Dubrovnik

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA      OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   Driving back from Montenegro proved to be fun, we caught the bus in the morning to Herceg Novi, from where we wanted to continue to Dubrovnik. We decided to travel the last 40km from Herceg Novi on in Taxi, as it turned out to be just as expensive as the bus and about twice as fast. The taxi driver was really nice and quite proficient in English, as long as you remained on well trodden paths. Talks about the shifting borders of Croatia, Montenegro and Bosnia proved to be no problem. However, my question whether we would be able to have breakfast at the airport (which we had just passed and he had shown us), was too unexpected and I never managed to convey the meaning of it. In the end, we gave up and just assumed, we’d find a place to have a coffee there… We were right. 🙂
POLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAart of the “well-trodden path” however was that he offered us to stop on the road to take a scenic shot from Dubrovnik. Another plus of not taking the bus, which surely wouldn’t have stopped for pictures.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADubrovnik. Our final stop. What a city. Already from a distance, it gives off an incredible vibe. The first time you see the huge fortified walls surrounding the city, you already know that this city has seen a lot of wars and indeed, from Venetian to Mongolian, everybody seems to have either reigned over or attacked this city at one point in time. TheOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA more surprising it is that Dubrovnik was actually an independent state for quite some time.
As is the case for Kotor and many of the cities in the surrounding area, Dubrovnik was badly damaged in the earthquake of 1676. Some older buildings, such as the palace and the monasteries survived, OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbut most of the city was rebuilt in the baroque style after the earthquake, except for the fortified walls surrounding the city which were almost untouched.
The walls, already impressive from a distance, are just as breathtaking if you’re standing close up. The height, the depth, the form… If I had been an attacker, I probably would have given up the moment I sat eyes on them. They look completely impenetrable. Luckily I’m not an attacker, but a tourist. This means instead of having to attack the walls, I was free to circle the city on top of the walls, which is probably the most beautiful way of seeing Dubrovnik. Of course, you shouldn’t miss walking through the glistening white streets and visit the highlights, OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAsuch as the Franciscan monastery, which I really enjoyed. But for a view of the complete town, nothing beats the top of the city walls. We started at Ploče gate, which means we started out by getting up to the highest point of the walls, from where you can see all the red roofs and the church bells reaching out atop of them. From this highest point, you walk on downwards towards the sea. The second half of the walk you can not see as much of the city, as you are now lower, however you can watch the waves breaking on the rocks Dubrovnik was built on, another lovely view.
After touring Dubrovnik this way, we climbed back down and explored the streets. The entire old town is car free (as the streets are rarely large enough to fit a car, this is not so surprising). OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFollowing the main road, the stradun, we reached the Franciscan monastery which possesses the oldest pharmacy on record in Europe, dating back to the 14th century.
Unfortunately I wasn’t feeling to well, so after having visited the walls and the monastery, we cut the visit short and only walked by the remaining sights and all the small streets (and stairs, lots of stairs) to be explored there. Nevertheless I can say that Dubrovnik is a real jewel to visit! Though I would recommend to avoid doing it on a Saturday.. It is slightly overrun on those days…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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