One thing that was totally random yet completely perfect about our trip through eastern Europe was our little overnight in Dubrovnik. While planning our trip last year, Pattie and I had talked about the possibility of coming to this little haven, since it's always been a dream of Pattie's to come here to explore. Why we didn't realize we were staying with the ultimate road-trip family and suggest this trip to them earlier, I don't know.
We arrived and enjoyed another golden hour welcome, gawking over the lovely view from our Airbnb's front porch. Our host offered us a drink and proceeded to show us the best routes to explore old Dubrovnik and how to get back to this place on the free public bus.
Before the sun got too low, we trekked down the alleyways of steps between the orange-roofed houses, finding cats along the way and stopping every now and then to comment on how I was shivering in 50 degrees and Pattie was simply wearing a cardigan.
We made it to the old city, and the sun dropped out of the sky pretty dramatically. The well-lit streets were beautiful, buzzing with people, but not too crowded. The entire downtown is a walled fortress built long ago, and though we saw it with some modern touches, it was as if we'd been transported back in time. We got what seemed like the Croatian version of a hotdog (but much better, in my opinion) after perusing the shops and stores lining the ancient city.
We grabbed some Balkan snacks (Pringles, Schweppes, you know) at the tiny old town supermarket before heading back to our place to binge watch "The Flash."
In the morning we dived right back into the windy city. This place was just so perfect in all it's medieval glory, it was just too much. Down to every detail, Dubrovnik was a place different than I had ever seen. I'd heard rumors of Game of Thrones, and now Star Wars being filmed here, and I completely understand why. It felt untouched by anyone from the outside, almost like we were the only tourists to have ever come here.
Two things we tried during our time in Croatia were arancini and Turkish coffee. I'd heard a bunch of buzz about the latter, but no one had ever said "don't stir it," so obviously, I stirred it. And I was left with a mouthful of what Pattie and I deemed "coffee sludge." The taste was good, but since I was left picking little coffee debris out of my teeth several long minutes later, I might be done. Arancini is candied orange peel, and I just love it. You can get candied fruit peels in a lot of places, but this was a first for me and I will be learning how to make it myself, thanks.
Our last stop before heading back to Montenegro was the Dubrovnik harbor. Windy, chilly, cold and as bright as can be, this was a sight to behold. Mountains for miles along the coast, you could just catch the smallest glimpse of the flat sea that separated this country from the Italian peninsula. Looking up the mountain and seeing the peppering of homes, those orange roofs and almost-white stone walls blinding in the sunshine, and the yachts floating in the sapphire blue water. I'm pretty happy with the images I have, and even still it doesn't do this place justice. A million thanks to Jeff, Jen & their kids for this brief trip. It's no wonder they travel as much as they do.