Libby and I arrived very early Sunday morning in Brussels. It would be another six hours before we would take a flight to Zagreb, Croatia, and then from Zagreb to Dubrovnik, the final destination for the first leg of our trip.
Libby had the brilliant idea of booking a hotel for the night before. So, when I arrived in Brussels at 7:15 AM, I got my bags and caught a shuttle to the hotel room she’d reserved, and which we’d have access to until 11am. She was already there and the two of us got big fat, three-hour naps before getting quick showers and heading back to the airport refreshed.
Our flights to Zagreb and then on to Dubrovnik were thankfully uneventful. The Zagreb airport is, I think, the most beautiful airport I’ve ever been in. It was fairly small but designed, I thought, to look like a giant airplane hangar (I’ll come back and add interior shots later. Come back in a week if you wanna see them!).
It was around 6PM (or 18:00 if you’re a local – I spend a lot of time using my fingers to translate time into military time and figure out what time it is and when stuff’s gonna happen and close and whatnot), when we landed in Dubrovnik and were met at the gate by out Air BnB host, Vlogo (pronounced Vlock). It was so kind of him to provide us a ride back to the rental place he and his wife manage. He also was incredible help lugging our heavy luggage up from the parking lot to the apartment which was many ancient steps up. We are staying in Old Town Dubrovnik, which is located inside a giant wall and is very mideivel looking and with a whole lot of steps.
The steps here are brutal, and we’ve been joking that we’ll have “buns of steel” by the end of the trip.
On the drive from the airport to the rental apt, we learned that Vlogo is an air traffic controller and his wife is an archeologist. We asked what we should be doing in the city now that we’re expecting rain. He told us “Well, there really isn’t anything to do here” and went on to wonder aloud why we came when we did – off-season.
Way to sell your country, dude.
Those comments aside, he and his wife have been so helpful, and we have figured out that they bought this apt specifically for AirBnBing back in May and that, in truth, they don’t seem to know much about what’s going on inside the walls.
No matter! We will find our fun!
After dropping our bags and doing a little unpacking, we went out and found a lovely restaurant where I had some hearty beef stew with potato gnocchi, and Libby was surprised to get a mountain of mussels with a giant prawn on top when she ordered a fish stew, “It’s a little more work than I expected” she said, adding that it was still delicious.
After over 24 hours of traveling, we were ready to crash and excited to start the next day’s adventure.