29 June 2013 | Croatia
Maureen and Elise Gillespie
A word from a guest on the Palarran.......it's Maureen and I am sitting at a café
in the square of Dubrovnik- a beautiful, ancient port city with beautiful drawbridge Gate entrances with St. Blaise statues at the top holding what appears to be a sandcastle in his hand. He is the protector of the city and the sandcastle symbolizes the town. The streets are all what appear to be large, rectangular blocks of travertine marble, but we are told they are limestone set in the 1200's polished over time by footsteps. The streets run vertical, off the main squares, you gaze up and the side streets are actually large stone staircases that go on and on. It is appropriate end of our trip here- Jeanne was born on Feb 3rd, the feast of St. Blaise.
It is hard to believe how well we have all gotten along and enjoyed this adventure.
The boat accommodated us all beautifully- the weather was perfect Michigan summer temps- warm and sunny in the day with a breeze and cool and comfortable at night.
The islands all have their own personalities and flavor. Hvar was a beautiful city with a great low marine wall surrounding it. Very friendly and easy for boaters to pull up, disembark and enjoy the nightlife. This city is the place to go for anybody looking for nightlife- the discos are open until 5am. It was great "beautiful people" watching because of the promenade all along the harbor where you could admire the boats of the rich and the richer, and there are also amazing stations of the cross marked by a 10 foot stone cross at each of the stations built into charming stone huts protecting the bronze relief. That evening we encountered our only rain storm, but we "suffered" through it having a drink on the patio of the ritzy Hotel Adriana.
They were quite gracious to our large party- allowing us to all take cover and hang out on their comfy couches. Nicest, beautiful bathroom too- like something out of the Penisula hotel. When I mentioned this to the kids, they expressed concern that I could do a whole blog on the bathrooms of Croatia.
The next night in Korcula we had our only bump of the trip. Korcula is a cool
Port. We loved all the old stone turrets in the town, most of them now have bars and restaurants on top of them where you can enjoy spectacular views of the Adriatic Sea. It was so charming to walk along and see flowering vines, blooming trees and fresh herbs everywhere.
Earlier that evening we had been warned that strong winds were coming in and as a precaution Dave should move the boat further away from the marine wall to prevent blowing into it. Nick and Philip had a very fun night out, they went into the town to a club where they ended up meeting a group of Austrians (early 30's) and it was a mutual admiration society. Small world- it ends up their boat was docked 3 berths away from ours in the marina where the party continued. Apparently "Proust" is the Austrian equivalent to Cheers. Nick traded Philip in for Isabel to hit the teen club scene that night.
Imagine our surprise to awake to a major boom in the night at 3:30 am.
Luckily Elise and Elaina were still awake (Nick and Isabel had not yet returned from a night of foreign clubbing) to witness some fellow boaters drifting away after a nice love tap to the port haul. Dave gruffly arose to the scene and demanded an explanation. He was ignored, and the offending ship's crew continued to clumsily tie their boat to the dock in silence. Nick and Isabel stumbled back aboard right about this time, and Nick offered them a hand with docking. His help was rejected at first but their struggle continued for a good half hour so they finally gave into an American helping hand. Elise and Elaina spied through the porthole as the speedo-clad foreigners scratched their heads in confusion as to why their ship was so out of control. It was an interesting night to say the least, but in the light of day our ship received 2 bottles of wine. One bottle from the friendly Austrians, and another bottle from the offending, now friendly, ship that accosted us the previous night.