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Isa and Holden here! We were in Dubrovnik today exploring the old city. We started off our morning with a lackluster breakfast of stale chicken nuggets and lumpy orange juice. We then made our first attempt at public transportation aboard a city bus. We practiced our best “situational awareness.” After cramming onto the bus for a few stops, we arrived in the old city of Dubrovnik. We were greeting by a man thrusting gold hearts in our faces, but quickly made our way to the city walls. We walked the exterior walls at our own pace. As it became extremely hot and unbearably crowded, we descended from the wall, after several group pictures. We did our first “wander” around the old city, and made a stop at the Walk of Shame from Game of Thrones. We stayed there for 10 minutes even though only 2 of us have ever seen the show. We then journeyed to a seafood restaurant for lunch, where we got a doubled food budget!!

We then wandered for the second time around the city, but this time we made our way to the pier. Most of us took our shoes off to dip our hot, sweaty feet into the cool water (despite the sea urchins and slimy rocks). We were then set loose upon the old, narrow streets of Dubrovnik. During this time, each group researched the effects of tourism on the city by chatting with many of the shopkeepers. Every group accomplished other things during this time as well. Holden’s group bought a bright blue speedo with glowing on it as a gift for Rohit. Regan attempted to locate a Polish prayer sheet from the church to no avail. The vast majority, however, did shopping for friends and family. We then regrouped for our fourth and final wander of the city. We ended up back at the pier where we discussed our findings, and surprised Rohit.

After a quick, but expensive (€2!!), bathroom stop where Aron and Jack taunted a pigeon, we headed to a pharmacy. The pharmacy had been functioning since 1391, and was currently advertising a substantial amount of aspirin. We would’ve gotten some, but the place was super crowded. Upon exiting, we were shocked to learn that Nathalie is, in fact, a witch. She was the only member of the group to stand unassisted on a small pedestal jutting out from a building. Jeremiah’s foot could not fit on the pedestal (he might be a wizard though; we really aren’t sure). We, the amazing leaders, then led the group back to the bus stop, where we boarded the bus to head back to our hotel. This bus ride was slightly more eventful (we lost Mr. Cook along the way 😬). Once back, most people went back to their rooms. However, a small group made its way to the pharmacy where they bought a few “appearance-altering” products. We have yet to appreciate the full results, but will report back later. ;)

After dressing up for some nice photos, we returned for round 3 on public transportation. Once in the old city again, we went for a nice dinner by a church. We ate boar gnocchi, cuddle fish risotto, and French fries. The teachers gave us an hour for an additional “wander.” Isa’s group headed to the pier, and were quickly joined by everyone else. It was upon returning to the spot we had dipped our toes earlier, that we discovered an international dance competition. Located on the pier attached to Dubrovnik’s walls, a Russian man, whom Aron befriended, invited us to stay for the show. Aron (jokingly) offered our participation. Unexpectedly, he was delighted to have us. There was then a rush to quickly learn ballroom dancing from Aron and Katie. After a short while, it was time to perform. Aron and Meghan (reluctantly) took center stage while Isa + Jeremiah, Justin + Katie, Nihaar + Regan, Cassie + Kayla were background dancers. Aron’s selected musical track was Beyoncé’s Crazy in Love (an unconventional ballroom song). Nevertheless, we danced the night away.

After our spectacular performance, we reconfirmed Nathalie was a witch before bussing back to the hotel. After a brief workout session led by gym sharks Nihaar, Rohit, Jeremiah, and Justin. When asked for a word to describe their day, our peers said: nice, fun, spectacular, spontaneous, and tri poloski. We also gave them the opportunity to share gratitude for one another. Kayla was grateful to her dance partner Cassie. Jack was grateful that Aron entered us into the competition. Rohit was thankful for his speedo.

What a day-

Isa and Holden :)

PS from the chaperones: Don't worry, Mr. Cook reunited with the group after buying some supplies.

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