I woke up this morning bright and early to head to the bus station for my 4 1/2 hour bus ride (ugh) to Dubrovnik.
The weather was beautiful in Split this morning and I left the hostel in shorts and a t-shirt. Little did I know what was waiting for me in Dubrovnik…
The bus ride was non-eventful and highlighted by an unexpected passport check as the route from Split to Dubrovnik apparently crosses into and out of Bosnia for a brief moment.I arrived in Dubrovnik at 2:30pm to a grey sky. My directions to the hostel were for buses coming from the airport. They seemed simple enough – bus stops outside the gate of the old city and a 10 minute walk later I would be at the hostel.
What I didn’t know was that, while it’s true that the bus from the airport stops outside the gate of the old city, the bus I was on did not. It stopped at the port waaaaaaay down the hill over 2km away.
When I got off the bus I didn’t know I was that far away from my destination. I assumed that, like Split, the old city was mere steps away from the port and the bus station so I started walking.
Then I felt a few drops of rain. No big deal – it was still warm out and what’s a few drops of rain? I would be at my hostel in a few minutes…
Then, just like that, the skies opened up like I haven’t seen in a long, long time. It just started pouring rain and when I say pouring I mean POURING. I found myself in the middle of a torrential rain storm complete with thunder and lightning. I quickly took my umbrella out and camped under a tree in shorts and a t-shirt hoping it would subside in a few minutes and I could continue on my way.
It didn’t subside…
I finally just decided to head up the hill and just gut it out. My shoes and socks were already soaked through so it didn’t really matter.
After walking in the pouring rain with a heavy pack strapped to my back for an hour and a half, I finally made it to the hostel. At first I couldn’t find the old town as there’s really no clear cut signs to it. Then, once inside the main gate I couldn’t find the side gate that my directions were for. Of course it didn’t help that a leader of a tour I asked pointed me in the wrong direction.
Oh yeah, did I mention there are tons of stairs in the city and that the drain pipes from the roof tops drain right onto the sidewalks creating massive pools of water soaking your shoes as you walk?
Needless to say that while I was kind of humored by being caught in a crazy, sudden rainfall in only shorts and a t-shirt in the beginning – by the time I reached the hostel after lugging a heavy backpack for so long, I was not amused anymore.
I was shown to my room and changed out of my wet clothes. Thankfully there is a space heater in the room so I used it to dry them along with most of the clothes inside my pack that got wet as well.
I went back downstairs and to my delight I found some of the guests coddling some stray kittens who had also gotten trapped in the rain. There are four in total and they just kind of hang around the hostel. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I’m a cat lover and I couldn’t think of anything better to bring back my smile.
Eight of us soon went out to dinner at a place down the street where I had four courses – a fish soup, bruschetta, seafood spaghetti and apple pie. The portions weren’t crazy big and the prices weren’t either. The owner was really nice and I tried one of the girls’ pizza and I know I am definitely going back there tomorrow to get one for lunch.
So, there you have it – a day that could have easily been ruined by rain was saved by kittens!