We came around the corner and there it was, all white-washed buildings and red-tiled roofs: Kings Landing! But wait, where’s the Great Sept of Baelor? Oh, right…
We left Dublin today in the rain. Up well before dawn for our 7:30 flight, we figured the airport at 5AM would be deserted. Wrong! It was a madhouse. We slowly threaded our way along, stopping at all the stations: boarding pass kiosk, luggage drop-off, security hassle. Then an hour-and-a-half wait at the gate to get on the plane. We sat on the tarmac, waiting our turn to depart, the leaden skies beginning to lighten as the sun rose, and we could see rain falling on the green, green fields around the airport. The rain seemed appropriate, somehow, as our parting scene from Ireland.
The plane took off, and we did not see the ground again until somewhere over Luxembourg. The Alps of Austria and Northern Italy were spectacular, and around mid-day we were flying along the Dalmatian Coast, white, with its black spots... No, wait, that’s the dogs.
|Photos taken from commercial airliners are generally crappy, but the scenery really was great|
|How green was my valley? In the Alps, incredibly green!|
We were flying along the Dalmatian Coast, with its sere, grey peaks, steep slopes whose lower regions were clothed in dark green vegetation, and finally, red-roofed villas covering the coast, all set off by the clean, blue Adriatic. We were back in Mediterranean climes! Our landlord had sent a driver to meet us at the airport, a self-admitted chatty fellow who took us the half-hour to our apartment. Along the way the terrain felt very much like Provence, the hilly region in France up behind Nice and Cannes: the same whitish, rocky land, the same scrubby vegetation; the same subtle feel to the sun and air. We could, in fact, drive there from here; up the coast, through Slovenia and west over to Italy, turn right at Venice; then to Genoa and over the mountains into France. Fifteen hundred kilometers, take about three days; but we just got here, and aren’t going anywhere! (Besides, we can’t go back to the EU for another month.)
We’ve been on the road for a good ten weeks, through Brittany and England and Ireland. Experiences have been coming in faster than we can process, let alone record. I’ve got hundreds of photos still to go through, and we’ve got several blogs (at least!) to write. We’ll be here in Dubrovnik for the next five weeks, and catching up will be done, I promise. Although there is a whole new city to explore, stores to find, streets to learn, and food labels to decipher. In France, I was conversationally fluent, and Paula got along pretty well; in England and Ireland, we both got along fine; here, neither of us has the first clue about the language. It’s an adventure!
|Islands in the Adriatic Sea, Slovenia and Northern Croatia|
Up next: still lots to tell about Ireland!