Thursday, May 23, 2013

Dubrovnik -- and Rain

As mentioned, the rain started immediately after we ended our cycling yesterday. As it continued on and off through the evening and into today (Thursday) we realized anew how lucky we were for the duration of our tour. Despite the rain, we ventured out around six pm for our visit to the salt works -- a series of 53 pools where sea water is evaporated and crystallized. 
At the Mali Ston Salt Works
This has been going on continuously for many centuries. It is now privately owned, having been rescued from debt by our exceedingly enthusiastic host and guide.It turns out that he is also the owner and enthusiastic promoter of our excellent seafood restaurant. In his imprpomptu "quiz" after the explanation of the salt works, I won a kilo of the prized sea salt.

Dinner consisted of many courses of seafood, starting with oysters, raw or grilled, followed by a bowl of steamed shellfish including mussels, clams and a few that I did not recognize. Next was a course with two risottos, one with squid and the black ink that gives the dish its color, and the other with 11 different varieties of shellfish. The main course was scorpion fish, accompanied by a swiss chard and potato blend. All this was topped off with a choice of desserts. I had a special kind of cake made of pasta and chocolate -- it was delicious.
Cristina tries her first oyster
Assorted shellfish
Black Risotto and Risotto with 11 Shellfish
Scorpion Fish
It was raining fairly hard this morning as we bid goodbye to Cristina, Silvija and Ante our three wonderful guides for the last 12 days. We then boarded a large bus for the trip to Dubrovnik where most of us are staying for various lengths of time before heading for various additional destinations.I had made arrangements in a hotel inside the old walled city back in November; about three weeks ago I learned that it is currently closed for renovations. (Why they didn't know this earlier is a sourced of some annoyance.) It was too late to get a different hotel in the old city, so I am in a modern hotel about a mile away. That wouldn't be bad, except for the rain. 

After checking in, I started the walk to the old city, crowded with almost as many tourists as rain drops. We saw several large cruise ships as we entered town. Most of them will be leaving by midafternoon, so it should be less crowded when I return. I was absolutely soaked by the time I got to the bottom of the hill, but made the best of it for a couple of hours before returning to the hotel. I have a walking tour booked at 4pm (about an hour from now). There seems to be a break in the weather, so I will give it a try, taking along my full rain gear. This looks like a fascinating city, and I would love to see it in good weather.

By the way -- I was the first rider in yesterday, and ended up with the yellow jersey. On that note, my blog for this tour comes to an end. Thanks for reading.

Silvija, Ante, Guy and Cristina


  1. What an awesome experience for you!! I look forward to chatting with you about this the next time we're together.

  2. Guy,
    I always knew that you were an overachiever - well done doing all those extra loops and climbs! It sounds like an amazing experience with the local cuisine playing a large role.
    Do hope that we can cycle together sometime soon. Meanwhile we are following in your tire tracks and will be cycling Croatia in September.
    Diane & Bill