In the summer, Dubrovnik is one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Europe. With sun-drenched beaches hosting upwards of a half-million people, this is one of the premiere European tourist destinations.
I went in the winter.
It was still spectacular, with the rebuilt ‘old city’, admittedly a bit of a contradiction in terms, a great place to wander around and take pictures. There were also significantly fewer people around, and I’ve never been a big fan of navigating hordes of tourists.
Forgetting about the difficulties during the Napoleonic Wars, the more recent history of Dubrovnik during the late unpleasantness is one of turmoil and destruction, with the Serbian/Milosevic led assault killing and wounding hundreds and destroying much of the old city. It’s impossible to drive through Bosnia and Croatia and not be aware of this, but the physical damage is barely noticeable now.
Dubrovnik does not inspire much solemnity, to be truthful, despite the evidence of damage still visible on some of the cobblestone streets and houses. It’s a city built for holidays, so with an appropriate level of respect to recent history, Ferda and I spent most of our time in the city goofing off.
These first two pictures are an attempt to appear both heroic and contemplative. There were many failed attempts on both our parts before achieving this effect.
My objective with the next photo was to strike a dramatic pose with cappuccino all over my face, thereby eliciting guffaws from those who would see it. As you can see, I was somewhat successful. Please notice the kid in the background, and there were actually several kids by the café kicking a soccer ball around. One of the boys had this priceless expression on his face when he saw Ferda taking pictures of me attempting this pose, and the expression on his face, which basically said ‘You two idiots are very weird’ was so funny I began laughing uncontrollably and therefore failed to get the perfect photo of me with foam on my nose. But full marks for trying, in my book.
Now I’m just trying on hats.
We were staying at this fantastic hotel, about a mile from the old walled city. Here’s a photo from the balcony, with Ferda not understanding my request for her to get out of the way so I can take a picture of the Adriatic.
The first day there we walked down to the main tourist section of town and we took a brief detour down the side of a steep cliff to get to this tiny cluster of rocks on the water. Ferda chose her outfit poorly for hiking/climbing, but she handled it like a trooper. And by ‘handled it like a trooper’, I mean she stumbled and slipped much less than me, moving with alarming speed and skill.
This is the view of our hotel once we’d clambered down to the bottom of the cliff.
Evidence of Ferda’s poor choice of clothing, notably the skirt and cumbersome winter jacket.
One might ask why I was not helping her climb up the steep, jagged rocks with certain death waiting should she slip and fall. I think I remember Ferda mentioning this once or twice that day, but I might be wrong. Anyway, there is an excellent reason for this, but unfortunately my blog has run out of memory/space for this post and I’m unable to write the detailed explanation that brings into focus my clever response to the question and my ultimately gentlemanly behavior that day.
Three days in Dubrovnik is the perfect amount of time to spend in the city. We ate lots of good seafood, some really bad Italian food, walked a ton, saw the sights and managed to avoid the really bad weather that moved in on the day we took a bus out of town to Split. I’d love to go back in the summer someday, see how it compares.
One last photo, my favorite of the first night we were there, of Ferda standing on Stradun, the main street of Dubrovnik.
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