Looking back… En Route to Cavtat in 2013
The clouds below look like whipped cream.
We just flew over the mountains of Eastern Europe en route to Frankfurt from Dubai. Qantas have teamed up with the UAE airline, so we did the first leg from Sydney to Dubai with Qantas, and the second one from Dubai to Frankfurt with Emirates. I really enjoyed stopping over at Dubai this time, as we were able to marvel at all the strange dress codes in the shopping arcade corridors, and then relax in the Emirates flight lounge until our flight was called. They’re much better than Qantas in terms of service. And looking down on the snow-tipped mountains just now, I thought of student days travelling by deux chevaux from Paris to Ukraine during the Cold War when Russian troops marched into Prague and stopped us from going there.
We’re going to have another six hours’ delay at Frankfurt airport before the flight to Dubrovnik in Croatia. From there we’ll be picked up by Suzanna “Jewel of the Adriatic” Speech Pathology business according to my partner—and driven to Cavtat. Suzanna and her partner, the English Dave, have been preparing this Conference by Skype with my husband, Mark Onslow. The Conference hotel is situated on the cliffs overlooking the Adriatic: “the Mediterranean as it used to be!” I have nothing to do with the Conference, so I just come along for the ride. And the sightseeing and serendipity!
Planning for the Third Trip… in 2016
From the diagram, Cavtat with its peninsulas looks like a giant crustacean. The location of the Hotel Croatia where we now stay when we visit for the Stuttering Conferences, is on the western side of the claw, overlooking the Adriatic. The colour of the sea is turqoise even on this map. It’s this colour I remember from those far-away days i n 1968, when I camped along the coastal villages, and travelled in a run-down small French car with two Aussie girlfriends: the hood off and the wind and sun in our hair.
What shall I do in Cavtat this time?
Cavtat is situated at the southern tip of Croatia, a thirty-minute drive south from Dubrovnik. We will be picked up by the Hotel bus and taken back to the gorgeous white Hotel Croatia, built by Tito, and perched like a shining white liner on the Adriatic coast.
The options are huge. Organised tours are offered by the Hotel to neighbouring countries, where, not so many years ago, war was raging: Bosnia and Herzegovina to the east, or to Montenegro further to the south. Ferries leave daily from Cavtat to visit the many islands off the coast; Dubrovnik, that walled city, bombed almost to the ground during the recent war, is a source of touristic delights, including shopping, food and historical tours, and can be reached by ferry from Cavtat.
Looking northwards from Dubrovnik, I could visit many of the places I camped near or at during the sixties: Split, Zadar, and Rijeka. Going even further north to Rovinj and Porec, from there it’s a reasonably short boat trip across to Venice.
I intend to get around this time, as last time I was suffering from a virus, and I stayed around the village, visiting Dubvrovnik, and the islands, recuperating and enjoying the peace of Cavtat.
Editor’s note: Sadly, part of the program for this Stuttering Symposium, will be a memorial for Dave, the English partner of Suzanna, mentioned above, as he passed away suddenly last year from a heart attack. This has left much of the organising of this Third Symposium on Stuttering to Mark and to Suzanna.