Day Off in Dubrovnik

By Stephen | April 19, 2013

A real day off is rare, but provides time to reset, explore, and catch up. Today was one of those days. No travel, just time.

I woke up earlier than Jane and slipped out of the room to go downstairs and do some bike maintenance. We had hoped to take our bikes to a bike shop in Dubrovnik for tune-ups but, alas, Dubrovnik doesn’t have a single bike shop. Apparently there is one mechanic who is handy with bikes, but before we tried our luck with him I thought I should give it a go, and in the process learn a bit more about how our bikes function.

With the aid of the ParkTool website plus a few bike forums, I tinkered. Two hours later they were finally ready for a test run. Jane was awake, so we had breakfast, and then went for a short ride to Bio and Bio, the city’s only health food/vegan grocery store to restock on some cooking essentials. Plus seitan, which will make our next couple of camp cooked meals special, and especially good.

Nothing For Lunch

We had decided that we would eat out for our meals in Dubrovnik, partly because we wanted to try as many dishes at Nishta as we could. So, for lunch today, we went back to Nishta. I had a burrito which was delicious, even though it was nothing like an American burrito. It was filled with cinnamon and tempeh and topped with shredded tofu. Jane had the lentil cakes which on their own were excellent, but came with slices of dried apple and a mess of various fried mushrooms with sun dried tomatoes that made the dish spectacular.

Our waitress had recommended a yoga and Pilates studio in town, but by the time I found their schedule hiding in their Facebook photos, we realised their only Hatha yoga class had happened while we were eating at Nishta last night. Jane and I decided that part of our afternoon would involve finding a beach to practice on.

Walk On The Wild Side

We spent part of the afternoon exploring the nooks and alleyways of the old city. There is a vast city lived in and used by locals that isn’t very far from the hive of activity that is the central old town. We enjoyed finding basketball playing seminary students, a bar hanging off the edge of the city, dangling over the Adriatic, and a high-end jewellery store with their wares displayed on stone tables in a crumbling courtyard.

We then walked past a small doorway where I noticed a table full of the spices we had purchased the day before in the market, so we popped our heads in. The matriarch of the spice and fruit stall, Nina Sardi was inside preparing sugared orange peel, a sweet Croatian snack. Jane remembers her mom and grandmother making these when she was little, so of course, we bought a bag.

Nina also had jams for sale and I’ve been looking for fig jam to buy since fig tress are everywhere in Croatia, and , well, I love figs. She then told us that the fig jam had placed in Best of Croatia competitions several times in recent years.

So glad I didn’t give in an buy the jam at the grocery store a few days ago.

Yoga Is As Yoga Does

We haven’t had a lot of time to practice yoga, but Croatia has been offering us more opportunities, and we are working out ways to fit our practice into our daily routine. The fact the weather has improved dramatically has made a world of difference.

On our walk around the edges of the old city we spotted a beach to the south that was walking distance, and looked perfect for yoga. We went back to our fantastic apartment in the center of the old town, Sigurata, for a quick change, and to reapply sunscreen, and then headed to the beach for yoga. It was luxurious. We both worked out some of the kinks and shortened muscles that bike riding can create, while the sun shone down and the crystal clear Adriatic lapped at the beach shore. It felt fantastic to be in the sun, on a pebbly beach, really getting into our bodies in a way that cycling doesn’t.

Dinner And Drinks

We are creatures of habit, which may be why we both work so well with a daily routine. Also, once we find something we like we think, “Why should we try somewhere else?”. Back to Nishta for dinner it was, then, for one more chance at great vegan food prepared by someone other than us. We then went back to D’Vino for more incredible Croatian wine and fantastic ambience while we both wrote blog posts and planned the next few days routing. Sasha is such an natural host and he really made us feel like we had been regulars in his bar for years. It was sad to leave.

Croatia-Dubrovnik-9

Tomorrow we head north and, unexpectedly, into Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is only unexpected because we didn’t realise they have a 22km stretch of the Adriatic, and we have to cross into BiH to get to Croatia on the other side. We hope to find space to free-camp either in Bosnia or across the northern border with Croatia.  

5 comments

  1. Pingback: Looking Back: Just Eat It | My Five Acres

  2. Comment by Niall M

    Niall M Reply May 16, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    Hey – my brother is cycling from Scotland to South Africa for UNICEF and is in Dubrovnik soon and needs bike oil urgently. I know there are no bike shops there as you say, any suggestions where he may get some though? Any help appreciated!

    • Comment by Stephen

      Stephen May 16, 2013 at 1:55 pm

      Hi Niall. I am not sure he will find any in Dubrovnik. We did hear about a car mechanic who apparently does some bike work, but we didn’t end up needing to try him. This was the address I found for him: Petra Zoranića 5–9, 20236‎ Dubrovnik. Hope it helps. We did find a great shop in Zadar but that’s quite a ride from Dubrovnic. Wish him well. Is he blogging?

  3. Comment by michael moldofsky

    michael moldofsky Reply May 2, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    I feel sorry for the teacher that has Stephen in class. They will think they are being filmed for MTV’s Punk’d because he’s so good!

    at some point please take a picture of you literally smelling the roses…

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