reliability issues. This morning started with a quick check of the days weather....sunny and hot (32... feels like 40 hot).  Oh joy, more of the same....yeah!  Then we headed over to the port to get  the catamaran over to Korcula.  Ever cautious ...we arrived more than an hour early, getting there even before the ticket office was scheduled to open. Plenty of would think...right? hour later we headed to the bus terminal to get bus tickets.  Yup! The Catamaran office opened a little early and was sold out shortly before we got to the window.  Not a problem...we are teachers and 'flexible' is our middle name ( yup all three of us have the same middle name....go figure).  This is why when we discovered that the 9:00 bus was sold out we were easily able to adjust our lives and plan for the 3:00 one. It's still all good. 

We set out to explore Port Cruz and welcomed the sight of some clouds in the sky.  There was a lovely trail along the coast that included a cooling breeze, an amazing dog playing chase and carry the tire(nope, not an auto correct issue here, it really was a tire that his owner threw into the water for him to retrieve), and a really cool bar that was located inside a cave. Then it was time to head back to the bus terminal to grab our luggage and hop the bus. 

Okay, so remember the sunny and hot forecast this morning?   We did too but had no difficulty accepting a little cloud cover and actually were quite appreciative of the cooling breezes.  It was the  darkening clouds in the distance at this point that really got our attention. ( We actually hoped it might rain a little to cool us off)...(Editor insert:  Holly would like it known she warned Heather and Kenna of angering the Rain Gods. One has to be extremely careful this close to Italy and Greece.) Next, time we will be more careful of what we wish for. (Holly's point exactly.) Okay, we ALMOST made it back to the bus terminal before the deluge hit and no one was actually hurt when the hail began to pelt down, (ironically we would have given anything for a little ice the day before) .  Did I mention the lightening? Sunny and hot my #%#^%.

To be honest, it is these kind of things that make travelling fun and interesting isn't it? The two young women who sat on the floor beside us on the bus because it was overbooked thought so too. 

We are safely in Korcula now.  The sun is shining and all is right with the world.  Here is the view from our new place.

Friday, August 9, 2013

A Daytrip to Bosnia Herzogovinia

Having your own personal driver is cool.  Today, we spent the big bucks and hired a guide to drive us to Mostar, Bosnia Herzogovinia.  Mostar is interesting because it was almost completely levelled during the war.  Catholic Croats and Muslim Bosnians lived as one in the city.  When Dubrovnik was attacked in '91, they fought side by side against theSerbs, but by '95, it was everyone for the,selves and the city was torn apart as former neighbours blew each other to pieces.  Because of the extreme devastation, much of the city has not been rebuilt and it is used as a reminder of the pain of war.

Our driver spent a good part of the six hours of driving time, talking to us about the war. He had fought in it and was one of the few people we have met who had a more balanced recollection.  There is still a lot of bitterness and blame.

On the other hand, Mostar was quite pretty in the sections that had been rebuilt.  We spent some happy hours shopping for special little something's to take home.

Yet another pretty little town in Boznia Herzogovinia is called Blagaj (Blah-gai rhymes with pie).  The Turks had a dervish who lived here to help guide people in their spiritual lives.  I thoughtitsoundedlike the oracle at Delphi.

The dervish lived in the cave barely visible above the house behind us.  The house is the dervish house.

Tomorrow we are off to Korcula so we may not have Internet. You may get a break from our witty repartee for few days...or maybe not.  Ooh, the suspense.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Kayaking the Mediterranean

Did I mention it was hot?  Today had to be 38 degrees in the shade. Being the intrepid travellers we are, we sought refuge at a nearby Buza.  Here we are enduring the heat with typical Canadian aplomb. 

After a gruelling day of observing the ocean habits of the native Southern European, we decided to challenge ourselves to a sea kayak experience.  Heather and Holly shared a kayak and Kenna went solo.  We were in a group of about ten tourists.  It was quickly apparent Heather and Holly would not be front runners in our trip.

Interestingly, synchronization of movement is one key factor in the forward motion of a kayak.  Heather and Holly struggled with this concept.  Somehow, our kayak wanted to move left.  Clearly, it was defunct.  When Holly pointed this out to the guide, he offered various tips for success; none of which were very useful as the kayak continued to be drawn to the open Mediterranean.  Eventually, the group stopped and a guide offered a choice, probably better referred to as the "cut 'em loose" choice.  He said if anyone wanted to take the shorter route back, one of the guides would take those people.  It should be understood here that he was NOT looking in our direction as he said this, but we willingly took the opportunity, to the relief of all, I'm sure. Kenna kindly came with us as did another kayak of ladies and it was a much more enjoyable trip home, even with the damn kayak pulling constantly out to sea.

This lovely sunset photos is not indicative of the amount time it took to get back.  Really.  We had opted for the sunset cruise, mainly because they offered wine on our return.  We earned it as it is quite possible Holly will not be able to use her left arm tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

It's still hot

Okay, so yesterday when we arrived, it was mildly amazing it was so hot. Today it was less so.  It was sweat dripping down your back hot.  It was find a shady deck and drink exotic drinks hot.  Still, we managed to get out... To the deck and beyond.

At the top of Mount Srd ( pronounced surge)

Walking the wall.  Notice the fine new hats.

Streets of Dubrovnik

Heather looking hot.

Pirate ship in the bay outside our window.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

It's a pleasant 34 degrees

Outside the gates do Dubrovnik. ( old town)

Kayak guide takes picture of himself on Heather's camera.  Surprise!

View from our apartment.

Leaning out the window

Our window from below.  The two windows above the black shuttered windows.

Dinner below our window.

Monday, August 5, 2013

On our way to Croatia

May I begin by saying how wet it is in London?  The weather in Croatia is going to be sunny and hot for two weeks... And when I say hot, I mean stinking hot.  Naturally, we all packed accordingly.  This morning we arrived to unsettled weather and by late after noon it began to sprinkle.  We decided it was a prime time to get a bite to eat and by the time we got out again it was pouring!  

My first question was whether or not the cute, new, bold, red jacket I had on was colourfast.  My second question was how white pants would look soaking wet.  Do they react like a white t-shirt?  Fortunately for Londoners, my clothing did not disintegrate in the rain. I did, however, look less and less polished as the deluge continued proving that the baggage handler in the Vancouver airport was wrong.  I do not look like Princess Di.

By the end of the day our conversation had degenerated into a discussion of which of us would survive a zombie apocalypse.  I was voted least likely to survive but really, what's so bad about being a zombie? We also discussed whether we had to pee bad enough to fork over the 30pence in the train station.  (Only once) and if there is a washroom on the train, should one use it? (No). Clearly, we are all getting along we'll and well suited for travel together.