At first I was going to call this post “Weekend Warrior” because this past weekend was one of the busiest weekends I have had in Croatia. But with the passing of April Fool’s Day and the hilarious joke life has played on me, “April Fools” encapsulates it all.
On Friday, I didn’t plan on doing anything; but with hardly any persuasion necessary, I went out to dinner at a so-called fast food restaurant with a few of my housemates. The food was good and it was a very cozy, casual restaurant. I got pizza; and although it may not seem special, it was because the more places I go to get pizza around Dubrovnik the better it gets. After dinner, we went to the movies to see the Power Rangers movie. That was also good; I don’t remember ever being a Power Rangers’ fan growing up, but the movie was good.
The next morning we had our second study abroad trip, but this time it was only for the day rather than an overnight. Our trip was to Konavle and Cavtat, which neighbor Dubrovnik. First, we went to Sokol Grad where a few of us went in and looked around the fortress. There were some really great views, and they only got better as we climbed the stairs to the top of the fortress. On our way to Sokol Grad, we also had a chance to stop as we left Dubrovnik to get a picture of the view from the outside, above the city.
The next stop was about fifteen minutes back towards Dubrovnik; there was a lunch arranged at a restaurant where we were greeted with shots of three homemade liquors (one walnut, one cherry, and one strong other kind) and sweet orange peels and dried figs. For lunch, we had an appetizer of cheese and smoked ham and then lentil soup, a main course dish of some slow cooked meat (beef or veal) and potatoes, then for dessert we had homemade apple strudel. With our meal, we also had unlimited white and red wine. After we ate, we took a small walk around a nearby mill/stream and then headed to Cavtat.
Once we arrived in Cavtat, we had about an hour and a half to do whatever we wanted. As usual, I found a cat that was yearning for some lovin’ from me; and like the cat in Krka, he came right up to me and climbed onto my lap. After leaving the cat (sad face), I think we all took a walk around the peninsula but all at our own pace. It was a beautiful day and we had plenty of time, so as I made my way around the peninsula, I stopped and rested at this area along the water that was surrounded by rocks but had a nice refreshing area of shallow water to stand in or rest my feet in. My housemate, Justin, and I stayed here for about 30 or 45 minutes then took a walk along the rocks to get the view at the edge before making our way around the rest of the peninsula. By the time we got home, it was around 5 or 5:30. I was full from lunch still and tired from both the sun and the food; I didn’t eat the rest of the day and just relaxed until bed.
Sunday morning I got up early, but apparently not too early because I woke up before my alarm (which seems to be a pattern this week). One of my housemates, Liz, and another girl studying abroad, Julie, and I took a ferry from Dubrovnik to Lopud Island. To get to Lopud, it is about an hour ferry ride, and at least during the off-season, there is only one ferry there and one ferry back per day. The ferry left at 9:30am, and we stayed in Lopud all day until the ferry picked us back up around 6:45pm.
I didn’t know what to expect from the island; I started doing some research to see what it was like but all I remember was giving up easily on that. When we arrived, other than the café of people staring at us as we walked up to dock, it seemed like a ghost island. Honestly, I don’t remember what our initial plan was, but I do remember that we just started walking. And by walking, we really just started climbing. We climbed up a seemingly endless number of stairs and besides the few scattered housing along the way with minimal signs of living, I didn’t think any was on the island but us. When we finally reached the stairs, we started following signs for churches, but the only church we found was the ruins of St. Peter’s. And the path that took us there? It was like being in a movie where we are the characters walking through the trees and bushes and weeds and then they close up behind us.
But, it was okay because we survived to tell the tale. After the ruins, we started making our way back a little to find the way to the fortress, which required more climbing. The fortress itself was in ruins much like St. Peter’s; however, the hike up there was worth it because the view from the top was amazing.
Once we made it back down near where we arrived on the island, we decided to start walking towards the beach because it was almost lunch time and there is a restaurant near the beach (supposedly). It was another uphill walk to the beach – it really seems like everything is uphill – but when we got there, there was no restaurant or at least not one that was open. But we had already walked another 30 minutes to the other side of the island to the beach so we rested there and relaxed on the beach for an hour or two. I walked along the water for a little (it was freezing cold, like so cold I got what felt like brain freeze in my feet). Then, after a short walk down the trash-filled shore, I went to rest my feet; I think I even fell asleep but that cannot really be confirmed.
It was now 2pm or so, and we were getting hungry and possibly dehydrated because it had been about four hours walking around in the hot sun without water. We walked back across the island, and finally found a place to eat. It was delicious! I got creamy spaghetti with shrimp, and crepes with chocolate for dessert. It was so good, and to have nice cold water was also great! After lunch, we finished off our day, walking around a nice, shady park; shopped in a neat little souvenir shop, then relaxed in the café by port until the ferry arrived.
We arrived in Dubrovnik around 8pm and home by 8:30. We were exhausted, but it was a great day. And at this point, you have no idea where in this killer weekend, life got me with that April Fool’s joke. Well, it started on Lopud at the café. My phone kept restarting over and over again for no reason. I don’t really know what is wrong with it, but I haven’t been able to fix it. With that said, for the next month and a half while I am still abroad, I will not have a phone anymore. I hope that doesn’t really affect my blog; but since I didn’t bring my camera, I can only rely on my roommate for pictures.
Overall, it was a really great weekend! The weather was amazing, and I was busy pretty much the entire weekend. Coming up in a couple of weeks is Easter and we have a three-day weekend, so hopefully I can follow through with my plan to go to Zadar with at least my roommate and maybe a couple others. Fingers crossed! Until then, I have like four projects to work on.