In planning the transit to Croatia, we realized that we would spend a day waiting in Bari for the evenig ferry. Although we had heard of Bari's reputation as an industrial and uninteresting port, we figured waiting one day would be ok. In fact, the day was a very good one, and we enjoyed the city.
Our boat from Greece came in as the morning fog was burning off. It turned into a warm sunny day. First order of business was to find out about the boat to Dubrovnik. We could not book tickets at the port, but we wanted to be sure about getting on (there is only one boat per week.) We left our bags at the harbour and headed into town to find the agent. We soon found ourselves in the old town, the usual maze of small streets, and stopped to watch servicemen from army, police, etc preparing for some sort of ceremomy in the Cathedral. The military choir was great. It seems to be laundry day, and clothes are hanging eveywhere. It is also street-cleaning day, and people are scrubbing the paving stones in front of their homes with brushes and soapy water. It is very social, living in such close quarters, and everyone talks to each other. We eventually found the ferry agent in an unmarked office in the new city. Tickets are no problem. Now we have the day free. We find breakfast at one of the many bars that are open in the morning, no other forms of restaurant to be seen. Yes we take Hannah to bars for breakfast. I walk out to the rail station to talk about routes through Croatia and Slovenia for next week, Sandra and Hannah are looking in stores. We meet at a square for ice cream, and explore the old town for the afternoon. There is a band of itinerant musicians working hard at busking, playing 60's rock 'n roll for some cafes, jamming traditional folk music in others. They will later appear as deck passengers on our boat, playing to the conservative Eastern crowd, and we will see them still later on the strets of Dubrovnik.
We had to board at 7, so by 6 we were looking for dinner. One fellow actually laughed out loud at the idea that a restaurant might be open at that hour, way too early. We did finally find a Chinese restaurant where, although we were the only ones there, they were happy to make us dinner.
As it got dark we staggered around the castle and the dry moat back to the port to wait in various lines for a couple of hours for our boat to Croatia. Watch the port slip away, then a short sleep until our 5:30 breakfast call.