'The Pearl of the Adriatic'
After the worst bus ride of our lives, we miraculously made it to Dubrovnik around 10 pm. We asked a police officer who asked a local apartment owner how to get to our street, and we found bus #8, getting on with no idea of when we were supposed to get off, with no one on the bus speaking English. We took our best guess and got off at one of last stops when someone on the bus pointed at this one as well as the last two. We walked in both directions until we miraculously found the street where our apartment was supposed to be, and walked around in the dark trying to find the right building. We walked down many steps, finding number 18, with the door wide open, no lights on inside, and heavy metal music blaring from one story up. After standing in the dark for a few minutes, refusing to walk in the black doors, the man turned down his music and asked us if the lady who was renting us the room knew we were there. Dumfounded, we look at each other realizing we probably should've given her a heads up with what time we'd be arriving, but had no idea of knowing when this would be. He called her for us and let us in the building, assuring us she was on her way. Realizing how dangerous this was, we were so relieved to see her shadow coming down the stairs ten minutes later. She admitted she was afraid we were no shows, but nicely showed us into the Yellow Room, giving us the keys and welcoming us. With the help of my mother, we emailed the ferry company to see if we could move our ferry back one day, since we wasted a whole day of traveling. If it couldn't get changed, we would only get to spend the morning in Dubrovnik and then would have to get right back on a bus to catch our scheduled ferry, traveling longer than we'd actually be there. Past the point of starving and tired, we went right to bed, enjoying the air conditioning after a long day of travel.
We went towards old town the next morning for breakfast, where we got to use their phone to get confirmation that our ferry was moved back a day! Immediately we emailed the lady who rented us the apartment and she told us she had an available loft in the heart of old town that was free for that night. She drove us there and it was even better than the one from the night before. It was above a souvenir shop on a street in old town with a cute old Croatian owner who didn't speak much English, but always called us "lady, lady"! We walked around the walled city, gift shopping at cute stores on the quaint, downhill streets, grabbing lunch, and heading to the beach for a quick swim. We stopped in St. Blaise church to say a prayer for Boogie and thanking G.G. and Great Grandpa for sending me to Croatia. It was such a blessing to be able to see such a beautiful place where my family comes from. Mom treated Carly and I to a seafood restaurant on the marina, recommended to us by the lady we rented our apartment from. We ordered seafood risotto and mussels, which each came in the full skillet they were cooked in, with the juices, that I ended up wearing on my white jeans and silk top. Since it was still light out when we finished dinner, we headed back to the apartment to clean up, and ended up just being boring and going to bed early so we could get up in the morning and get everything done.
We got up early Thursday morning starving, and sitting down at the first place we saw, had an insanely overpriced breakfast (there's those tricky Croatian prices again) in the beautiful Stradun. We then climbed the city walls of the old town, where we got beautiful pictures of Dubrovnik and could see why it was called the Pearl of the Adriatic. We fit in some last minute shopping before catching the city bus to the main bus station, but somehow missed our stop to get off, so had to wait for the bus to go all the way back around, causing us to miss our bus to Split. Angry that we were having travel troubles once again, we caught the next bus to Split, worried that we wouldn't make it to the ferry booth in time to redeem our tickets. Five hours later, we arrived in Split, sprinted off the bus, and were sent back and forth a few times to the wrong place, but finally got our tickets and boarded. We had an awful dinner on the ferry, but were so hungry and tired we didn't care. The best part of the night was watching the Eurocup semi-finals on board with all old folks, mostly Italian, who were hilarious to watch get excited about the game, and then freak out every time the cable went out.
The Tuscan sun awaits us after a quick stop in Firenze for one last pizza at our favorite place. We are so very excited, but at the same time very sad that our trip is now coming to an end.