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Lockrum Isle and Old Dubrovnik

The Croatian Flag flying on the battlements The mini-adventure on the Montenegro ferry was fun, so the following day we took another fer...

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Lockrum Isle and Old Dubrovnik

The Croatian Flag flying on the battlements
The mini-adventure on the Montenegro ferry was fun, so the following day we took another ferry ride. Leaving the Villa, once again we walked the gentle mile downhill, now a pleasant daily event. At the bottom of the hill we went through the gates into 'Old Dubrovnik'.
Entrance to 'the old world'

Let me begin here by stating, that for a spot on the famed Dalmatian Coast, old Dubrovnik was remarkably pup-free.

OK. Now that I've got that little joke, which makes me snicker more than necessary, I can tell you more sensible things I found out about Old Dubrovnik which is on the Dalmation Coast, as well as the Adriatic Sea.

Old Dubrovnik is cool, if for no other reason than it was used as an exterior setting for the epic Game of Thrones, most notably for the notorious 'Walk of Shame' as seen below.
When walking the same path, there was far less muck flinging and shite lobbing going on. None really. Rather peaceable. 

Not so much shame as shopkeeping

There was only a lady garbed in white, selling dolls in traditional Croatian dress. I could barely resist buying any of them. Am afraid if I buy one nationally dressed doll, it will lead me to yet another collector's passion, and I've passions enough, thankyouverymuch.
Barely resistible dolls

Yes, thankfully no shaming happened but I did however look upwards, often, in hopes of spotting the Kahleese's famed Dragons zipping past overhead. Alas, nothing zipped pass over me in the ancient corridors of old Dubrovnik other than flights of swifts.

Aw, you bet I identified them. Am I not the Queen Mother of birding? Protector of ABA lists? Queen of Oakes Fair? Khaleesi of the Great Gulag Garden? Mother of Sight Hounds? The Un-thin and Breaker of Diets? Lady of  Waldronstone?

Damn right I am.
and Ancient
The birds were Alpine Swifts. Must say they were every bit as exciting for me as dragons, and far less dangerous. What was my point, where was I?  Yes - Old Dubrovnik is...
And corridor-ed
White bricked

Fodder for the imagination.

I could carry on the theme for another day or two, but Old Dubrovnik is also, and formerly foremost, a sea port on the Adriatic. Taking advantage of such, we purchased ferry tickets and set sail aboard the ferry, over to the Isle of Lockrum. We's been eying Lockrum since spotting it two days ago from the balcony at Villa Odak.
the Ferry port
All aboard the ferry for the short, 15 trip to Lockrum
View from departing ferry
The shores and my B n' B is somewhere up there...

Approaching Lockrum dock
Docking - the pink building is a cute Visitor Center

A'shore, Jo photographing proud peahen with chicks.
Peacocks were brought to Lockrum about 150 years ago
There were also less fanciful paths to roam on foot - no cars on the island

Lockrum was originally a Benedictine Monastery, circa 1023
The monastery was founded after a fire, in the 11th century, burned down most of Dubrovnik. The locals fought back, not with a volunteer fire department, but with a Benedictine Monastery built on the offshore island. The Monastery housed monks for a whopping 800 years. Its buildings & ruins are still mostly standing. 
The Monastery aided by reinforcement for its pillars and buttresses

Bits of the old Monastery are everywhere
Today, Lockrum is arguably known for being one of the sites where Game of Thrones has been filmed, but it also just a great place for escaping to solitude.

Botanical Gardens

We found what Jo was looking for - Lockrum's 'Dead Sea'

The girl went right in for a swim
So while Jo got in her swim laps in for the day, I went exploring.

There were plenty of places to explore. I felt was falling down a rabbit hole. Heck, there were loads of rabbits around, if not holes.  

I'm not fussing - they were a friendly bunch of bunnies.


So many bunnies. Something that Lockrum is famous for.

And butterflies weren't scarse.

Was looking for birds though.

Alas - all I got were photos of this admittedly adorable & chatty European Robin. All the other birds flitting about stuck to high in the tree canopies.

When the little buggers did show up, they skulked about in the shadows.   Wicked little birdies - no eBird immortality for you!

Jo and I met back up after a couple of hours not too far from ferry dock. We were a bit hungry and opted for lunch, egged on by this adorable restaurant sandwich board.

The remainder of our day was pretty busy and slightly dizzy.  We wandered around Dubrovnik, looking for a yarn store that if it truly existed, it pulled a Hogwarts on us, disappearing and not-to-be-found. Roaming around netted us views of this lovely bridge.  

Then... confession time here. There was shoe shopping, and mid day ice cream eating. No more said on those issues that were unfortunate to the wallet. After resting up for a while back at the Villa Odak, we returned to Old Dubrovnik and that is a tale for an additional post.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Montenegro and the Ferry of Kotor

Montenegro Majesty!
Montenegro Apartments that reminded me of New York City
"As long as we're here" is a question that resulted in an afternoon visit to the country of Montenegro.
Mall on the left with apartments in the distance
A view towards the north of Kotor Bay
We had a bit of adventure because we decided we needed some local money. So with a local villager's direction, Jo drove us in the inner corridors of a little village in search of a bank. When we found the bank the parking was impossibly sparse and tight. A passel of local children joyfully shouted directions to guide Jo out of the tight spot (WHEW! That was a tight spot).

The bank was an adventure in and of itself, with a long line but it ended with honest-to-god Euros, which have thus far been unseen, considering we were solidly in European Union countries.

After loading up our purses with Euros we enjoying a nice scenic drive. Soon we were at the Kotor Bay ferry port around noon. For the sake of fun & adventure we bought tickets and soon were all on board. We didnt take the car with us, as we were told the town was small enough to get around on foot.
The Kotor ferry dock
The ferry ride was pleasant and short, perhaps 20 minutes tops. It ended in at a little village on the far side. I was hoping to see some sea birds but alas, of birdies, there were none. *lip trembles*
One of the Kotor Ferry Boats with cars aboard
Jo on Board
Approaching the far shore
Reaching the other side of the bay, we walked along the waterfront, heading towards what we 'guessed' might be the center of the town. Two things stuck in my mind. First was the bay's fishies!
Lots and lots of fishies

And a cat.

In my defense she was a pretty puss.

We walked on and on, passing lots of buildings made of pale gray stone.
The streets of Lepetane, Montenegro
Finally, Jo asked someone where the restaurants were located, receiving the reply, "Restaurants?"

Ooo... not a one on this side of the Bay, in Lepetane anyway. Realizing it was either knock on a door and beg for food or head back to the other side of the bay, we strolled back to the ferry.

Back on the western shore, we drove back along the coastal road, stopping for lunch at the Zotto Capellino Restaurant.

The Zotto Capellino

The upper floor was as empty of patrons as the bottom floor was crowded. We settled in, ordering our meals from the waiter. The second story had its own kitchen.

Far more memorable than our meal, I was side tracked by a wayward European Robin that flew in one of the windows, then skipped about, making itself at home. I helped a waiter shoo it out of a wide open window.
Can you see the birdie, on the back of the foremost chair?
The remainder of the afternoon was spent winding out way back to the Villa Odak which frankly, is feeling a little too homey for me. I want to live there and that isn't going to happen. Rats.

Here's a 'just do it and say ya' did' video of the crossings.