Woke up at about the same timing as pervious day. Baby K woke up rather early but thankfully he went back to sleep quickly. I went to the bakery to get some pastries for breakfast and 2 lattes from Lavazza. I managed to make a mess when I toppled my cup of coffee at the lift landing, which was quite frustrating since I have less one cup of coffee and also a little embarrassing.
Baby K woke by the time I returned. We would be visiting Dubrovnik old town to take the cable car in the morning. To save ourselves some time, mommy went to buy bus tickets from the kiosks while baby K and I went to the supermarket to get some banana (for baby K who was always constipated). There weren’t any fresh bananas stocked and the existing ones didn’t look edible we so didn’t buy any and proceeded to bus stop.
Bus number 4 came and brought us to the same stop of at the old town but instead of going through the walls to the old town, we climbed the many flights of stairs to cable car street level. It was difficult with my extra 10kg on my hip seat but thankfully my frequent runs helped built the muscles for this.
A 5mins walk from the flight of steps brought us the Dubrovnik cable car station, the location obvious to spot as cable cars travel above the roofs of the houses below could be seen from the street. We got our return tickets for 120kunas per adult from the ticket counter just within the station’s confines. We got into front of the queue as the last one just left. We were glad that the cable car frequency was about 15 mins and with a limit in number of passengers per trip, there was comfortable space while in the cable car.
The cable car brought us upwards above the orange roofs, offering views of the old town and the coast line, all the way till the top station. The top station had various viewing decks where we took photos, a souvenir shop where we bought a tee and a restaurant. After we had our fill of the sights, we took the cable car back to ground station.
Entered the old town through north entrance where we had a taste of the narrow cobbled alleys and many flights of stairs (in our minds we were glad we didn’t stay inside the old towns, this would be hell with our heavy luggage!). We got back out to bus stop where bus arrived just in time. After disembarking at Lapad, we took a short detour to check out the beach nearby, Lapad beach. This was a rocky beach, rather than a sandy one but the waters looked calm enough to swim in. We didn’t have time though.
Upon returning to the apartment, we completed our final packing and I brought the car seat and luggage down to the car in advance. Informed owner time of departure and owner got someone to come help with the check out whom also offered to help carry our barang barang but it was already not required. She escorted us right till we loaded up into the car and opened the private car park gate for us and we left.
The way to Split was the same route that we took in the opposite direction the previous day, coming back from Mostar. As it was going to be a long drive to Split, we split (pun intended) the journey into two, the first half being to Neum for a lunch break and the second half to Split itself. En-route to Neum was a town called Ston that could be worth visiting if we had more time. We arrived at the crossing pretty quickly and the officers at crossings waved us by just as quickly too. The gas at Bosnia was cheaper so I stopped by the gas station as soon as we were in Bosnia. I didn’t have any Marks with me and paid in kuna, a bad move as it resulted in the gas being more expensive. By right if I had pumped in Croatia, the rate was 1.8sgd/L while the rate in Bosnia was 1.45sgd/L. However the rate changed to 1.9/l when I paid in Kunas. I should have just paid in euros instead.
From the gas station it was just a short drive to Neum center. It was a quiet town and as it was the only Bosnian coastal town, I thought it would have been a little more touristy. We drove around trying to search for a restaurant that had parking and we did find one which had a terrace overlooking the bay. Parked by the roadside next to this restaurant Bonaca with a terrace and sat in. We were thinking that this location should offer great tasting seafood and ordered fish. I was asked to choose from a ice filled counter the fish that I wanted which was a first time for me. We also ordered a tuna steak and a tasty mushroom soup. The restaurant offered some starters, on the house, which was delicious. The fresh fish that I chose came after spending some time on the grill. As it was served on a tray, it was first deboned at the table next to ours before finally served to us. The sides were potatoes, vegs and fries. As it turned out, it was a pretty filling lunch and a nice lunch experience overall.
We left the restaurant and parked at Konzum supermarket for some grocery shopping. We bought bottled water and some milk and groceries, taking them back to Croatia and also taking advantage of the cheaper price in Bosnia.
Then the 2nd section began and we got on to A1 tolled highway. This road was fast at 130km/hr (and people go above that) and our trip to Split took about 1.5hrs ( GPS didn’t recommend that route but thankfully Google did). The toll ticket was dispensed at the station and returned to the cashier at the exit of the toll road form payment.
The drive down to Split was mostly a nice easy drive until somewhere in the mountains where we met an ice storm and I didn’t know how to react. I continued on at a lower speed which was also too high (the width of the road gave the perception that I was slower already but still 90km/hr) and also realizing a little too late that pounding of the roof was not from liquid rain but solid ice pelts, the next thing I knew, the wiper wasn’t able to wipe off some frosty gash on windscreen. Eventually I lowered the speed further to a 50km/hr (or less, I couldn’t remember) crawl until we passed the area of storm. Then I realized why some cars chose to hide under the overpass. Paid the toll of 48kuna at the exit, expecting more to pay for the windscreen when I returned the car.
We arrived at 530pm into the city of Split. Common to European cities, there were narrow lanes and many cars, making driving a little difficult. On our first arrival, I missed the entry totally and had to circle around. The second time I arrived, I realized that the road was so narrow (and I was not confident) that I had to drive past it again. Found a place to stop and called Airbnb owner for help, she told us that we were on the correct road and asked us to wait for her on the road. We then stopped just before the small road trying to keep to the sides as much as possible in order not to obstruct traffic and within minutes, the owner drove by and signaled for us to follow. She then turned into the small lane. Gathering my courage, I followed slowly, trying my best to avoid hitting the car against the wall. The owner showed us on foot to the small car park lot next to the apartment and I had to maneuver a few times to get the whole car into the parallel lot with a kerb. As I drove head first into the lot, and with the owner’s guidance, I still stepped too heavily on the gas and slightly hit the front bumper of big car. The lady owner even offered to park for us initially but she couldn’t drive an automatic.
After sweating over parking, the host then showed us the apartment, which was a room that was split from the main building, and therefore much smaller than the one in Dubrovnik. It was beautifully decorated though. The host also brought over some home baked pastries made by her mother, which was irresistibly tasty.
Mommy cooked for baby K in the kitchenette separated by a curtain, while I entertained the little one. Then I went out to buy groceries from Tommy supermarket right across 2 streets, not too far away. Managed to get fish, banana, fresh milk and bread. After that, I went out a second time to get dinner, this time further away, from Split’s old town. The old town illuminated by modern street lighting, was beautiful at night, having the effect of the medieval town night lighted by fire without the flickering. There were still lots of people around, presumably the same objective as me, to get dinner and experienced history while at it. There were many restaurants, so I just chose one, named Konoba Fortuna, that was found in a narrow corridor and ordered spaghetti and chicken fillet for takeaways.
As I was done collecting the food, the drizzle that followed us from Dubrovnik began to drip from the clouds above and I picked up the pace to get back and avoided being drenched. I gave the little one a bath in the similarly (as in Dubrovnik) small bathing area. Here there was a stool that helped as I could sit and bath the toddler at the same time.
For dinner, mommy had the chicken fillet and felt that it was too salty while I had the spaghetti. As usual, I brought out the thrash to throw in the central bins just near the driveway and had my bath. Baby K went to bed by 945 since he missed the afternoon nap. His parents followed suit soon after as we needed to wake up early for tomorrow’s boat trip to Hvar.