So after all the fire and brimstone of March, April arrived with a splash, quite a big one actually and it lasted for about a week. The swell coming from the south was impressively large and turned the otherwise calm setting of the Kings Landing (from the Game of Thrones) into a bubbling mass of white foam.
Weather aside, most of the restaurants in town are now open, it still feels very much like a city waking from its winter sleep. One of our favourites, Lady Pi-Pi, is still closed as the road outside is up for the laying of a new water main, although I am sure they will open before it’s finished, health and safety check optional and it will make getting home afterwards all that more exciting.
However, spring is definitely returning so we decided to get out and about a bit to explore, having spent most of last year trying not to kill any builders. So we took the number 10 bus and headed south to Cavtat, a lovely little village just 40mins from Dubrovnik. Ideal for escaping the summer crowds and for some swimming. We had a mooch around, lunch and then caught the taxi boat back (all in the name of research you understand) and are happy to recommend that the boat journey is much better than the bus.
Having caught the travel bug, we then booked a day trip to the three Elaphiti islands of Lopud, Šipan and Koločep, lunch included and free bar, which was good as you wouldn't to want to pay for the wine…although after 4 glasses the red did taste rather nice. I have to say the Elaphiti islands are all very similar, two are car free and one allows them, but possibly shouldn’t. Those with no cars have fleets of golf carts to whisk you around if you don’t fancy a stroll to the beach (which after the wine is almost a certainty).
Even though the Elaphiti island’s have been settled since the Roman times, all three displayed a sort of faded grandeur, although more faded and less grandeur.
I am not sure what it is with Croatia, but it does feel like the country goes into hibernation when the season ends in October and then awakes again at Easter, when really all those jobs, i.e. clearing the beach of rubbish, making sure the coffee machine at the beach bar works, putting diesel in the boat (yes, the boat we were on broke down and we had to transfer to another boat to get back)…should really be done before the paying punters turn up…but I’m probably being picky and it does make for a much more interesting day (see the March blog post for our T.I.C. advice)
Well, then Easter arrived and so did the crowds! The cruise liners are back, but thankfully limited to 2-3 per day which should help a bit. Being based right in the middle of the Old Town does allow you to plan your day around the arrivals. So if you walk the walls before 10am, then go up on the cable car (which at the time of writing isn’t actually working due to some unpaid tax by the operator - T.I.C, see above) followed by lunch. Then back to town for a quick swim at the Buža beach, which is just 40meters from our front door, before an afternoon nap, before you know it all the cruise liner passengers have left for the day and you have the place to yourself again (well, almost).
We were also visited by friends from London over Easter which was lovely, lots of catching up, eating and drinking, lunch at Above 5 is highly recommended, but best to clear your diary for the afternoon as the G&T’s were lethal.
The program of city events has also started, the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra gave a lovely performance in the Cathedral just after Easter, we will put up a list of their upcoming concerts on the next blog post. The Du-Motion half marathon + run the wall events were held on the last weekend of the month. To add a little extra spice for those running the wall (2km + appx 1,000 steps), it rained, making it like running on ice. That said the winner completed it in 11 minutes, with all limbs intact.
All of a sudden April has almost passed and I’m sorry to say it ended as it started, rather damp. Hopefully May will see the return of some settled weather and the cable car will start to operate again !