September 23: 2015: It’s my birthday; it’s my birthday; it’s my birthday! (Insert appropriate musical interlude here).
After waking up to more sunshine (and some more fabulous local eggs at the Hotel Nora), we reluctantly said goodbye to Hvar town and began the drive back to Dubrovnik. Our goal was to make the 1:00 ferry back to Drvenik so we could be back to our hotel at the Valamar Argosy with time to spend at the pool after we dropped the car off at the airport. Having confirmed our recollections of the road from Hvar town to Sućuraj (yes, it WAS as tortuously winding as we remembered!), we got in line for the ferry at a couple of minutes past noon. Unfortunately, the line of cars, campers and trucks in front of us already numbered 29, and the total capacity of the ferry is 30 cars. We didn’t think we’d make this ferry, so we got out to buy some last minute lavender trinkets. Most people left their cars parked in the line, and set off for the local cafes. However, about 12:25, an empty ferry pulled in and started loading cars. Several people could not be found and the line started moving around them. At least four cars in front of us missed their cue, so we were the last car loaded on the ferry. The travel gods have smiled on us today. However, as I saw those drivers sprinting back for their cars and staring slack-jawed at the departing ferry, I could not help but feel sorry for them.
The day was so gorgeous and sunny, the drive back along the coast (about 2 hours) was really spectacular, and I coaxed Jim into stopping several times for photo opportunities. Sadly, although there are some mind-blowing views of the old fort and town of Dubrovnik from the coastal road, there are no good places to pull off the road for a photo. The best I could do was a “Hail Mary” shot turned backwards fro the car window, but I’m really looking forward to exploring the old town.
We checked into our hotel and changed to go hang out by the pool. I walked down the gravel path in front of the hotel and found a complete beach club overlooking the entrance to the second Dubrovnik harbor where the cruise ships dock and there is an elegant cable-stay bridge.
OH MY GOSH!!!!! The beach club is ultra-deluxe, but by this time, it’s about 5:30 p.m., so a little cool for a dip right now.
Our tour doesn’t officially start until Friday (9/25) and will include several touring activities in the old town, so we all agree that tomorrow should be a pool/beach day. Instead, we toast the sunset with a cocktail, and set off for our dinner in old town Dubrovnik at Restaurant Dubrovnik.
After a couple of false turns, we find the restaurant, and then we enjoyed the best meal we have had in Croatia. The restaurant had outside seating in an ancient stone courtyard and the moon shone down on us. All in all, it was a magical birthday!!!!!