Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Just me, myself and I

21 May 08

Dubrovnik, Croatia

I have to say, I am not sure what I expected from Croatia; but it certainly didn’t strike me that it would be this pretty! The marina alone was gorgeous .. I didn’t get any good pics on the tender ride in, since I was stuck in the back and the window was closed (and filthy!) Once we got to the terminal, there was a shuttle that would take us from the Marina to the Old City.

I was blown away by how amazing the city walls were around the old city – WOW! I walked around outside the walls first, taking some pics of the water and the cliffs. I had offered to take a pic of a couple who looked like they wanted to be in the pic together, in hopes they would return the favor (they did) so that is my first pic. (which came out really cool btw!)

When I went inside the gates of the city, it was like being transported back in time. Everything was so well laid – and of course it was all in stone and marble. Which baffles me, since people pay so much to have marble put in their homes .. and here it is what they used all the time because it was the resource they had.

I had read about a Serbian Orthodox church in the city, so I wanted to find that; but other than looking for it, I had no real purpose when walking around. I was on my own today and to be quite honest, I liked it that way. I didn’t have to compromise on what to do, or wait for Clare to stop in *every* shop along the way :) So it was kind of nice to do what I wanted, when and how I wanted.

Anyway, I found the main cathedral and it was just lovely. I am not sure if I was supposed to take pics, but I turned off the flash and did anyway .. sorry! But it was too pretty not to capture. The statues they had were gorgeous .. and of course surrounded by lots of beautiful marble. I walked along some more and located the Orthodox church; again, it was like coming home to a church that was familiar. It is a very old church and had suffered some serious damage during the war in the early 90’s (when the succeeded from Yugoslavia) and when you see the pic, you will see they still have scaffolding up. The inside was very basic, and it reminded me of the church I went to in Paris with Mom (on the trip in ’06) I went into the Museum of Icons which was attached to the church; everything was so pretty, and I wanted to buy some icons .. but they were a little pricey (if I was converting the Croatian Kuna correctly) and I was low on cash as it was. I wanted to take pics – but I always feel bad doing that since it is someone’s lively-hood. I did however purchase a CD of liturgy and services from the church. It was playing in the store and it sounded so nice. It reminded me of the ones Mom has at home.

The town has a very strong Italian influence, since Italy is so close; so of course, I needed some more of that awesome Italian pizza! Yum!! After lunch, I wandered around some more and headed back towards the entrance, as I wanted to climb the walls! LOL :) It sounds funny, but seriously, you can go up the stairs and walk along the top of the city walls .. and as high and steep as it was .. I was determined to do it dammit! :)

The views were incredible .. really amazing. So of course you know I was snap-happy! Luckily today, the weather cooperated for once and I got some really nice shots .. I wandered around a bit up there and looked at things from different views. I didn’t go too far around them as I didn’t want to be late getting back to the shuttle. It always gets crowded at the end of the day and then I still needed to get the tender back to the ship. Crew were due back by 4.30 and they have been tough on that “curfew” so I couldn’t risk it. Took lots of pictures in a short amount of time!

I headed back to the square, which is next to Pile Gate (said Pee-lay) to get the shuttle. Ended up being back on with the same crew who were on with me going .. ha ha! When we got on the tender, we weren’t that full, so I grabbed the bench on top (reserved for handicapped pax) once they were done loading everyone on. That way I could get some good pics as we left. Got a cute shot of Mizzie, Jack and Colin sitting in the back, as well as Steph and Jenna showing off their treats that they were bringing back to the ship for later.

One of the ships we were in with was Holland America’s Noordam. I think it is one of its newest as she was really big! For some reason, it got me really excited for my next contract; HAL is one of MTN’s lines, so I could very well go on that ship (if she is available when I am due back to work)

Speaking of work – I was confirmed to sign off in St Petersburg!! YAY!! The only thing we are working on now is the timing of the flights. If there is only a morning flight, I asked to stay on till the 28th, so I can have the 27th to see the city. If there is a night flight, they will probably send me home on the 27th. As long as I get to see the highlights of the city, I don’t care. So I have my sign off date .. now I need my list of available ships! And its only 5 weeks from this coming weekend till I come home .. time is flying!

Here are today’s pics of Dubrovnik:

Tomorrow is Corfu, Greece .. YAY! We get one more stop over there after all; I thought we were done in Greece on the last cruise (and maybe this time I will just steal a man to bring home) We are planning to go to the beach if the weather is good. Fingers crossed!

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