Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Bye Ioana:(. Hello Dubrovnik!:)

Sunday came and we were sad to realize that it was already time for Ioana to leave us to get to a conference back in Romania.  We begged and pleaded and tried to find a way to get her to stay - but to no avail. 

With her bags packed, we loaded into the car about 8:30 in the a.m. in order to get her to Dubrovnik for her 3 p.m. flight.

So here's the thing if you drive from Budva to Dubrovnik.  First of all, check the map before you go - even if you have a GPS, just check things out to be sure.

And second, if the GPS tells you to go across the water on your route, and there's a ferry there - do yourself a favor and don't think that you can find some magical path that the GPS didn't think of.  Just don't fight it, get in line for the ferry and get on it.

As it turns out, we are your life lesson! 
We passed the ferry and said - it's just taking us to he other side and we can see a road going around the mountain there - which we proceeded to take through small winding roads in villages that butted right up to the water.  Turning and twisting and shifting up and down and pulling over when another car came towards us.  And then after about 30 or so minutes we got to a village by Kotor and we know - we were going a very very long way out of the way and he next urn would bring us back to the road that would bring us back to the road that would bring us back to the ferry... And so we gave up and we took that road and headed back to the ferry.

And we got to the ferry - and we got in line and got on the ferry for the quick 20 minute ride across the water to the other side...

And we were happy ...

And we smiled...
And we peacefully watched the town we had passed through twice, pass behind us!  And we were never so happy!

So because we are coming from Montenegro into Croatia, we got to two borders we had to cross - which took us forever!  We had to go through Montenegro...
And then Croatia which just looked like another of he above border controls.  Even though Croatia and Montengro are part of the EU, neither country is a Schengen country which means that their borders are not open.  There are 26 Schengen countries where you can freely go through what used to be old border controls.  Hungary, Austria, Poland - those are some of the open border counties within the EU.  So once I change planes through Frankfurt or Munich, I'm free to roam 26 countries without having my border checked again!

So anyways - two long lines at two borders and then about 30 more minutes and we were dropping Ioana at the Dubrovnik airport.

And I said goodbye to Seans blue suitcase that had carried photos, memorabilia and many other things back and forth between home and Jacksonville.  One last pict of blue and one last pict of Ioana! (Well for now:)

And then Mel and I drove the remaining 40 plus minutes through the mountains to Dubrovnik!  One of my favorite cities!  I was so excited to introduce Melissa to it!

We walked through the old city and went to a restaurant on the water that I've eaten at before - a quick snack before we did some more wandering.

We did a little walking and then we headed to one of he entrances to walk up on the city walls.

Then we finally got around on the wall where we could begin to see where we started from!

And the back at the beginning you can look out over the red tiled rooftops of the buildings and at the sea...

And then we walked back down and walked a little more around some of the alleys of the city (again looks kind of like Venice) and did a little shopping and then grabbed a gelato and headed back to the car!  It had taken us like 3 hours to get here and we weren't sure what borders and ferries were going to look like so we headed out.

And stopped up at a pull out at the top of the mountain to take one more look out at what was now a city that Melissa loves too!  Dubrovnik!