Thursday, November 16, 2017

Surviving a Rainy Day in Dubrovnik

Sometimes we do not always have all the luck in the world.

On our first day in Dubrovnik, we were rained down, but the weather was considerate enough not to rain on our welcome parade. Not when we arrived. It waited until we were able to check in to our room, enjoy a very late lunch, and move the rental car to a public parking garage.

The wet streets after the rain aftermath.

Dubrovnik old town is pedestrianized and vehicle free, and the nearest parking we could find was at the Hilton Hotel. The hourly prices here at Hilton could easily rival with western European parking prices but we didn’t have a choice since the nearest and more reasonably priced public garage is more than a kilometre away. No way Bubbles and I would lug our suitcases that far! So we made sure to come back after our lunch to move the car.

And we got lucky that we managed to move the car before the rain deluge. It wasn’t an ordinary rain; it was pouring cats and dogs and we were stuck in the garage for more than an hour!

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

Raining on Stradun.

The guy manning the parking garage’s cashier was accommodating enough to help us call a taxi, although he warned us that most taxis in Dubrovnik are very prissy about picking customers. Firstly, they prefer longer distances customers so they can earn more money, and secondly, not when it’s raining! But he promised he will do his best to get a taxi arranged for us.

During the wait, we managed to see cars going in and out of the garage. I was almost tempted to brave up and ask some of these strangers for a free lift. When you are waiting for something, your life at that very moment kind of slows down, which gives you some time to contemplate about many things, such as useless and idle matters. We became impatient. I cursed the weather. We were helpless. If only we could count the raindrops? Haha.

We stayed here at the entrance of the parking garage for an hour waiting for the taxi that never came and for the rain to stop.

One of the strange things we saw while waiting was this (rental) car that stopped right in front of the parking garage. The passengers looked like (Asian) tourists and they just lingered outside for a few minutes. As they were turning the car around, they crashed the back bumper into this street pole. When you crash into something, the first thing you would do is to get out of the car and inspect the damage. However, this couple behaved very oddly. They didn’t come out of the car to inspect what they have crashed into, instead, they just drove away. Very odd isn’t it?

I guess the oddest part of the whole story is that the taxi we earlier ordered never came. We asked the guy manning the garage about it and all he could say is that the taxi drivers in Dubrovnik are not to be trusted. *sigh*

So once again, Bubbles and I were stuck in the rain and inside the garage.

The entrance to Dubrovnik old town, the Pile Gate.

After waiting for another half an hour the rain slowed down a bit and Bubbles and I decided to brave the last drops of rain and walked to the old town via a pedestrian route parallel to the street.

When we finally arrived at the old town the rain stopped so that was a huge sigh of relief for us. We managed to check out a part of the Tvrdava Bokar, a 15th-century wall tower in the western part the old town where a famous restaurant is located. The weather did not make the terrace of the restaurant that very inviting at all.

We decided to walk around for a bit and came upon this church near the entrance (Pile Gate) of the old town. We noticed people going inside and we could hear singing voices. Bubbles is Catholic and she wants to go inside the church and pay her respects. Of course, I don’t mind, because Catholic churches are also great places to see beautiful pieces of art.

Then we were back walking the cobbled-stone streets of Dubrovnik old town again, which at this time now is slowly waking up from the aftermath of the rain. The streets are still wet but life has started to blossom again in Dubrovnik old town, so that's good news. People are back out.

As we walked on, we spotted this gelato store. It is a bit fresh to be eating ice cream, but umm, why not? We were in the mood and I am very intrigued by the mojito flavour as I have never had one before. So we each grabbed a scoop on a cone.

Refreshing mojito gelato ice cream.

Was the mojito gelato ice cream good? Well, I will stick to my lemon + pistachio next time.

Bubbles wanted to visit a couple of souvenir shops while I was longing to sit somewhere for a cup of hot coffee. We compromised and took a table outside this café in Stradun. At this café, I managed to pick up a Dubrovnik guide and map which was very helpful. I also decided to stay longer in the café while Bubbles shopped for souvenirs. A very good compromise combination indeed =).

Tiny cobblestone alleys in the fortified old town.

We went back to our room at the Art House Dubrovnik, which is always an enormous effort for us since we have to climb the 3 flights of stairs, every single time. We were contemplating on having dinner or not as we were not that very hungry. We’d like to eat but not the full sit down meal in a restaurant.

After the needed rest, we went back down searching a restaurant for light dinner. While looking around, the weather struck again and we were caught in the rain on the streets. Luckily, we had an umbrella with us. As you can see, we did not take chances this time, we were wiser and prepared, haha.

We passed by this Italian trattoria specializing in pizzas and thought that sharing a pizza wouldn’t be bad at all since we didn’t want to eat a lot. We scanned the menu and decided on a Pizza Mirakul which has an egg. The wait staff told us that it is the pizza house’s speciality but I was more curious about the egg and what it would look like on the pizza.

Pizza Mirakul, the pizza with a sunny side up egg.

Our simple pizza dinner at Pizzeria Mirakul.

The Pizza Mirakul arrived and a sunny side up egg was in the middle of it. This was my first time to see an egg on a pizza. The dough was light, thin and crunchy, exactly how we want it to be. Bubbles, who is more a pizza connoisseur than me has given the approved thumbs up.

This was a delicious pizza dinner and we had nothing to complain about, except of course for the accompanying crappy weather. The rain continued to pour non-stop as we ate and finished the pizza. Oh well, there are other things to be worried about, such as the weather tomorrow. We can only hope it will be better.

That said we didn’t stay long outside after the pizza dinner. We are taking an early evening to reserve our strengths for tomorrow. Going to sleep at 23:00 is not that early but it is the best option when outside is wet, dark and gloomy.

So that closes our first day and night in Dubrovnik =)

Travel Period: April 2017
Destination: Dubrovnik (Dubrovnik-Neretva), Croatia

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

All pictures were taken by a point and shoot pocket camera or a smartphone.

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