Tag Archives: mussels

Nova Postcard

Ivan, Lil Dave and I woke up at 9:30 am on August 3, 2012. 

We checked out of Vila Panonija. 

Lunch was at Caffe Che Nova? 

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It was great eating lunch in a such a lovely setting.  Lil Dave had banana pasta. 

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Ivan and I shared a delicious prawn & tomato stuffed squid and an average salmon risotto.

Our backpacks were left at storage at the hotel – so we picked them up and headed to Old Town.

I put a few postcards in the post box.

It was almost time to leave, so we walked to the bus station.  Everything seems so much farther when you have heavy backpacks on and you’re walking in the hot sun. But we don’t mind too much, as we think of the extra weight as ‘exercise’!

Sometimes you’re not assigned as seat as this was the case.  Ivan put our big backpacks in storage while I grabbed good seats.  We got lucky with a table all to ourselves.  Lil Dave was happy since he got his own window seat!

The bus arrived at the Montenegran Immigration at 4:20 pm.  The bus went into the bus lane and it took 30 minutes.  Ivan and I forgot again about the next Immigration for the Croatian side.  There was a really long line.  We were done there around 5:40 pm.  Thank goodness the bus was air-conditioned and we had cold water – otherwise the wait would have been a bit unbearable.

We arrived in Dubrovnik, Croatia at 6:30 pm and got a taxi to the Old Town.

The place we stayed at was called Dubrovnik Rooms Seka.  It’s run by a friendly red-headed Croatian lady. 

She asked for our passports and said did we want alcohol or coffee.  Ivan asked what the alcohol was and she said rakia.  I said we love rakia.  It was a lovely homemade (made by her!) rakia welcome shot.  She did a shot as well – not as big as the ones she poured out for us.  She didn’t speak much English, but she was super friendly.

Unfortunately, there was no free wi-fi like as it was advertised…..but it had a lovely view and was so close to the Old Town. The picture below was of the view from our window.

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We had dinner at a restaurant called Café Dubravka 1836.  We had a nice view of the castle walls.  Lil Dave got a banana soup and a banana lasagna.  Ivan and I shared a fish soup, tuna pizza and mussels in red sauce.  The fish soup was quite plain and tasted more like a boring chicken noodle soup.  The tuna pizza was very good.

We walked around the Old Town which has cobblestone streets.  Its truly a really magical place to walk around. I like all the cool souvenir shops and the restaurants playing music. 

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Dubrovnik is a lovely place especially at night.  I like the buildings with the green shutters.

Ivan thought we go check out D’Vino wine bar. 

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Ivan and I wanted to get the cheese platter, but we were stuffed from dinner.  Maybe next time.  We each got an espresso and chilled out.

It was great to check out the very cool postcards and the souvenirs in the shops.  I bought a bunch of postcards and we headed back to apartment at 11 pm.

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Dancing Mussels

On July 30, 2012, Ivan, Lil Dave and I got a taxi to the bus station.  We got a mini bus to the border of Albania at 11 am.  There’s no air conditioning on the bus.  There’s two windows that can be opened and people closed them.  I felt like I was going to puke since it was so stuffy and hot in the bus.  Ivan reached over and opened it again after the guy shut it. The guy looked at Ivan like he was crazy, but made no attempt to close the window again.

Ivan and I watched a few episodes of Beaver Falls on the laptop..always handy to have a laptop with plenty of stuff to watch, to pass the time!!!!

We arrived at 1:30 pm and a man approached us for a taxi to Budva for 50 Euros.  Ivan said yes and we put our backpacks in the trunk and he drove off.  Our driver was named Jose. 

We started approaching the border and he totally cut the line which was really long.  Ivan liked him already since Ivan would have done the same thing.  We think our driver ended up bribing a border agent (Ivan’s guess was 5 Euro) so that we skipped the long line.  Thank goodness he did that otherwise we would have been in line for an hour and a half….at least

Ivan looked up the address of the hostel and it was IV Proleterska 37.  He thought I Proletrska would be the same. Ivan was looking for the hostel.  I was standing there watching our backpacks.  It was really hot out and I was sweating.  So, we got dropped off in the wrong area.  There was a man and a woman walking – the man hugged Ivan, but he didn’t speak any English.  Ivan kept searching for the hostel.  The man who hugged Ivan was talking to me in Montenegran.  I had no clue what he was saying.  He made the international sign for sleeping.  I wasn’t sure if he was offering to show me a hotel or to come to his house.  I just said no and shook my head.  He shook my hand and was on his way.  This just shows that there’s actually nice people in the world.

Ivan found out that the I Proletrska is not the same as IV which is in a different area.  I read that some of the streets have no names here in Budva.  I guess this is where U2 go their inspiration from.  So, we hopped into a taxi and were taken to Hippo Hostel.

A guy showed us to our private room which was called the Sun Room around 5 pm.  Ivan found out that the hostel has a dog, cat, a hippo and two turtles.  Lil Dave doesn’t like cats, so he thought he should just stay in the room hidden in a bag.  He really needs to get over this silly fear – he thinks cats are going to eat him.

Later on, we walked to the beach.  Lunch was at a restaurant right next to the beach. 

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We had a good fish soup and a massive plate of fried fish with potatoes and spinach.  There was so much fish that we didn’t end up finishing it all.  Ivan thought we should have a light dinner later on and I thought that was a good idea.

We headed to find a seat on the beach.  The water was too cold to get in – Ivan thought it was because it was so late.  I was really tired since I woke up early at 8:30 am this morning.  Ivan walked around while I took a nap on the beach – which is not sand but stones.

