May 9 – Dubrovnik
If you’ve been reading this far then you know the Bob-only portion of this trip is happening on a smaller budget than the Bob-and-Gina portion. That’s by design as much as necessity. Staying in hostels affords endless opportunities to meet other people, and you never know where these encounters will lead. Case in point, my current accommodations which are in a luxury apartment overlooking the Dubrovnik waterfront.
Yanni and I took the bus down from Korcula yesterday. No, it’s not an amphibious vehicle. The bus goes on a ferry to the mainland but that isn’t noted specifically on the ticket so I entertained visions of those large military vehicles they use for “duck tours.”
We rolled in around 3pm and met up with one of our fellow hostelers from Split, Diana (or just Di as I learned later). She was the cancer researcher, remember? Well, she’s full-blooded Croatian and even speaks the language. Her cousin has an apartment here in Dubrovnik (vacation property I gather as the owners are not in town), and Di graciously offered to let Yanni and me stay there.
Great deal, right? Well, we could not have anticipated what we saw when we entered the building. This place is ultra-sleek, with every modern convenience including a 50-inch flat screen with surround sound, top-end appliances with separate wine refrigerator, and everything in black and brushed metal finishes. Oh, and did I mention the view from the terrace? Panoramic is one word you might use to describe it.
Needless to say I ditched my guest house reservation–even with having to forego the deposit it was a no-brainer.
Di’s hospitality is exceedingly generous, and she refused to let us take her out to dinner last night so tonight we are going to make her a nice meal at “home.” It will be fun to do some cooking, especially because it’s for someone.
I’ve met so many people I never would have met, not only if I didn’t take this trip but if I didn’t travel the way I’m doing now. If you stay in a nice hotel, you might enjoy some creature comforts (nothing wrong with that!) but you might not even speak to another person save the reception desk staff. When you’re on your own, that can get downright lonely.
By contrast, I’ve made a friend in Yanni that I hope to keep for a very long time. It would be great to visit him in Sydney sometime, or to introduce him to the finer points of North Carolina barbecue. But even if I never see him again, we’ve had a great time together “smashing it” in Zadar, Split, Korcula and now D-town.
Soon we’ll part ways, but it’s been a fun ride.