Next stop on the trip was Zadar, Croatia. Tatjana stayed on board to rest (translation: text Aaron) while I went to explore the capitol of Dalmatia with the rest of the family. The marble pedestrian streets of the old town weave through Roman ruins, medieval churches and palaces, shops, and most importantly – exquisite displays of gelato! Still, I was anxious to get to Dubrovnik the following day. Unfortunately, that would not happen without drama.
Once the pilot boat saw the ship safely out of port, I went to check on Tatjana by the pool when a huge gust of wind sent my full skirt soaring over my head! Fighting both skirt and wind (which was also blowing my hair in my eyes) to get inside, I failed to see the more than 6 inch lip between the outer pool deck and foyer, which sent me flying – resulting in a severely bruised hip and ego. Off I limped to my stateroom where I iced the injury and received a visit from the ship doctor who asked me to stop by the infirmary before going ashore in the morning when I refused his suggestion to go for an X-ray. First, I was walking on it, and knew full well it was not broken. Secondly, I knew that even if there were a hairline fracture, an X-ray would probably not pick it up, and there is nothing they could do for it anyhow. No, we had only one day in Dubrovnik, and I intended to enjoy every moment of it.
In the morning I signed the ship release as I stopped by to pick up some anti-inflamatories to ease the swelling, then Mom and I boarded the tender to take us ashore. Mom was like an excited child with candy ripped away from her when she saw how beautiful the old town of Dubrovnik is from afar, then moments before we left, we were forced back onboard the ship until I agreed to go to the emergency room for a completely unnecessary dose of radiation.
I’ll never forgive Seven Sea’s for upsetting my mother so deeply and ruining most of our day in Dubrovnik. The doctor callously remarked that we could come back to see Dubrovnik anytime. Considering it cost her a kings ransom to get here, and it was her first visit in almost 80 years, just how often did he think that opportunity would arise for my mother? Clearly the cruise line were more concerned with protecting themselves from any legal exposure, than making sure it’s passengers see the sights they came (and paid handsomely) to see.
Eventually, I convinced mom to go on a tour with Tatjana while I went to the hospital to appease them. No big surprise, the doctor there, poked me in a couple places with his fingers and agreed an X-ray was not really warranted. The lame box of candy the cruise captain sent as an apology did little to make up for their inconsiderate behavior, and certainly does not compensate for the time and plans ruined by their refusal to listen to us.
Disappointed that the fiasco caused me to miss meeting up with my friend, Vince who lives nearby, I was determined to make the most of the few hours I had left in port. I roamed the shops and streets of the old town alone, reminiscing over the wonderful time Tatjana and I had here several years before. Shocked that our favorite restaurant no longer overlooked the fairytale like pier, a tour guide overheard me inquiring, and told me where to find Gil in the old town.
After stopping in the new place to say hello, and drool over the truffle & burrata pizza on the menu – I tore myself away to search for an early birthday gift for Tatjana to remember the trip by. I found myself in the very shop I bought her silver earrings from the last trip, shared a few giggles with owner Joseph, and then purchased her birthday gift. Like Tatjana, you’ll just have to wait to see!
On the way back to the pier I noticed this sobering reminder of the destruction this beautiful town suffered in 1991. Thankfully, the UNESCO World Heritage saw that most of the fortified medieval village was restored, but it is important to remember that not too long ago, many lives were lost too.
Sad reminders and boat dramas aside, this is still one of my favorite corners of the world. I do hope to return again one day. Meanwhile, I’ll savor this Brodetto (recipe courtesy of Vince) and the memories.
shrimps *Weight can vary, use feeling several tomatoes
few cloves of garlic
little dried tomato sauce
Serving Suggestion: serve with polenta. It is not aesthetically fancy, again it is old peasant Mediterranean food with genuine aroma and remarkably tasty fish. I guarantee you won’t be hungry after eating this.