Monday, May 7, 2012

Dubrovnik: up amongst the swifts

We woke to rain in the wee hours this morning. It had cleared by the time we'd stirred, and there was barely a cloud in the sky until mid afternoon. We're about to head to supper now, and it's still lovely, if a little cool.

We booked a tour to Montenegro tomorrow; we'll be up early for that two-hour bus ride. Hopefully the good weather will continue. The other significant event of the day was walking the walls of Old Town. Unsurprisingly, it's a popular attraction, but they've done a great job, keeping the foot traffic one-way. I'd also recommend going later in the afternoon; they're closed at 6 p.m., but they don't chase you off once you're up and, today at least, the lighting was superb as it got on for 7 p.m.

Cafe Buza: just outside the walls
As the title suggests, the highlight for me was the swifts: for sheer numbers, as well as their proximity. They're such agile creatures, dipping and diving in and out of the narrowest of alleys, and then coming mere feet from you. When we were staying in Varenna, I had trouble distinguishing them from bats once dusk came on; here, the shape of their beaks, colouration, etc. were all immediately obvious. What I wasn't able to determine is where they were nesting; I kept trying to follow their 'flicking', wondering whether they'd ever get tired. (Having very short legs, swifts won't voluntary land on the ground or perch.)

I'll included a few shots below, but don't forget to check out our album as well.

Update 10:50 p.m.: We'd spied and smelled the smoke from Lady Pi Pi's grill earlier, settling on that for supper. It did not disappoint. I'm stuffed to the gills still. I started with anchovies, and then went for grilled squid; such good choices -- the best squid of my life, hands down -- but I didn't stop there: when I saw Lady Pi Pi goulash, I had to try it. The waiter raised an eyebrow, but dutifully brought it. They'd listed it as a side dish, but it was a meal in itself. And, oh, so good. I put a good dent in the lot, anyway. Tea's steak, with sardines to start, was also excellent. I can see us back there for at least one more meal.

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