Well here is the final part of our fabulous trip to Dubrovnik.
8th August - we took a return boat trip from the port to Cavtat (80 kuna return or 50 kuna one way) and enjoyed a lovely trip on calm water with a slight breeze. The journey took 45 minutes. It is also possible to go by bus number 10 from the cable car starting point which I believe is quicker. Cavtat is very peaceful and pretty and the water looked very inviting but we hadn't gone to swim. We walked along the promenade and visited the Church of St Nicholas at one end and the Franciscan Monastery at the other but we stopped off for a rather over-sweet iced-coffee at one of the many cafes in between. We opted not to visit Bukovac's Gallery but continued to walk as far as we could enjoying the view. We decided not to have lunch in Cavtat but took the 2.00pm boat back and once again had lunch at Orlando's.
We then climbed the "Spanish steps" to the Jesuit Church of St Ignacija. The church had been pointed out to us on our guided walk and we probably would not have found it by ourselves. The interior was truly amazing although the fabulously kitsch Grotto of Lourdes was somewhat out of place amongst the rest of it. We then popped into the Serbian Church (which had been closed when we passed it a few days earlier) and then did a little gift purchasing before making our way back to the hotel for a swim.
The chef, having not been able to poison us last night, made a very simple and good spaghetti with mushroom sauce which we enjoyed with white wine.
9th August - today's plan was to visit the Elafiti Islands but we didn't feel we could manage it. With hindsight we should definitely have done this trip and possibly cut out yesterday's trip to Cavtat but we'll just save it for a future visit. Instead we headed back to the old town and saw that the doors of St Blaise's Church were open. Mass was taking place and so we stood in the doorway but didn't stay long as it felt wrong to look in while a service was taking place. Well we finally made it to the Rector's Palace which was probably as hot inside as outside. It was very interesting with plenty of information in English and the architecture in itself is worth a visit. I think the cost was approx 70 -90 kuna. We then made our final visit of the holiday to the Dominican Monastery and museum where we entered through a cloister with a huge well in the centre. There are some wonderful paintings in the museum and also illustrated manuscripts. There was a small entry fee of about 40 kuna.
We had lunch at Oliva Pizzeria where we chose to sit outside. The tables were a little bit too close together but it is obviously a popular place because every table was taken. The pizza was good and cost in the region of 60 kuna. We then retraced our steps to a couple of shops that had caught our eye at the beginning of the day and bought the wonderful candied orange and lemon peel and sugared almonds that we had tried to resist all holiday. I also bought a couple of lovely modern ornaments, thankfully small enough to get in my hand luggage.
It was time to return to the hotel where we spent a short while by the pool before dinner. The chef exceeded all expectations today as we were served sea bass.
10th August - our last day and we felt that we wanted to just take it very easy which turned out to be a blessing. We headed for the pool but there was very little sun and it was breezy but fairly pleasant. Early afternoon we saw the most enormous black clouds and about the same time the wind really blew up. The pool staff started to put away the sunbeds and just as all the guests started to move inside the thunder, lightning and rain started which was shortly followed by the most massive hail stones. This break in the weather was, no doubt, welcome for the locals but, as tourists, we always feel a bit cheated if we don't have 100% sunshine especially when the English summer is rarely anything to get excited about. However, as we watched rather drenched guests coming back from the town or beach, we did feel very fortunate that we had made the decision to stay at the hotel for the day. We spent the remainder of the afternoon reading and chatting to other guests before packing for our homeward journey.
Unfortunately our final meal wasn't going to be a memorable one. I think the success of the previous night must have been too much for the chef.
11th August - we left directly after breakfast and after an uneventful journey (although I did wonder if we would ever get to the checking-in desk due to the huge number of travellers), we were home all too soon. We now look forward to our edible treats so that we can prolong our holiday a little more.
If you have got this far, thank you for taking the time to read the reports - I have no idea if they will be of any help to future visitors to Dubrovnik but I hope you have enjoyed reading them as much as I have had writing them. The added bonus for me is that I now have a lovely record of our all-too-short holiday. Time to plan the next one!