As we sailed into port, B and I got up on the 11th deck to see the land as we approached and got a few pictures. Since this was our first "land" stop, it was really amazing.
We signed up for the "dune buggy" excursion and it was an awesome day! Started out after we got off the ship with a tiny van--about 20 people loaded into it--winding its way up the narrow roads to the top of a mountain. We grew up in Pennsylvania, which has plenty of winding roads up and down ridges, but this was a new kind of winding road. B was by the window, so she got the full experience of just how close we were to the edge. No matter what, though, our driver was some kind of hero and we got all the way to the top. From that vantage point we could see the entire old city of Dubrovnik, Croatia.
We had to take shifts among our group for the buggies, so we got a chance to have a quick little lunch. I did some sketching and was even able to get out the paints to try to capture some of the moment.
Watercolors and beef carpaccio. With that view, anything is a perfect combination. We only had about seven minutes to eat, though, so we wolfed down as much as we could and then headed up to meet the buggy folks.
Helmets and hairnets on...we were ready to roll! It was like a bunch of awesome auto shop dudes got together and made these carts out of leftover parts. I love me some auto shop dudes, but this was a little scary! haaaaaaa
The group that went before us came back splattered with mud, so we were a little bit worried about how this whole thing was going to go. B drove first.
It was a nice trail, but very much a four-wheeling adventure kind of road. We bounced and jostled and laughed and it was awesome!
We stopped along the trail and explored this setting...a defensive position of the Croatian forces from the early '90s. There were markers for four fighters who died there during a Bosnian attack. Very surreal to know that I have friends who flew in or supported that conflict in all sorts of ways. I was actually stationed at Wright-Patterson during the Dayton talks.
Aside from standing in the middle of what was once a modern-day battleground, the view of the islands and of our cruise ship was fanstastic.
We only had three buggies (plus the leader) in our group, and two of them actually broke down during our hour-long ride. Nice odds! haaaaaa Our battery died, eventually, but we quickly got a replacement and made it back to our starting point for another crazy bus ride back to the port and onto the boat.
Along the road, as the sun was setting on our day, I got this quick pic from the bus of a bridge that now connects the new city of Dubrovnik with places to the north without a more roundabout drive.
As we got back on the boat, I laughed at this sign...just struck me as funny since we all seem to be out of our heads in large, international crowds. haaaaaa