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Report 1912: Spring Time in Croatia

By Letha from California, Spring 2011

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Page 4 of 10: A Rainy Sunday in Dubrovnik - Sunday May 1st

photo by Oscar Saldanha

Villa Adriatica and terrace as seen from the old city wall

Our plan was to take the public transport or a semi private bus that we read about, that runs to Cilipe on Sundays for the Folklore dances. Rain was forecast again and we did not want to get up too early to catch the public transport. According to some websites, the semi private bus would stop at a hotel that was just a few block from Villa Adriatica at about 9:00am, so there we were umbrella and all at 9:00am. We waited and asked folks. The concierge at the hotel confirmed that the bus halts there but also said that with the rains he was not sure. Several other locals we asked told us with great animation that given the weather, the dancing may or may not take place. Regardless, we waited till 9:20am by which time my flimsy umbrella had fallen victim to the wind. Prudence told us that it was time to give up the plan, so we decided the rainy day was best spent closer to home.

We headed back to the old town and lo and behold ... what a change; the cruisers had arrived. I had the cruise ship schedule, and knew that a ships of 3000+ was expected that day. And with the rain, and umbrella’s and raincoats it was quite a storm of people. As they say, "if you can’t beat them, join them" and we did. We picked up two ‘Dubrovnik Cards’ at the tourist office. The girl at the tourist office openly showed her disdain for the cruisers and even warned us that a bigger ship was expected the next day.

This card is worth it if you plan to see more than two or three of the included/bundled attraction tickets, including the walk of the wall. The rest were mainly museums and discounts at restaurants, and given the weather, indoors seemed a good plan after the walk of the wall. The walk was really nice and the views gorgeous; with the rains it was slippery but most of the cruisers don’t seem to walk the wall, so it was not really crowded.

After that, we went outside the west end of the old town gate to one of the discount restaurants for lunch; we were both fairly soaked despite our umbrellas, so warm fish soup was welcome. This area is crazy with all the tour buses dropping people off. The east gate where we were staying is so much more peaceful.

In the afternoon we visited several of the other sights in the old town stopping for coffee or brandy and people watching in the cafes from time to time. It rained all day; we had arranged with Theo’s Uncle for a paid city walk in the evening, but given the weather and that we had done a lot of the city ourselves (and I had read up a lot about it) we canceled and opted to spend the evening back at the Villa. We fixed our own dinner and went to bed early as we again had a pickup for Montenegro at 7:45am the next morning.

A word about Villa Adriatica; its location is great, and the view from the balcony simply gorgeous — of course on account of the weather, we did not get to use the balcony as much as we would have liked to. It is not quite a B&B as breakfast is not provided — in fact we never met the owners, which surprised me. We saw them from the balcony and they did not seem too friendly, at least to us. I had exchanged e-mails with who I thought was the owner, but it turns out that it was one of the girl’s working in the travel agency who also handles e-mails and online bookings for the rooms. The rooms are separate but adjacent to the owners' place and if needed we could go knock on the owners' door (we did that because the TV did not work and Theo, the son came along and fixed it). All interaction was with Theo, and this was not just for us but the other guests too. Since we did not book any additional trips/tours with Theo, our interaction was very limited. The kitchen, a level below was very convenient; we only made coffee and ate takeout dinner one night, but you could cook a meal. The girls in the travel agency were always there to answer any questions and having a bakery, ATM and grocery store downstairs was really nice. The folks in the grocery store knew us after the first day, and were also very nice and friendly and went out of the way to help us find things and communicate with us; we were probably the only Indians in town and with the ‘tourist strip’ being so short, by the second day, all the merchants, cab drivers etc., around all knew us and our every movement and always engaged with us. In fact we engaged more with the people around, including an old lady who lived few doors away, than we did with the Villa Adriatica owners. So Villa Adriatica is a cross between a B&B/Sobe and vacation rental.

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