Misc. Drubrovnik Photo #2
Dubrovnik, too has its "old man in the mountain."
By the time we have climbed back up to the apartment and grabbed a shower, the terrace is once again comfortable. By 7:30 the swallows have started their nightly ballet - we are up so high we are nearly level with them. Sometimes there is music on the square - last night was two performances of something that involved a full orchestra, a large chorus, and a tenor who could _really project. Generally speaking, noise from the city below is reduced to a dull, distant roar way up here - but the extra story or two does in fact make a world of difference. The first two nights when we actually slept in the bedroom we had to keep the window shut until after 2 am because of all the noise wafting up from the street -- and losing the nose also meant losing whatever breeze might accidently find its way between the tall buildings.
After two nights of sweaty, sleepless misery we were determined to come up with a better plan -- and so we did. Fred dragged the two single mattresses up the stairs and we spent the final three nights sleeping blissfully under the stars, high above the city noise and heat with plenty of breeze to lull us to sleep.
The wind here is weird. Back home, you can have a windy day, you can have a breezy day, you can have a still day. Here it can be all three at once. It will be perfectly still for an hour or two, then all of the sudden you get about 5 minutes of strong gusts - maybe as strong as 35-40 mph, causing books and laundry and everything else to take flight - which will settle down into a pleasant breeze for a few minutes before everything goes still again. Wait an hour or 15 minutes or maybe even less and the whole cycle repeats itself.
Our big night out
While on one of our morning prowls we came across a lovely place -- Labarint? I think - that looked like a promising choice for a night of pure indulgence. It was built into the fortress walls and even employed the buttresses as dividers to give individual tables cloistered privacy. We picked a table out on a point, all by itself atop the castle wall and made our reservations for 8 pm.
We had the temerity to arrive about 10 minutes early. There didn't seem to be a maitre d' on duty so we showed ourselves to our table where we had the satisfaction of finding an embossed "reserved" sign and a piece of paper with Fred's name on it. The view was as wonderful as we had expected though it could have been improved with a cocktail or glass of wine. However, we sat in our seats for nearly 15 minutes before anyone bothered to acknowledge our presence, and that was only after Fred wandered over to a waiter's station and asked if it would be possible to purchase a bottle of wine. I got some entertainment watching potential patrons climb upstairs, walk all the way around the castle walls - only to find a bunch of table with embossed reserved signs on them before turning around and walking all the way back. I guess that's just the way it is done here in Croatia I said to Fred.
We finally got up and mugged our waiter one more time for our check. It was too dark to read but he was happy to take our credit card and tell us which line to sign. We were relieved to not have to deal with how much of a tip to add but no telling what that meal cost us. (Unique cultural experience? Priceless!)
On the way home I mentioned to Fred that I had a bit of a sore throat that I really hoped would not amount to anything. By the time we checked out of our quarters at 7:30 the next morning it had developed into a full-blown Croatian cold. In the middle of the hottest Eurosummer in 200 years.