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Wednesday, March 4, 2009
We have left the country
 
The weather was getting too nice, so we decided to leave.
 
Not really.  It poured like the dickens the day we left (Monday).
 
Flew to Munich, stayed overnight at the airport, and flew home (separtely) on Tuesday, arriving at 8 PM and 10:30 PM respectively (me first!  me first!).
 
You know it's scary when MUNICH seems inexpensive!  I had a 2 Euro Venti coffee from Starbucks and a 1.20 Euro pastry as big AS YOUR HEAD (and delicious).  The night before we flew we went to an airport bar and had 2.30 Euro PINTS.
 
Maybe we should have vacationed at the Munich airport, eh?!?!?
 
Nice sleeping in our own bed.
 
Future posts under Posts from Home header.
 
And, plan a trip to Croatia!  It's lovely.  If you need help finding an apartment, I HIGHLY recommend Michelle and Andrew at www.dubrovnikapartmentsource.com  Even after we arrived and PAID, they helped us address a couple minor problems (including our internet connection!) and were informative, helpful and very kind.

Saturday, February 21, 2009
A Dubrovnik Weather Update
 
On my way into town to the store this morning I ran into our next door neighbor, who's the nephew of our landlord.  He works on a cruise ship out of Miami and speaks great English (like almost everyone in this town - YEAH!).  He said this was the most snow they've had in over 50 years.
 
50 years.  What are the chances of THAT!?!?
 
He also said that as recently as 20 years ago, if you rented a hotel room in Dubrovnik and it rained, you didn't have to pay for the day.  By my estimates, we would have only had to pay for about 8 days of our stay.
 
Apparently, weather conditions have changed dramatically in this part of the world in the last 20 pretty recently!
 
But, the snow seems to be gone, and today was actually sunny and decent.  Took a stroll and captured the moments. . . who knows?  May be 50 more years 'til it does it again!

snowoverdub.jpg
Such timing for us. . .

snowmedmountdub.jpg
Prettier now that it ain't coming down on top of us and blowing at 45 mph!

catdrinkssnow.jpg
He may not like the snow, but everyone likes a COLD DRINK!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009
It's a BLIZZARD!
 
We woke up to a thunderstorm this morning, which turned into a snowstorm by this afternoon!  And it's blowing and snowing and hasn't stopped.
 
It's insane.
 
And highly unusual.
 
And to blame?  Another Stout vacation. . .
 
We've been pretty much holed up all day, praying the power doesn't go out.  The only mode of heat we have is a large space heater.  Electric.

snowonlemons.jpg
Let it snow (on my lemons outside the front door)

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Let it snow! (on the orange tile rooftops and the moutain behind town)

backporch.jpg
Let it SNOW!!! (All over our back terrace, which is as far as I''m going tonight!)

Saturday, February 14, 2009
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!
 
Even if you don't have a "sweetie", make sure you tell the people you love you love them today!  Hopefully everyone will have lots of love coming their way today and everyday!
 
We've been subject to some sunshine with the BORA winds (I think that's how you spell it), which basically means really strong winds that include a wind chill.  Basically, it was freezing yesterday.
 
And the day before.
 
But here's some random shots around Dubrovnik from Wednesday (I think).

tunneldub.jpg
I was taking this picture while Mike was finding us a new sandwich shop

birdonlight.jpg
An ugly pigeon trying to make a pretty picture. . .

paperinwater.jpg
This newspaper sheet was under the water in the harbor and looked pretty cool

horseface.jpg
Above a garage door on the way to our house along the water

gate6.jpg
ANOTHER picture of our gate into the city

mikeandmemirror.jpg
This is a cool mirror at our bus stop. . . we are facing the sea, the mountains are behind us. . .

   
   
   

And, yesterday (on Friday the 13th, no less) Daniel took us on a trip up the coast to a little bitty town called Cavat, which was basically desolute of tourists this time of year, but in the summer ROCKS.  It was adorable. 
 
And cold. 
 
