Cruising: Mljet to Dubrovnik, and end of cruise

The engines shudder into life at 7am, the same as most other mornings on this cruise.  Before too long we are underway.  I lie in bed feeling the boat rock and roll.  We list to port, and the powerful engines drag through the wash of water, the bow lifts and we roll to starboard.  We don’t normally feel this much movement.  “Must be choppy today,” we comment to each other.  Bill opens the porthole cover.  He is tall enough to see outside. ” We are racing the Aurora,” he says.  The convoy of cruise ships is on its last leg of the cruise – the haul back to Dubrovnik.

In Dubrovnik port on our arrival

In Dubrovnik port on our arrival

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Patron saint of Dubrovnik - holding a model of the city in his left hand

Patron saint of Dubrovnik – holding a model of the city in his left hand

Street performers, Dubrovnik

Street performers, Dubrovnik

A 'typical' private craft in Dubrovnik waters

A ‘typical’ private craft in Dubrovnik waters

Back on the top deck, we admire the passing scenery of rocky, sparsely vegetated islands as the Adriatic Pearl plies on through the blue waters, cutting a wide, rolling circle like the hips of a girl with a hula hoop.  A vessel going in the opposite direction sends vibration waves in its wake, for a moment we bob up and down like a cork, until we resume our gentle roll, pointed straight into the wind.
This is such a tough life, but someone has to do it.  We are lapping up our last moments of relaxation.  By tomorrow we will be back on the road again. Even now, the chore of re packing our bags hangs over our heads.
As we slide into Gruz Harbour at Dubrovnik, we pass several large ocean liners.  We wait for a smaller craft to leave port, then another small cruiser docks and we tie up alongside.  Within the hour, another three have hitched alongside us.  The amount of cruising traffic in this part of the Adriatic has to be seen to be believed.  Not to mention the size and luxury of some of the private craft in these waters.
Dubrovnik is as pretty and dazzling as when we first saw it last week.  Our city guide is informative and succinct, anxious not to overload us with detail.  I am cursing myself now, because I forgot to take my notebook, and there was a small item which I thought would be just right for this blog.  Of course, I have forgotten it now.  Blast!
imageFor our last glimpse of Dubrovnik we took the cable car to the top of mount Srd.  It is a decent uphill walk to reach the base of the cable car, but much easier than walking up the mountain as some prefer to do.  From the top, one has a spectacular view of Dubrovnik, the old town, outer areas, and the surrounding islands.  It is well worth the excursion.
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And so our last night of the cruise ends, as usual, with a superb three course dinner, and a chance to thank our nine person crew.  They have worked extremely hard for our pleasure and enjoyment all week long, and they start again with a new contingent of holidaymakers at 11am tomorrow.
And tomorrow is a new dawn for us as well, off on the early morning bus to Split, as we commence our journey northward through Croatia.
Friday 5th July 2013, Garrulous Gwendoline, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Our last sunset from the stern deck of the Adriatic Pearl.  Photo courtesy and copyright of Jay

Our last sunset from the stern deck of the Adriatic Pearl. Photo courtesy and copyright of Jay

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