Friday, September 21, 2012

Sept 21 2012 - From Dubrovnik to Zagreb

The fort on old Dubrovnik

The day today started with a walk on the famous ancient city wall surrounding old Dubrovnik. Overlooking the entire old city, we saw a few more examples of locals living within the old city - clothes dying on a line - two football/basketball fields - a school - backyard gardens - and also some ruins left behind from the 1667 earthquake that completely destroyed the town.

View of Dubrovnik through the old city wall

We all agreed that, as we won't have time to visit Bosnia, we should at least have lunch in the one Bosnian restaurant in town. Taj Mahal is a really terrific restaurant, we all had fun tasting the various little dishes and trying the tiny 0.2 liter beers (this region of the world is great about selling teeny tiny beers so you can just have a taste). The baked apple dessert and the Bosnian coffee (think Greek) are delightful!! It just so happens that this restaurant was located next door to an elementary school and we started chatting with a father waiting to pick up his daughter Hannah. He said he grew up in old town and went to this school, but recently it's become to crowded with tourists and he had to move out of town, but the school is still very good, so he takes his daughter there.

It's really hard to pick the best photo of Dubrovnik... they are all the best!

On the way out of Dubrovnik, we tried to drop by the wine-tasting cave recently unearthed under the runway, but just like the guidebook says, actual open hours may vary wildly. The flight to Zagreb was short - so short I easily slept through takeoff to landing. Our cabbie on our way to the hotel was an honest guy with good sightseeing advice and honest pricing (we got ripped off a little when we initially flew in a week ago), but he suddenly and irrevocably diverted into conspiracy theories about American Freemasons controlling the media, economy, and commerce - and we were glad to arrive at the hotel.

Why did the Skycellar Đurovića špilja have to be closed :(

Fairly often we plan a circular route where we end up in the same city where we started - in this case because we booked the flights before we researched the country and made any plans. It's always nice to return to a city, even if due to a slight oversight in planning. The hotel staff know us, they had our luggage waiting (we left a few items behind that we wouldn't need for the first week), we already have a slight sense of the streets and parks, we know what a taxicab ride should cost in Kuna. It's all good!

Mali Medo Medvedgrad Pivo!!

Before and after dinner, we roamed around Tkalčićeva Street , formerly a creek that separated the two towns of Kaptol and Gradec. Since the towns merged to form Zagreb in 1851 - and the creek was filled in 1898 - it has become a lively pedestrian street with 200 to 300 year-old buildings, bars, street musicians, cafes, and good-natured folks strolling about. Here we sampled three of the beers at brewpub Pivnica Medvedgrad, and we were all in agreement that the wheat beer (named Dva Klasa or Two Ears) was outstanding. Out of the 3 largest towns in Croatia (Zagreb, Dubrovnik, and Split), only Zagreb has any brewpubs. We're hoping to visit more tomorrow!

Tkalčićeva Ulica's lively music scene with talented artists

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