Europe 2012: “Winter is Coming.”
Posted by Cristina on July 3, 2012
We awake around 7am to get ready to go to Dubrovnik, Croatia. This is the port I am looking forward to the most, because not only is my favorite television show filmed here (Game of Thrones), but it’s also in Eastern Europe, a former Yugoslavian country, and just the most exotic of places. The first thing we do after taking the shuttle to Old City is buy tickets to climb the City Walls. It’s over a mile on top of basically an old fortress surrounding Old Town. Dubrovnik is right on the sea, so the views are gorgeous, though the walls are not shaded and there are many, many steps. According to my pedometer, we climb over 30 flights of stairs today! I keep picturing scenes from Game of Thrones, and call things I see “The Red Keep” and “Maegor’s Holdfast.” Kurt, who is terrified of heights, won’t get too close to the walls and when the path becomes very narrow, he becomes a little freaked out. So of course, when there is some open space, I have to jokingly act like the wind is making me fall.
Since Kurt is so scared of heights, it is only natural that the next thing we do is take a cable car ride to the top of Mount Srd. Kurt is so brave, though, and it is a very quick ride. The views on top the mountain are magnificent. Not only can you see all of the Old City with the City Walls surrounding it, but also all the rest of Dubrovnik, plus the mountains behind the city, plus all the islands out in the sea. Just gorgeous. Of course, during the Balkan crisis in the early 90′s, the mountain was used to rain down fire upon the citizens of Dubrovnik below, and over 90% of the city was destroyed. That’s why most of the roofs of the houses are orange, because they were all replaced with tiles of their national color. There is a museum on the crisis at the top of the mountain, but we don’t have enough kuna (their money) to go. I would have really liked to see it, but maybe if we ever come here again we can go.
After going down to a little rocky beach where we touch the Adriatic and enjoy the pleasant view, we come back to the ship.
We realize the Italian restaurant on board has a complimentary pasta lunch, and we have some quite delicious pasta. We then play several rounds of trivia. The first is 80s “Guess That Song,” and I must say, I am no help this round. But Kurt wins his very own 24 karat plastic piece of ship on a stick! Woo woo! Our cruise director makes an announcement and says that the one couple that has been late to board on every single port, almost missing the ship in Rome (but luckily the ship had to wait for clearance and they were able to catch it) is actually back on board early today. The whole ship burst out in applause. Our cruise director has been making fun of them mercilessly the whole trip for always being so late, so much so that I just want to meet them and take a picture with them. They are almost like local celebrities!
Dinner at Blush tonight is pretty good crepes filled with spinach and ricotta cheese for a starter, and Kurt has what he considers the best meal of the trip: barbecued, whole cornish game hen. It is juicy, spicy, bursting with flavor, and enough to fill you up. I try my hand at the grilled New York strip steak, and while it’s pretty good, I am now going to order everything medium-rare, because medium comes out just too well done for me. Pretty satisfying day, and tomorrow is Venice. I was there exactly 10 years ago and Kurt has never been, so it should be a good stop for us.