Monday, June 1
We said good bye to Rebecca and Kirby and took a 35 minute taxi ride to Ataturk Airport. Got our bikes from the Airport Storage and checked in , all without problems. The airport does not have wi-fi, although a packed Starbucks does, so we spent the intervening time reading. The flight to Zagreb was smooth. Some how, Turkish Air is able to sell tickets at reasonable prices, including bike transport, have movies, and serve meals on the flights that exceed 1 1/2 hours. Passport control and baggage check in Zagreb took no time and our connecting flight to Dubrovnik was also a breeze. At nearly midnight, we caught a cab (mini van) to our apartment. The view from our terrace, which we could not see last night, overlooked the Adriatic and Dubrovnik across the sea. In a word it was fantastic. Maggie walked to the market the next morning and we had coffee and breakfast on our terrace. The weather was warm leaning to hot. Removing the bikes from the boxes and putting them together took a lot longer than we anticipated, although there were no suprises. Fortunately we both have rear derailier cages which protect them as both our cages were bent almost to the cogs. We used a steel fence and easily bent the cages back to their normal protective shapes. We left the apartment about noon. The 16 kms. into Dubrovnik were without shoulders, difficult and busy with lots of fast moving vehicles and trucks. Quite scary. They were not the type of roads we would have chosen, but there was no choice. The views were outstanding. We arrived in Dubrovnik about 4 p.m. and cycled right into the old city, which is huge and very impressive by any standard. We walked around for a couple of hours admiring the architecture. Most of the buildings appear to have been built in the 16th century. As one would expect, many of the most impressive ones were churches. We could not take pictures inside most. We left the old city about 6 and spent the next 2+ hours trying to find our apartment. Neither the GPS nor the map nor the Booking.com map were of much use because the roads were very poorly marked, often changed names every few blocks, and there was no distinction between streets, alleys and lanes that were not as wide as my arms, fingertip to fingertip and steep stairs were shown to be streets. Many people tried to help us, but often to no avail. We finally found the apartment at 8 p.m., walked to a nearby grocery store, not much larger than a walk in closet, and headed back to make our pasta dinner.
The next morning, after a leisurely breakfast and coffee in the sun porch, we walked back to the old city to catch a 15 minute ferry to the Island of Lokrum. It was a most beautiful ride. The water is so clear you can see many feet down. The island is quite small and doesn’t allow any autos. It has many swimming beaches,
a fort, and a botanic garden. It was a pleasant hike around the island. While taking a break and having a drink at local restaurant, we exchanged stories with a couple from near Munich, Germany.
By the time we returned to the mainland, we were starved. The man we rented the apt. from felt badly about the difficulty we had finding his place last night and had arranged for us to have lunch on the house at his father’s restaurant in the old city. To say that is was delicious would be a huge understatement. No scraps left behind. The rest of the late afternoon was spent scoping out our ferry/ island hopping options and foraging for supplies to make dinner.