Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Ferry to Dubrovnik

KIM: We departed the islands for Dubrovnik Tuesday morning on a huge Jadrolinija ferry. We had wanted to stay in the islands for a few days, but found that the ferry schedule would only allow us a single day. One is better than none, I guess! So we will have four nights and three days in Dubrovnik instead. I think that’s a good trade-off. There was a huge rain and thunderstorm last night before we left Hvar. In the late afternoon the wind rose and the boats in the little boat harbor began to roll violently. In fact, two large sailboats moored at the dock were tossed around so that their masts actually tangled. It caused quite a commotion until various people were able to disconnect them and move the boats out into the harbor a ways. After this, and as the sky got darker, we decided to go back to the apartment for the evening, but Anastasia and Shelley decided to go out again for a pizza once we got back. As soon as they left the lightning began. I could tell it was going to rain, but no telling when it would begin. It probably took at least 30 minutes, but once it started, it steadily increased until it was a huge downpour. I thought about Anastasia and Shelley and wondered if they were trying to hike up the narrow lanes in the rain. I understand that these lanes turn into waterfalls during heavy rains. Also interesting is that when the lightning began, the church bells began to ring, apparently alerting the townsfolk to prepare for the impending storm. After the storm, when Anastasia and Shelley returned, they reported that rather than attempt to return in the rain with their pizza, they decided to remain in the pizzeria (picerija in Croatian) until the storm had passed. They also said that folks were running around frantically preparing for the storm and that the restaurant owner kept apologizing for the weather. The storm lasted for about 90 minutes and then it was over. During the night, all of the standing water ran off or dried and by morning it all seemed back to normal. We headed for the ferry dock by way of the northern round-about route, having heard that the old lavender farms were in this area. Unfortunately, most of them had burned during a fire about three years ago. But, we saw some beautiful scenery, including some amazing ancient terraced fields and made it to Stari Grad well in time for the ferry to Dubrovnik. The ferry is enormous. I would say at least three times the size of the largest WA State ferry. There are two or three car decks and four passenger decks, although we could only access three of them. The route wound among the islands, but there was a substantial bit that was through what felt like open water. In the on-board restaurant, the waiters were pitched around like everyone else, but they seemed to have developed such great sea-legs that they didn’t have any trouble hanging on to plates of food and beverages they were trying to serve. There were several times we thought they would surely drop food into the laps or faces of the diners, but each time, they expertly placed the dishes and glasses precisely on the tables! Amazing. It was almost like watching a circus act!

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