Except for the part where we got up at 5am, today was a real rest day!
After spending much of the early hours this morning half-asleep, half listening to a yapping dog that seemed to be actively trying to tell us something, we finally got up a few minutes before the alarm. A groggy 45 minutes later, as the sun came up over the bay, we were descending a long staircase with our many bags. Waiting at the bottom was an adorable little pup with a bouncy spring in his step. He ran up and down the stairs with us as we lugged our luggage (that’s why they call it luggage, right?).
Frankly, he seemed a little annoyed that we were working when all he wanted to do was play.
Ferries Are Faster Than Bikes
As we loaded up the bikes a few other townspeople, included the ferry staff, started to emerge from various houses along the street. It was all very jovial as we greeted the people with the power to make or break our day by letting us get on their ferry with our bikes or not. The actual ferry dock is about 2km out of town, so we started our ride. Our little puppy friend led the way, running along with glee, turning every once in a while to see that we were still following. We were glad he was friendly, because even at top speed, there’s no way we could have outrun him.
We got to the boat and paid for our passenger tickets in the ticket office. Only 60KN for two people – that’s about $5 each. The ticket seller told Stephen we’d have to pay for the bikes on the ferry. So far so good.
And then before we knew it, we were on, the ferryman was tying our bikes to a railing with a bit of string, and we were headed to Dubrovnik! No problem whatsoever. We’re so glad we didn’t heed all the online warnings: “Absolutely no bikes will be allowed on the catamaran”. We assume the rules only apply from June to September in these parts.
We briefly stopped in Sipan to pick up more passengers and drop off a load of fresh bread that had come from Mljet with us.
Sipan is of special interest to us because our good friends Rowena and Mowgli got married there a few years ago. We had planned to attend, but life got in the way.
Relaxation and Indulgence
The rest of the day was so trouble-free and restful it feels a little like being on vacation!
We sought out a pizza restaurant for lunch, ordered the jumbo vegetarian sans cheese, and then laughed when the waiter brought a pizza almost the size of our table (plus a plate of fries Stephen had impulse-ordered). About 20 minutes later we were polishing off the last crumb, much to the astonishment of the ample-girthed family at the next table.
We are still not used to our raging appetites!
Here are some shots from our restful day in Dubrovnik – looking back we saw quite a lot, all before lunch.
After a rest in the afternoon (Stephen on the beach, me on the internet) and a chat with both sets of our parents (hi Moms and Dads!) we went to a lovely little wine bar, D’Vino. They stocked the wine that we had picked up on the Peljesac peninsula the other day, and when Stephen ordered it by name, the staff were a little surprised we’d heard of it. They were more surprised that we’d actually been to the winery and ridden through the fields where the grapes were grown. They know Boris the wine-maker well and by the sounds of it were very fond of him and his wine.
A massive plate of local cheeses (not vegan, but very delicious) accompanied our wine.
As with seemingly everything in Croatia, they were all made by small producers on independent farms. Unlike North America, people here still make things by hand, it seems.
Then it was time to eat more. The one vegetarian restaurant in Dubrovnik, Nishta is just around the corner from the wine bar. Nishta means “nothing” in Croatia – so named because if you don’t have meat at dinner in Croatia, you’re eating nothing. I am now stuffed from eating nothing, and it’s the first time I have felt full to the brim in days.
We are loving Dubrovnik so far. It is astonishingly beautiful, and at this time of year, not at all full of the crowds that apparently descend in summer. Seeing it like this, I feel like I could stay here, but I suspect a few months on I might get a very different impression. This is the perfect time to be here. ♥