First things first, as always – the end. We have now left behind our hotel at Mlini, and headed out towards the island of Mljet. Before doing that though, we spent our first full and last day of the Dalmatia mainland area in Dubrovnik.
Wandering around Mlini in the middle of the night, we found that there wasn’t very much to do except watch the football (6-0, Croatia v Angola) at the local bar down by the harbour where not only do they sell beers, but also put on a healthy array of Vol-a-vont’s, sausage rolls and sandwiches. Apparently football games in Croatia are what weddings are to the English.
We did finally come across a nice little restaurant that served a mean mixed grill, and a great beef looking thing served with sauce. Not to mention the recurring theme of Fish Pate which is remarkably not dissimilar to Tuna Mayo. The highlight of Mlini, according to the guide book has escaped us on this trip, but given that it’s only centuries’ old plane tree – I’m not too concerned, even if it is Tolkien-esque.
Mlini does have a nice bus stop though, helpfully situated right next to the newsagents that lovingly supplies pornographic crossword and word search puzzle books to the locals.
Don’t let the fact that the entrance to Dubrovniks old town smells of raw sewage put you off. Once up on top of the medieval walls the air is fresh and the views are fantastic. We were greeted by a huge sea of terracotta roof tiles, the original of which were all made by moulding them around a mans thigh. I’m guessing not the same man. A large number of these have since been replaced of course, not helped by the massive siege of the city in 1991-92 where shelling continued until as late as 1995. A room in the far corner marks this tragic event, and the heroes that served to keep the city alive when it was cut off from electricty, water and the rest of the world during the break up of Yugoslavia. The reason for the attack, even more tragic, was because Belgrade thought it was be an easy target that would damage the morale of the rest of Croatia. The city never fell, and instead was rejoined with the rest of the country when Croatian forces travelled from the North, resulting in one of the first big morale boosts of the war. See, there’s some recent history that I was until now completely and totally ignorant of. One of the many reasons that I was guilt-tripped into visiting the country 🙂
Dubrovnik houses many other gems for the sightseer, such as an Internet cafÃƒÂ© in which we managed to put in a reservation for the only Hotel on the island of Mljet. A harbour still under reconstruction; the amazing bearded lady, or “man wearing a dress” (quite possibly the latter); a ferry timetable that you will most certainly needed several degrees in the Croatian language, as well mathematics and geography to understand. It wouldn’t hurt if you were the captain of the ferry either, I’m sure.
But nonetheless, the timetable was decipherable – and as I say, we have arrived on the island of Mljet (one of the many National Parks scattered throughout Croatia… And all that for the next entry 🙂