Arriving at 5pm the first thing on my mind was not the sheer beauty of the old town and the size and completeness of its walls, nor was it the breathtaking views over a crystal sea. My first thoughts were of food and where I can buy bread. Munching dinner overlooking the eastern harbour I really started to appreciate the setting for my feast. Two groups noticed the bike which provided some enjoyable mealtime chats.
The next day getting up early to tour the city proved to be the right thing to do. At 7.30am deliveries are being made, staff turn up for work and cleaners are out sweeping and emptying bins. I toured the city ticking off the monuments and churches.
At 8am the wall opens and the next hour and a half I walked an entire circuit of the old town. Many places are picture perfect and I tried to capture the general feel of the place with my camera.
Walk complete I headed back to the campsite on bus to pack the tent and pick up the bike to continue the tour. At 1pm I passed back through Dubrovnik and its was utter chaos. The cruse ship passengers picked up and dropped off, local Saturday day trippers, resort tour coaches, taxis and local busses swarmed around the west gate. Nobody was going anywhere. I ended up getting off and pushing the bike along the pavements to get past the worst of it. The walkway along the wall looked more like one very long queue.
A bike tour feels more like travel than a holiday. A holiday in one place for a couple of days on your own gets a bit boring because there are certain things you cant do, such as relax in a cafe or bar, eat out and take your time for coffee (or usually something stronger). But 3 days holiday I have because my brother Thomas is getting married to his sweetheart Monica. Tickets are booked so I will stick around Dubrovnik in a great little simple family run campsite with 15 placements 6km south east of the city. Makes a change from the usual corporate campsites that dot the coast in Croatia. I really enjoyed my time in the little village of Komaji with fellow campers, on the beach, short walks, eating yogurts and burak and exploring the numerous bombed out hotels.
Of great interest are the shell damaged hotels. These 1970s mega hotels were dated in the 1990s and I can see why they were just abandoned after the war. The did provide some useful packing materials for transporting my wheel back to the UK. Ceiling tiles bound together with string make a great wheel protector.
Back in the UK the wedding and catchup with friends made for my second holiday. I had such fun it makes you think why I threw it all in to go travelling. Im sure I will have all the answers at the end of my trip, but I am certainly having an adventure finding out. Its not going to be a ‘road to Damascus moment’, given the current situation in Syria!
The campsite looked after the bike. I left Liverpool on the first class train (it was only 30 quid!) at 7pm, the flight checking at 3am and departure 5am, arrival 10am (local) breakfast and then reassembled and serviced the bike till 3pm. ‘Re-integrated’ my took till 8pm. bed at 9.30pm. Shattered.