In an attempt to find some sun and save money, our next stop was Dubrovnik, Croatia.
We stayed just outside of Dubrovnik in Vrbica. Our room with a fabulous view is in the white box. Highly recommended place to stay! Natasha and her mother Karolina are lovely and we enjoyed a lovely lunch with them as well as eggs from the chickens.
The view from our patio was gorgeous even on the 4 out of 6 rainy days we had. I really enjoyed this part of Rick Steves summation of Croatia:
Croatians are particularly affected by weather…Historically Dubrovnik Senate was legally forbidden from making any major decision if the hot, humid Jugo wind was blowing, as that winded tended to make people cranky and ill-tempered.
And today, the weather report includes a biometeorološka prognoza that indicated how the day’s weather will affect your mood. Weather maps come with smiley or frowny faces, and forecasts predict, “People will be tired in the afternoon and not feel like working.”
The rain worked in our favor, with lots of time put into work, and we even started a new site: www.nailartshow.com.
Here’s the gorgeous red roofed old town from the castle walls. The shiny and new tiles speak to the devastation of the Siege of Dubrovnik when more than 2/3 of buildings were damaged.
Note Lokrum Island to the left, more on that later.
The Old Port of Dubrovnik, protected by the town walls and Fort of St. Lawrence standing out. The 1990s war was the first time the 15th century castle walls were used to defend against an attack.
Fort Royal Castle, at the highest point on Lokrum Island. Not much information about other than it was built by the French. Definitely worth the climb for fabulous views.
Getting that shot on top of the Fort. Note the cruise ship in the distance, one of many many docked in the town. I think Rick said it best with:
Dubrovnik’s biggest downside is the overwhelming midday crush of multinational tourists who converge on the Old Town when their cruise ships dock. These days the city’s economy is based almost entirely on tourism, and most locals have moved to the suburbs so they can rent their Old Town apartments to travelers. All of this can make the Old Town feel, at times, like a very pretty but soulless theme park.
Definitely true. I would visit the Old Town in the evening when the cruise shippers are back on the boat and locals have returned. Also, this doesn’t mean Dubrovnik isn’t worth a visit. It really is beautiful and there are many nearby islands to explore.
Archduke Maximilian Ferdinand of Habsburg had a mansion built on Lokrum in 1859 and left behind these gorgeous peacocks.
Kind of like a chicken from the back.
Gorgeous graphic design. Better than Smoky the Bear?
The Place, locally known as the Stradun, is the main street in Dubrovnik for tourists and locals. It was originally a canal that separated Romans living in Ragusa, to the right, and Slaves on the shore. The canal was filled in in the 11th century and the town merged. The straight version of the street was built after the 1667 earthquake.
I see London, I see France.
It’s difficult to imagine that people were fighting this war only a 20 years ago. Most adults would have participated, hid from, and lived through the war. There is pride in how the Dubrovnik Defenders and citizens defended their city. Again according to Rick:
Even though the city itself has been repaired, the people of Dubrovnik are forever changed. Imagine living in an idyllic paradise, a place that attracted and awed visitors from around the globe…and then watching it gradually blown to bits. It’s understandable if Dubrovnik citizens are a little less in love with life than they once were.
From Rick Steves:
Libertas – liberty has always been close to the heart of every Dubrovnik citizen. Dubrovnik was a proudly independent republic for centuries, even as most of Croatia became Venetian and Hungarian. Dubrovnik believed so strongly in libertas that it was the first foreign state to recognize…the United States of America.
The local bus company is called Libertas (the S was replaced by a hinge above).
New wedding rings for the trip. Note the love locks on the fence.