First we stopped on top of the mountain above Dubrovnik and took a couple "aerial" shots of the town.  It looks like a little toy.

dubabove.jpg
I CANNOT tell you how cold and windy it was up here. . . OMG!

moutanins.jpg
I guess this is what the rest of the country looks like once you get off the coast. . . whatever. .

daniel4.jpg
SOOOOO cold, need a coffee, but we will be colder. . .

Add your content here

cavat.jpg
This is seriously a cutie-patootie town!

coastcavat.jpg
But breathtaking. . . . in more than one way. . . I can hardly feel my toes!

dubrovnikcoastabove.jpg
Uh, yea, still very cold, but GORGEOUS!

catatwinestore.jpg
This kitty stole my heart. . . when I come back as a cat I'm hanging at the wine store. . .

treechapelcavat.jpg
Can hardly stand the contrast. . . .

treeatcavat.jpg
Taking an unbelievably freezing walk around the point. . .

   
   

Some night last week we met a dude at the Irish Pub who manages a restaurant called Pupo.  So, last night we went there for dinner.  And, guess what?  It's famous from this show.  They had the episode on DVD, so we sat and watched it (and drank, and ate) while we were sitting in the very spot!  Too cool.  Thanks to Ivan for the discount on the upgraded wine, as well!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009
I'm an Idiot.  Just ask Mike.
 
After one week (well, probably more like after three days) we officially have a favorite bar in Dubrovnik, a fave bartender and a fave bar owner.  In order they are Katie O'Connor's Irish Pub, Daniel, and Bradley. 
 
And today, Daniel offered to drive us up the coast to a city called Ston, where the second largest ancient wall in the world exists.  It's five kilometers long, was for protection from the Turk invaders and was built in the 14th century.
 
Daniel met us at the bus station at 10 AM, and we were there with umbrellas (the weather looked iffy, but it didn't rain) and the camera.
 
We drive for about 50 minutes, pull into the lovely town of Ston, look up at the mountain with the meandering wall, I grab my camera to snap a photo. . .
 
and the memory card is NOT IN IT.  It's in my computer back in Dubrovnik.  You see, my new computer has a slot for the memory card, and I forgot to take it out yesterday. 
 
Apparently, there's no way to take pictures on my Nikon D40 and save them to the camera, either.
 
But, I learned my lesson and that WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN.
 
I hope.
 
After the walk on the wall (doing a lot of wall walking in the past twelve months), we had a coffee at a small cafe and then a lovely lunch in a very nice restaurant.  Mike had shrimp and risotto, I had octopus salad, and Daniel had chicken.  Yes, chicken.  Lots of red wine, cheese, and bread, too.  In fact, I'm still stuffed 5 hours later. 
 
Was a great day.  Thanks Daniel!  What a guy.  I swear I will pick up some tourist in Michigan who doesn't have a car and drive them to Saugatuck, Michigan. 
 
Not that this scenario seems very likely. . .
 

Monday, February 9, 2009
 
Today was our first day of full sun, and boy. . . I thought this place was beautiful last week!  The sky?  Is. so. blue.  The air?  Is. so. clean.  The colors?  They are so crisp. 
 
We walked and walked, had a coffee, had some lunch, did some grocery shopping (I COOKED dinner tonight), and basically enjoyed the day.  I'm just going to let the pics tell the story (although not all of them were taken today).
 
And, if you think the pictures are starting to look all the same, NEVER ask to see my photos from here. . . LOL.
 
Sidenote:  Two nights ago in the bar Mike and I took about 45 minutes to write down as many of the 190 recognized sovereign states (countries) in the world.  We got 178.  Try it.  It's fun!
 
Anyhoodle, enjoy the pics.

belltowers.jpg
Bell Towers. . . they ring everyday at noon

church54.jpg
Kick butt old church. . . who's bells ALSO ring at noon. . .

cityoverviewfromgate.jpg
Looking out over the city from the "high" gate. .. not sure what direction it is, really. . .

cityviewfrommarina.jpg
City from outside the Ploce Gate, looking at Marina (you just walked around the city!)

coketruck.jpg
How Coke gets to the market in Dubrovnik. . . where's the BEER TRUCK!?!?!

domechurchfront.jpg
Down from the wall at a little church. . . there's a lot of churches here. . . and very few BARS. .

fort56.jpg
I'm in love with this corner of the wall for some reason. . . so more pics of it to come, I'm sure.

hillgate.jpg
This is the "high" gate entrance, which is now my favorite

marinagate.jpg
Looking down at the marina. . . is this getting redundant? It's not a very big town. . .

morealleys.jpg
And more alleys. . . and laundry

nuns.jpg
and some nuns to go with the churches

toweragain.jpg
Yep. That's my fave tower again. . .

wallicons.jpg
I like this dude. . . not much here I don't like, obviously. . .