It was time to head back to the hostel.

That night, we walked to a street that was filled with so many people and souvenir stalls.  I also saw a place with billiards and arcade games.

Ivan, Lil Dave and I had dinner at Jadran Kod Krsta restaurant which is known for it’s mussels.  Lil Dave got a banana penne.  Ivan and I shared a fish salad and mixed mussels with a delicious red sauce. 

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We also had a lovely white local wine which the waiter recommended – he said it went well with the mussels and it did.

The main street, the Promenade, with many bars was close by, so we walked there.  One bar’s music sounded good and we got a drink in there.  Ivan and I danced a bit.  It seemed like the bar was filled with lots of Russians and the Russian women liked to dance.  I can’t remember the name of this bar, think it was 3 down from Trocadero.  We had a Mojito and then went in search of a new bar.

It was great that we didn’t have to enter the bar completely to what kind of music was playing.  We went to Trocadero and it was Serbian music (I think!) and everybody was singing to it.  It didn’t sound very exciting…unless you were Serbian maybe..or Russian….or another Eastern Europe/Balkan country where this kind of music is popular (to us it all sounds like circus music!!)

We kept checking out the music at the bars, but none of it was any good.  Ivan thought we should go to Top Hill to check it out.

In one taxi, the meter was jumping up like crazy.  I told Ivan to check it since we’ve been duped before in a taxi in Belgrade.  It was going way too fast.  We made the driver stop, got out and I yelled something bad at him.    

Took an honest taxi up to Top Hill.  We didn’t go in though, as it was 20 Euros each to get in since a Montenegran band was playing.  Darn it!!  Oh, well.. we’ll be back in 2 days to see DJ Roger Sanchez here.

Got a taxi down to the Promenade.  I guess the taxi couldn’t go the way we came because of Police or maybe it was only one way on that road. It took a lot longer to get back. We really went for the scenic tour. We walked back along the bars, but they were already closed.  I guess they do actually close at 1 am like somebody said at the hostel.

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Mussels in Brussels

On July 17, 2012, Ivan, Lil Dave and I woke up at 9 am.  Ivan and I packed everything up and left the very orange Easyhotel. 

We got took the train to King’s Cross and left our baggage there.

Today, we were doing the Street Art London Tours in Shoreditch.

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Ivan and I love graffiti and it’s always evolving in London. 

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We went to many places and saw lots of cool graffiti. 

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We recognized a couple of graffiti pieces that we saw last time on a different graffiti tour we took. 

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The tour guide showed us a Banksy, but it was covered by glass and it up high where my short self couldn’t see it. 

After the tour, we headed back to King’s Cross to collect our luggage and then pick up tickets for the Eurostar train.  I was hungry, so Ivan and Lil Dave stayed with the luggage while I got some food at Marks and Spencers.  Ivan also bought some food.  It still hurts when I swallow – even just water.

Then, we left on the train at 2 pm from London to Brussels, Belgium.  The train is very cheap at 49 Euros each and it goes under the sea for an hour.  We fell asleep the whole time though. The train arrived at 5:05 pm in Brussels.  Ivan tried to find the bus at the airport, but the one we needed didn’t stop there.  We were too tired and decided to get a taxi cab to the Airbnb apartment. 

We were welcomed by this sign next to our room. 

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How cute!!  We met Carine and her son.  Carine is a friendly Belgian lady.  She had a map for us and we talked about our honeymoon and Brussels.  Her son made us tasty mint Moroccan tea.  I need to learn how to make it!  Carine is always smiling.  Ivan asked why mussels is so famous in Brussels.  She wasn’t sure.  Ivan reckons it’s because it rhymes. 

We took showers and then walked to the city at 7:30 pm.  Along the way, we saw Brussels Cathedral.

Ivan showed me the main square la Grand Place.  He said it looks a lot better at night.

We found the restaurant Chez Leon on a very busy street filled with restaurants.  Ivan read online that this is the best place for mussels. We shared a good white beer.  Lil Dave got a banana pasta.  Ivan and I each got a 800 gram bucket filled with mussels: one with white wine and one with celery, onion and butter.  It came with pomme frites.  The mussels with celery, onion and butter was the best one.  The mussels were real good, but not the best we’ve had. 

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Ivan and I prefer the mussels at Comme Ca in The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.  I’ve never eaten so many mussels in one sitting in my life. It really was a LOT of mussels!

It was 9:30 pm and it was still light out.  There are many statues of the Pissing Man statue.  Ivan thought he’d get a drink.

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We went to the main square and then headed to the real Pissing Man statue. 

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I thought he would have been a lot bigger than he actually is.  I think he’s less than a foot tall. 

We walked across to the bar Poechenellekelder (say that three times really fast!!).  This bar is connected with the Pissing Man statue.  I think about 12 times a year this bar changes the outfit of the Pissing Man.  I wish he wasn’t naked and had an cute outfit on.  Oh, well next time.

We wanted to try a sour beer, but they didn’t have any.

Ivan remembered a cool bar with 250 beers nearby.  We went to Delerium and ordered two beers.  One beer was honey and the other was cherry. 

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I really liked the cherry one.  The beers are really strong here.  It’s best to ask how strong it is before drinking too many!

We saw the Pissing Woman statue in the courtyard of Delerium.  I couldn’t get a good picture of it since she’s behind a gate. After drinking our beers and realising that there is no way we could drink more than 4-5 of them because even just one (at 9% alcohol) made us feel tipsy, we jumped into a taxi and headed back to the apartment.

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