I got up early and headed into town to get coffee and have a little explore. It’s a great time of day to sit and people watch as traders set up their stalls and elderly locals trade gossip. Also the shops open but are dead, so it’s a good time to check those out too.
I found an AMAZING place called Little House art atelier.
I bought some gifts, it’s going to be hard not to go back and get myself something. Everything is handmade by local artists, it’s all slightly offbeat but beautiful to look at.
While we’re on the topic of artists, I also passed this tribute to a famous local artist called Ivo Grbic, who is celebrating his 85th birthday.
He looks like he’d be a fun guy to hang out with, here he is in front of his house which is apparently on FIRE during the siege of Dubrovnik in 1991 (which I’m planning to learn a lot more about, though I know I’ll get a very one sided story from most Croatians).
Also I love this motto, which is inscribed on Lovrijenac fort, dubbed ‘Dubrovnik’s Gibraltar’.
The jewellery shops here are incredible. I went into this one and immediately had to leave before I made any foolish decisions.
I headed back to the flat to meet our friend Breogan, who had just flown in from London.
We went for a coffee in the town overlooking Onofrio’s fountain, which is amazing. It was built in 1438 as part of a water-supply system to bring water from a well 12km away, and still works today.
I got my gel nails fixed (one had chipped, you can take the girl out of Essex etc 💅). Then we went to get the cable car. I can see why the taxi driver recommended it, it’s an absolute must see and just 130 kuna each (£15). Here is the view from the top.
We got a late lunch up there at the highly rated (and expensive) Panorama Restaurant.
Totally worth it. I had beef tagliatelle and Greek salad. Didn’t need another meal for the whole day!
We also tried some local wine that the waiter had recommended. It was lovely.
The waiter also told us about the local winds: Jugo and Bura. A bit like le mistral in the south of France. Jugo is warmer and comes from the sea, bringing storms and humitidy, while Bura comes from the north and is cool and dry. The good one, basically.
I found this tribute to Robert Ivušić at the top. A bit of googling tells me he was a Croatian army hero who died after stepping on a landmine in 1992.
We walked back down the hill. Got quite a lot of exercise going up and down steps yesterday!
By then it was nearly 5pm, so we went to the square to do a bit of drinking and people watching. It was great fun. Then we went back to our flat to prepare to go out for the evening. In the end we ended up hanging out with our new American next door neighbours, who are from Chicago, plus our Northern Irish and Canadian friends. The Americans are absolutely fab: Craig and Sue, in their late forties. Craig works in UX, though he used to a be a pot washer in a restaurant. He has a great taste in punk music and enjoys grappa. Sue works for the local educational authority. She is very interesting, outspoken but thoughtful, and well travelled. So we didn’t go into town until 10.30pm! It was hilarious. We did a lot of dancing, the Canadian guy (who is married) tried to be Breogan’s ‘wing man’. He got some American girls to come and chat to Breogan but he was pretty unbothered about them and essentially just carried on what I can only describe as twerking in a corner. We then nearly went clubbing with some Irish gay guys but then all had to admit we were too knackered like a bunch of old gits. Apart from the Canadian who took his pint with him and kept trying to get in the sea. And also kept offering to carry people into the sea (he’s an officer in the army so super fit). It was all utterly ridiculous. Great fun though. I stuck to the local 2% lemon beer so I’m fine today. I haven’t spoken to any of the others yet 😂