Thursday, 21 October 2010

Adriatic Cruise, Part 4

Adriatic Cruise, Part 4.

You should start with Adriatic Cruise Part 1.

19 September 2010; Sunday: Venice
The promised thunderstorm came in the night and there was a bit of pitching and rolling. It woke me up at one point and kept us awake for a while. We came into Venice about 7am, but I wasn’t up to see it

Piazza San Marco already getting crowded

This time, we had decided not to do an excursion so we took the water taxi to Piazza San Marco(it’s a real pity that there’s no vaporetto biglieteria at Santa Marta because this would have meant only one fare, but we couldn’t get tickets before San Marco) and walked for a while looking at shops before taking the vaporetto to Rialto for more shop and an ice cream.

Still the odd quiet corner

Murano Glass - I'm going to have a go at this when I retire

Wonderful windows

Waiting for the vaporetto

Rialto Bridge (with adverts)

On the Canal Grande

Santa Maria della Salute (built in thanks for the ending of the plague)

Queuing for the water taxi

The forecast had been for 20°C but it got much hotter and was unbelievably crowded. We did manage to escape the crowds a bit in some of the less central areas but we were both tired and didn’t want to miss the 3.30pm ‘back on board’ time and we knew it would be a long walk from the water taxi stop to the embarkation point so we came back about half an hour early.

Lifeboat muster

I have to say, I much prefer Venice in the Winter – so long as it doesn’t flood. Lunch was being served until 3.30 so our early arrival meant we could have a cool salad on the Boat Deck. As not many people were back, there was lots of space and plenty of umbrellas. The entertainment was watching the new embarkees doing their lifeboat drill.

Through the Giudecca

Towards the Punta Dogana, San Giorgio Maggiore on the right

We left Venice about 5pm, going back through the lagoon past San Marco, etc. Stunning views, marred a little by the crew’s idea of entertainment for leaving Venice – line dancing to very loud disco music. We all would have preferred something lighter and more classical. We cruised through the Lido and into the Adriatic. Dubrovnik next.

Passing the Punta Dogana

San Marco crowds

20 September 2010; Monday: Dubrovnik


Arrival at the Port of Dubrovnik
Today’s excursion was in the afternoon so we had a chance for a lie in. We eventually went out onto the Boat Deck for breakfast but it was so windy it blew the scrambled egg off my fork! We moved into the sheltered part of the deck and it was a bit better but there was a very fine salt spray; not great when you wear glasses. We got lumbered with a very boring couple and couldn’t wait to get away.

Dubrovnik from the Road
We were late getting into harbour so the trips had to be delayed a bit. Gave us a chance to have an early lunch in the restaurant – much more comfortable.

Cavtat Bay

Before Dubrovnik, we went to Cavtat (pron. Savtat). This is an extremely pretty peninsula with a by each side. Not a great deal to do, but the views were great and we enjoyed sitting in the shade with ice creams.

If you were staying in Cavtat, however, you would need to travel around a bit. It was almost like Cittagazze (in His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman)

(CittĂ gazze (sometimes abbreviated to Ci'gazze),is a seaside town, reminiscent of those near the Mediterranean, which seems to have Italian roots. Its main features are quaint restaurants, parasols hung over circular tables beneath trailing plants, wide cobbled roads, and ancient architecture. However, it should not necessarily be considered "old-world". There is mention of electric devices such as lights and refrigerators and places such as department stores. Thus, the world appears to be similar in some technological achievements while vastly inferior in others such as modern medicine and transportation.)

Interestingly, I saw pomegranates growing in gardens as we left.

The walls of Dubrovnik

The Gates of Dubrovnik

The Old Fortress

Main Street

Central Square

Main Street (marble pavements like glass - dangerous when wet)

The Old Harbour

Up to the Walls

Dubrovnik old town has some great architecture and the main streets are wide and paved with marble but it lacks character. It almost seems as if it has been scrubbed clean to remove anything that might give it character. We followed the guide around the old town and she was very good but I couldn’t really get interested. I wondered whether the lack of character was due to the restoration after the recent bombings in 1991.
“It was the attack that shocked the world. In 1991 Dubrovnik was a UNESCO "protected" World Heritage Site, a designation that was supposed to save it from the war just boiling up in former Yugoslavia. It didn't. Dubrovnik was left practically undefended by Croatian forces as, frankly, no one thought the Yugoslav forces would dare to attack such an important cultural monument with negligible military value. In fact, Serbian-Montenegrin forces wished to seize Dubrovnik from Croatia and annex it to Serbian-Montenegrin control."


After walking around Cavtat and Dubrovnik in the heat, I was getting tired, so we retired to a bar had a drink, paid in kuna and watched the world go by for a while. While we waited for the bus back to the boat, the French sang La Marseillaise (Il n’ya rien a dire!). We got back on board and set sail immediately. Villages on the way to Cavtat: Mlini and Plat. (I can see where Terry Pratchett gets his Uberwald and Borogravia names from).

Next stop: Corfu

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    The best of the Mediterranean and its myriad of beautiful islands from on-board your luxury Adriatic Cruise. Which is the advantage compared with any other traditional cruise lines experience where you are able to enjoy only in large cities along Adriatic coast capable of accommodating such large cruise ships. Thanks...