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Listening to the country, Day 6

2016 March 18
by admin

En route from Mostar to Dubrovnik, we listened to Serbia pop, which has a distinctly country-meets-latino flair, and some erratic and repeated 80’s English music.  We made three stops: one monastery, one winery and one foot bridge.  I was least impressed by the third. James was impressed by  it.  Its  unique 16th century design, and the fact that it held up to being deconstructed and reconstructed after all that time, 30 years ago.  The monastery had lush paintings on its arched ceiling; you could hear the river to the east, where we enjoyed our packed picnic of sandwiches made form pilfered breakfast items—James’s included pâté from a spam tin!

Once we found our way up a steep footpath to the Podrumi Vukoje, a swanky wine and tapas tasting room overlooking rust-colored vineyards. We sampled three of the vineyard’s wines– a white, rose and red– all 100% locally grown.  We accompanied the beverages with a heap of smoked carp served with horseradish apple sauce and a sizable cheese plate that I could not event finish.  Shocking, I know.

Tonight, we are in the charming sea-side town of Dubrovnik with its high walls and decidedly international flavor, this may be our favorite location so far.  That said, prices are far higher and our dinner of salad and vegetarian bureks plus a single glass of local wine was NYC priced, at $70 USD. The wine we had was Posip Cara Nerica and we were treated to a dessert honey wine called Medovaca on the house.

We are now staying in Marc’s apartment,, a generous host who has amassed incredible treasures, some foraged, traded and many constructed himself. His father rubbed shoulders with Jim Morrison and then recommended his grave site.  His first floor landing sports a priceless, drawn infographic of the history of Dubrovnik, given him for impressing its author with his knowledge of the history of steamship photography.  The headboard of one of the rooms was built for him for free by traveling carpenter journeymen out of the floorboards of a 500 year old palace.

Tomorrow will hold visits to the palace, possible art museum outside of town and some self-catered meals to help alleviate the burden of a place most accustomed to cruise ship spenders.

The trials of travel will take a note as well. We have learned many tricks to optimize our flights. However, in this final leg of our trip, where we need to get from Tivat, Montenegro (where we rented the car) to Sofia, Bulgaria (where we catch our flight back to NYC on Tuesday) there seems to be very few options.

Goal: Spend as little money as possible while maximizing locations and avoiding flights before 6am.

Outcomes: (1) All flights in the region go through Belgrade.  There is no avoiding it. (2) No cheap flights leave Belgrade after we arrive, so we would have to spend at least one night. (3) Reasonably priced flights to Sofia all have stops, typically in locations far from both Belgrade and Sofia, like Warsaw, Rome, and Athens. (4) If we flight to any of those intermediate spots, we still need to fly through Belgrade again on the way to Sofia.


*le sigh*

New plan: fly from Tivat to Belgrade on Sunday, allowing us to spend 2 nights in Dubrovnik. Head directly to the train station and try to book an overnight train from Sofia, leaving 10:40pm and arriving at 8:30am Monday. Wish us luck!

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