There’s no reason to start with any other photo than this one. The sky literally met the Earth yesterday in Dubrovnik. This picture makes me get butterflies in my stomach from how pretty it is. Wow.
I feel like I have about one hundred and ten things to tell you. Yesterday was a fantastic day!
I’m going to make myself a list here of everything I need to tell you and then I’ll write about each thing. In detail. Ooooo!!!!!! Ok:
1. Our newest friends
2. Kayaking and a swim
3. OMG, the naked people and the backstroke.
5. The most beautifully painted lady
Let’s work through the list starting from #1.
We have been so lucky to have met the best people around in this trip. It’s unbelievable. So we told you about our photo shoot yesterday, right? That was with Tomi, a kind and generous human being married to an equally kind and generous, gorgeous, wife. Wow. On Sunday we met Tomi. He asked where we were staying and offered to me is at the hotel. We met in the am and the three if us immediately hit it off. Our initial coffee went from a short meet and greet to a three hour catch up on life. Totally our style. One of our favorite things was getting to talk to a colleague about work. It was amazing. We talked about all the highs, the higher highs, and then about the challenges (ranked as a lower high). We shared wedding war stories, the whole time laughing at each others unique crazy experiences in the photography world and how each unique story from him was actually a universal twin story of ours, since it had happened to us too. It was funny to laugh about the pain of the dirty, behind-the-scenes work of photography that includes mindless hours of dumping memory cards onto your hard drive, backing up the hard drive and the backing up the backup hard drive, editing into the wee wee hours of the morn, and culling through thousands of images a week to select the best of the best. There was something healing about the experience; Dado and I don’t run into the opportunity too often.
There was some sort of unspoken, mutual respect between us. There was no out shining, no arrogance, and no competition. It was three people with a love for photography and I think it warmed everyone’s heart.
On Monday we had the shoot. It was so much fun!! Ladies if you don’t own a crushed satin maxi full circle skirt, you’re crazy! Go get one! Then, stand on a rock on a windy day. It doesn’t even matter if its a tree stump. It just need to be off the ground and somewhere close to someone with a camera. It will also be really awesome if you have a handsome guy in a suit next to you too…and an amazing photographer who is kind and confident. This shoot was fantastic and soooo much of it was because of Tomi.
After our shoot the three of us decided it was absolutely imperative that we eat lunch. Overlooking the Adriatic, we ordered a platter of grilled vegetables, a huge assortments of grilled meats, a giant cold salad of fresh caught sea items and plenty of liquids to wash things down with. Here ensued more great conversations and hugs.
Yesterday we met Tomi’s wife who I had spoke to via email. She was lovely through email. In person though, she was so SO lovely!!! We grabbed lunch at the most awesome place and chatted for hours. These two found this place in our hearts, unlocked it, and made it their own. We love them.
The hospitality and beauty we found in hem made Dado and I so happy. It’s not that nice people don’t exist or that they’re rare. It’s just amazing to find them…to be at the right place at the right time.
Here’s our shout at he end of lunch. (Unfortunately Dado and I looked less than appropriate since we had just from kayaking, ignore that part).
And here was a shot of the loaf of bread! Please understand that bread is the thing here. Everyone eats bread with everything here. Notice the regular sized glass for a size comparison.
It was such a nice lunch. And then we drove to the highest point in Dubrovnik, a place called Srdj. This is your opportunity to laugh at the fact that there are no vowels in that word. It’s actually spelled Srđ, but I gave it to you phonetically.
So Napoleon built a look out tower atop the hill at Srdj back when France took Dubrovnik. France had come by and laid down the law telling the fortified city that it was either them or the city. Aware of the French strength Dubrovnik handed over the keys to the city. For many years the languages came and went as did the rulers. But eventually after the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (what it came to be called) came about, the Croats got Dubrovnik back. Back to the little building on the hill. In 1991, it was used as the farthest point east in Dubrovnik held by the Croatian army during the civil war in Yugoslavia in the early 90s. Ok, so now it has a few things. It has been filled with a Dubrovnik museum of the 1990s war and it has a really complete story of Dubrovnik’s evolvement in the war, likewise the story of the very devastating occurrences in Dubrovnik.
