One interesting thing about being in Europe is that their history extends so much further back than that of the States, and people are aware of it. There are many times when we hear about the great earthquake of 1667, and the damage that occurred – as if it happened just a few years ago. I guess when your civilization and buildings go back for many centuries, it could still have an effect even now. We have noticed that the old buildings have been tuck-pointed and kept in better shape than those we saw in Italy two years ago. But they have the same issues of ignoring some of the issues that their tourists face, namely public bathrooms are few and far between. It’s an issue.
We have been on this tour only a couple of days, and have already had to shell out money for several meals, plus a few sights that were recommended in our free time. Other Road Scholar programs we have taken had a lot more included. I think if they should just raise the basic price and include the “optional” activities, so that we are not thinking about taking a cable car ride for almost $40 or walking on the city walls of Old Dubrovnik for a similar amount.
Today (Tuesday October 22) we left our hotel in Igali, and crossed back over the border between Montenegro and Croatia. Luckily, there was no major tie-up at either checkpoint so we were back in Dubrovnik by 10:30. We had a local guide named Marina, who was excellent. She walked us around within the walled city of Old Dubrovnik, which was very crowded with tourists. She knew her stuff and answered all our questions clearly. After a couple of hours, we were free for the next three. So we got some lunch (the food has been decent, though not spectacular) with another couple from our tour, and then headed to the cable car up the mountain (Mt. Srd – pronounced “serge”) just behind the city. The view was lovely, but it was hot and sunny, with no places to relax in the shade. There were a lot of steps to climb too. The buildings of Dubrovnik are lovely to look at; every single one has red tile roofs, so it makes for a beautiful panorama.
The group reconvened at 4 PM, and we were driven to the harbor, where we finally boarded our boat, the M/Y Futura. Our cabin is quite spacious, but it is on the lowest level and has only portholes – I would prefer to have more natural light. At least there are decent light fixtures. We are on this tour because the one we had originally signed up for was canceled last June, and this one was the replacement. So we registered right before it filled up, and all the upper deck cabins were taken by that time. Our room has a large bed, a small sofa, desk, closet, lots of shelf space and the biggest bathroom I have ever seen on a boat. It is underneath the kitchen, so I’m not sure if that will be an issue. Water pressure is good. Internet – not so much. Not sure if the TV will receive anything. I am typing this on a word document and hope to be able to post it on the blog page and send it off tomorrow.
We have 7 or 8 crew. Tonight we are docked next to shore, and will finally begin actually cruising on Wednesday afternoon.
Writing on Wed. afternoon
I went for a walk around the city walls this morning - about two miles, with a LOT of steps. It's in great repair, so I didn't mind paying the fee. We will add some photos of my walk. And now we are cruising!