 
   
   
   
   

Friday, February 6, 2009
Living Large In Dubrovnik
 
I would love to tell everyone of you to come to Dubrovnik, Croatia.  We are overwhelmed by the beauty of this place.  I feels so surreal.  However, I must warn you, you need to bring a LOT of flake here, as it's almost impossible not to spend a TON of money.
 
Old town Dubrovnik is a medieval walled city, completely restored, right on the Adriatic Sea.  No motor vehicles are allowed inside the walls, it's completely restored, and has hundreds of straight little alleys, some flat, some with stairs branching off the Stradum (the main street). 
 
And it's completely charming.
 
Everytime we step inside the walls (which is about three times a day, we live just a five minute walk outside the gate), we can't help but exclaim how strange it feels.  Like a theme park or movie set.  However, it's home to about 50,000 people.
 
Being the off season here, I'm not sure where they all are.  Often Mike and I are the only two people in a restaurant or bar (besides the staff), and it would appear that many places just aren't open in the winter.
 
But it's nice to "own" the town. 
 
The weather thus far has been pretty wet, but yesterday we awoke to sunshine and warm weather, so we paid our requisite $20 to do an hour and a half walk around the top of the walls.  I snapped this picture from a guard post just inside our gate. 

throughwindow.jpg
Awesome!

At night, when the lamplights are lit and you stroll through marble-paved streets, almost alone, it feels like you have stepped WAY back in time.  And, it's pretty romantic. . . .
 
We have some internet problems (mainly that we are not connected at home, and even here at the Irish Pub which has free internet my connection keeps dropping), but hopefully it will be rectified soon (at home), as we definitely need our Skype and email connections!  Argh.  Going through withdrawal, for sure.
 
Our apartment is nice enough, too.
 
Besides our wall walk and a brief excursion on the bus on Wednesday, we haven't really been doing much but walking around and taking in the sights of the "little world" we now live in.  It's a small place and a month will probably feel like plenty of time to be here, but the sight of Old Town lit up at night or gleaming in the Mediterranean sun is still enough to take my breath away.
 
I'll post some additional pictures in the very near future.

fortdub.jpg
Front northwest corner of the city wall (and guard post, I believe)

walling.jpg
Horribly set up picture of us on the wall. . . but proof we were there. . .

lookdownthewall.jpg
Looking up the wall on the north side

kickassalleys.jpg
One of the hundreds of alleys off the Stradum. . . quaint as HECK!

catonstatue.jpg
This cat was having fun stalking pigeons today IN THE SUNSHINE!

churchstreet.jpg
Street lined with churches. . . sans bells. . .

cityviewfromark.jpg
The city and the sea from a little private cove (with a restaurant) near our house

coastviewwithclouds.jpg
Beautiful view down the coast today. . . towards Albania. . .

curvedstreet.jpg
Not an alley. . . just a curved street. . . that I like

dudeswimmin.jpg
Although sunshiney today, this dude obviously thinks it's much warmer than it is. . . silly Croat. .

fountainmouth.jpg
It ain't Rome, but it's a cute little fountain next to the grocery store. . .

laundry.jpg
I've become obsessed with laundry. . . well, other people's laundry. . .

marinasky.jpg
Probably the only thing that changes here is the sky. . . and I like this one!

marinamike.jpg
King Mike with his realm in the backdrop

morewllas.jpg
and more walls. . .

seawall.jpg
That's Saint Blaise or something like that, the patron saint of Dubrovnik

walkwaytogatecurved.jpg
Looking down at that same street with the churches (and the nuns, for that matter)

wallseaview.jpg
Lovely, just lovely. . .