Additionally it has a huge religious monument, a very large cross. And lastly it has the top of the cable car, which you must take up for the breathtaking view as in the top photo, unless you hitches ride up in a vehicle.
Here’s Dado on the hill:
In the memorial building with Tomi like two old buddies…
The tower/post was such a neat looking building. There were so many arches and the stone was gorgeous. Likewise the flowers that made themselves a home among the rocks won my heart over.
Earlier in the day, we went kayaking.
I loved watching the salt from the sea water dry up on me. Very entertaining…it’s the little things… ;0)
It was funny, as we went around the island of Lokrum, we also went by the nudist beach. Being decent, I chose not to photograph, however I will tell you that those nudists, that day, were funny!
Here’s the route: up from the mainland (bottom left) along the coast (far left), across the water toward the island through the ships (anchored there for the day), around the island (going left to right) and finally looping, across the bottom of the island back to the the docks (bottom by terra cotta roofs). About 8 clicks.
The nudists were at the far side of the island. As we approached we saw a lot of moons, big bright butts reflecting light into our eyes…as they’d hear us coming, they’d all swing around to show us their layout. They’d be stretching, they’d be posing, they’d be fixing their hair….I guess it was their ease into the world of nude living, because they sure were putting themselves out there. We laughed when one lady in the water decided to switch her water treading into a full on backstroke that an Olympic synchronized swimmer would be impressed with. She had pointed toes and graceful arms as she managed to whip up some twirls before she continued her impressively parallel to surface backstroke…once again giving us the full show. Good for her, you know. Way to do it and do it well. Lol.
Our guides told us about the supposed dark cloud that hangs above the island. Apparently after 650 years of monastery living, the Benedictine monks were kicked off the island and were moved to a smaller island to continue their lives of solitude on an island that was less of a great potential tourist attraction. In revolt (in a monk sort of way), hundreds of monks were said to have circled the island three times with candles they held upside down, with burning flames. The upside down candles coated the path of the angered monks with a waxy, need I say, everlastinglayer. The candle wax that dripped covered the perimeter of island and a curse was put on the island that would stay in tact until the very last drop of wax was removed. It has been said that anybody that after tried to live on the island was cursed, many of which who died. Now the only people who stay for short periods of times in the island are firefighters who come and go in groups of five. I don’t think the number has any significance.
The monastery structure remains, along with the once not wild peacocks who were left on the island by previous long visiting royalty who wanted the precious avians nearby. Well apparently not precious enough, the birds were left there, have since multiplied and now chase soft hearted, bird-feeding tourists for food.
On a different note, the kayak guide told us the west side of the island is referred to as, ready? Sausage fest. I didn’t see any other cold cuts though.
Later on that afternoon, after we came down from Srdj, we walked around the city a little more.
I still had my sandals on from the morning kayaking…they are kind if toast after all the sea water. However, I’m pretty sure I now have a unique salt appliqué that no one else has.
And then a minute later, I noticed how colorful Dado and I were :) love this photo.
While walking around, we stopped to use the loo and as usual were found unaware of the entertaining inventions that live in this world.
Meet the pay-n-pee.
If you’ve seen this already, forgive me for going into detail, but this really was pure entertainment to me. I spent a good 10 minutes in there examining. I was most impressed with the seat!
Last but not least, I leave you with one of the prettiest painted faces I’ve ever seen. I loved this painting and reeeally wanted to get it, she’s even standing in poppies, one if the prettiest flowers…
….and then I noticed a weird shading? on the photo. Dado said we should give the painter the benefit of the doubt and assume it’s shading, ie the artist’s attempt at a shadow…then we thought, if he did everything else so well, how come his shading looks like that? So maybe shading…maybe not. Your thoughts?