Continuing our completely out of sequence reporting – we’re in Dubrovnik now, staying in an apartment with a view to die for….would you expect any less from Liz? This is what we look at each morning
The 2 bedroom apartment comes with all the essentials – lots of hot water, full size frig, gorgeous balcony, wi-fi and a charming 31 year old landlord (Tomo) who we conscript into taking us for lunch (he brings along his lovely partner Jelena). The following post-dining picture will introduce the characters – the waiter appeared only at the lunch portion of our tale
It must be pointed out that the apartment also comes with Tomo’s parents, who live under us and regularly appear at our door with cherry cake (scrumptious), deep fried pastry with jam filling (Liz/Deep Fried, say no more) and oranges from the tree in the garden that we juice…life is hard
We head off to Ston – 40 minutes of classic, wonderful cliff roads. The VW Golf justifies its success in Europe. Ston is another tourist gem undiscovered by North Americans with haunting ruins and narrow streets
Tomo has done some computer work for a fortress that is being restored. We enter by ways tourists do not normally use
Unfortunately we have no photos of the unrenovated stone stairs beyond that iron gate that threaten to send the clumsy Beeby’s to the local Emerg
We pop up at the top of the fortress, looking down into the interiors that are under renovation
We can also view the salt pans which have been worked for centuries
But amazingly enough we also get to view one of the longest fortified walls in the world (second to the Great Wall of China?) It’s amazing since it is effectively built vertically
You can walk the wall. We did not. We went to lunch.
Our hosts take us to their favourite – tasty fish pate with excellent toasted bread appears as an amuse guele
Who knew Croatia produces great oysters, and they’re coming out of the bay 100 metres from where we are sitting and this is their absolute peak timing? These are really, really good oysters (best?). Meticulously shucked, succulent and they had Tabasco for Dickie. Cannot overstate how good they were – should have also ordered them poached, grilled and fried
Along with the oysters we had the local ham with olives. Two points – we believe the ham is air dried versus smoked (possibly lightly smoked after air drying). Liz and Dickie think it’s better than prosciutto or Spanish. Tomo informs us that it’s not smoke enough – these kids are genetic foodies
The ham was easy – it is the accompanying olives (which are billed as restaurant made) that prompts the most intense discussion. Liz and Dickie think olives come out of a jar. Both Tomo and Jelena agree that these olives are not as good as the ones their mothers make – since when do mothers “make” olives? Jelena explains that her mother uses a family heirloom tool to gently crush the olives prior to marinating…a tool this restaurant clearly does not have. We are enchanted. (note – we think the restaurant olives are delicious!)
On to the next course. Risotto with squid ink and seafood – apologies for the photo – Dickie set the exposure wrong
It looks ugly but it tastes great and it leaves everyone at the table looking like a failed tryout for a role as the Joker. Wonderful seafood flavour – perfect texture and (unlike the Italians) they gave us parmesan!
Then a seafood platter for 4 – many wonderful things including a few we didn’t recognize
Overall a delightful meal. Far fewer photos than a typical Liz/Dickie holiday meal since we were grilling our poor guests on living through the Balkan war; their current relations with Serbia and what they thought of the West for ignoring them while their families were dying in a stupid war.
There may be a Libya lesson here.
We are becoming romantically involved with Dubrovnik……..
Another wonderful day – just a quick Croatia update.
Visited a magnificent Roman arena in Pula, Croatia – about 30 minutes from our apartment in Rovinj
Then an incredible lunch with the owners of our apartment at a country restaurant that even Google hasn’t found. It will take pages to describe just the wine that was mixed with bread and sugar and heated on a wood fire – we’re not kidding. Plus conversation about living under Communism (not terrible) and the Serb/Croatian war in the 90s (terrible)
Pic of us and our landlords Zorica and Zoran
Our wine coming out of the wood fire!!!!
Lunch – well, a small part of it
Followed by exploring a 1,000 year old castle that for we castle lovers was one of the best ever
Off tomorrow for a 5 hour drive along the coast to our next destination – Trogir for 3 nights. Rovinj was very special!