Fish Restaurant Proto is a Michelin recommended restaurant, and so we set our expectations accordingly. Our reservation was indeed excellent; the perimeter of the roof terrace offered banquette seating and we had a corner table, ideal for intimate conversation as well as restaurant-goer watching.

Yet…here’s the “thing:” our meals did not inspire us. Perhaps our expectations had been set high; I grew up along a U.S. Great Lake and know a fresh caught fish when I taste one. Tony and I also have the good fortune of having friends who own a beachfront weekend home on Krk, and the even better fortune of being their weekend guests on several occasions.  We have enjoyed the daily fresh catch on their grill that, to be honest, rivaled Proto. This is not to write that our meal was not entirely delicious and beautifully presented, and was not perfectly paired with our wine; it is to write that our lunches with friends, and even our meals on Lokrum Island and in Kotor rank higher.

Our biggest “Disappointment?” Walking the wall surrounding the city. Though on every “Ultimate…,” “Must-do!…,” and “Can’t Miss!” list for Dubrovnik, our experience was marred by narcissistic tourists who stopped every 10 meters to strike a pose with their selfie stick left us with aching eyes from having rolled them back in our heads.

This woman in front of us seemed determined to set a selfie world record. Every few meters she paused, pointed, and posed.

Complaints? Dubrovnik seems unnecessarily overpriced. We knew this going in and just accepted that those who stay in the city are expected to make up for the cruise ship day trippers who only wander the city because their meals are covered on board the boat. In return the city keeps the cruise ship disgorgees at a respectable minimum, so in the end somehow I am certain this all works.

An unexpected, “Surprise?” The War Photo Limited. History buffs that we are, the museum was more than worth the entry fee. Sharing photos of The End of Yugoslavia does not begin to tell the story, though, so you might want to visit on your own.

Speaking of (the former) Yugoslavia, did you know Montenegro does not yet have a language standard?  “Papagaj” is the Bosnian word for “Parrot,” borrowing from old German and written in Roman characters. Yet, the official languages of Yugoslavia were Serbs-Croatian, Slovenian, and Macedonian.

Montenegrins also use the Cyrillic alphabet, developed in the 1970’s by a Yugoslavian dissident who wanted the Montenegrin language to represent the mother tongue of Serbian-Croatian, yet also reflect the Shtokavian dialect of Montenegrins. “Montenegrin” is a real language, and it was not uncommon to see signs in both languages.

On a few occasions both alphabets were used.

Two signs in English made us laugh, as well. Taj Mahal, serving genuine Bosnian cuisine; and the Ding Dong Korean Chicken restaurant, with its ancient Korean proverb?

 

We had the luxury of hop, skip, and jumping to Dubrovnik when it suited us, and thank goodness for that. To be able to time our visit to the city proper around the cruise ship mobs made most of the difference in our enjoyment, and agreed we could not be bribed in any way, shape, or form to visit Dubrovnik in the peak of summer.