Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Best of Dubrovnik

I can't say I have ever heard of Dubrovnik before coming here... and what a great surprise it truly is to find this city.  I would come back here in a heartbeat. I love this place.

Since we use ferries so much in our life, we notice ferries where ever we go... and we saw the Jadrolinija name in several places.  They have been around since 1947 and have 56 vessels, taking traffic to most islands in these parts, as well as to Italy.

Washington State Ferries is No. 3 in the world with 22 vessels... but carries the most vehicles annually. BC Ferries is No. 2 with 36 vessels. But do you know who has the No. 1 ferry service in the world?

We found the people here very friendly and happy to see us... they welcomed us.

Our tour bus stopped at a viewpoint where we could capture this shot of the Old Walled City... a UNESCO site. To walk around on the top of these massive walls was a totally awesome experience.

Dubrovnik is a waterfront city that attracts a lot of tourists and vacationers.

I didn't realize that there are over 1,000 islands off Croatia... check out this map. That explains the large fleet of ferries.

Our tour bus took us inland... a drive thru the country....

All the way to the country restaurant and back we had the best history lesson on the Croatian War, the destruction and rebuilding and life today in these parts.

After a delightful lunch in an outdoor setting...

We stopped at Cavtat, a popular tourist destination on the waterfront.

"O God, thy sea is so great and my boat is so small."

As we walked along the shore of the peninsula we saw people everywhere enjoying the day in the sun at the sea. The water was certainly inviting!

It must be nice to have friends who paddle you around on this pleasant day.

The seafront has many hotels and private households that rent rooms and apartments. It would be real easy to come back.

Without a doubt the highlight of the day was to visit the Old City and walk on the Walls of Dubrovnik... to go over the moat bridge and enter the city thru the Gate of Pila.  There are four gates into the Old City.  Two from the water side and two from land.  This is truly one of the top UNESCO sites of this trip.

Onuphrius Fountain... sans water today.

Stradin is Dubrovnik's main street... nice and wide with central drainage.

Off the main street were many narrow side streets, with access to shops and restaurants.

When the buildings are 3-4 stories tall it seems very tight to have access of less than ten feet in between.

Especially when tables and chairs fill up more than half the width.  You can see part of the sign for Lapis Lazuli... where Shirley found a beautiful bracelet.

Here she has two of her holiday purchases... the Murano glass bobble from Murano Island (Venice)... and her lapis lazuli bracelet from Dubrovnik.

Church Sveti Visho

Palace Sponza

Notice the quatrefoil window detail on Palace Sponza... we later saw this same pattern in the Doges Palace in Venice. Beautiful!

St. John's Fortress guards the entrance to the harbour.

In the 16th century the Revelin Fortress became the strongest city fortress.

After shooting this tourist photo of my sweetheart I noticed the quatrefoil design again in the guard rail of this bridge.

Thru the quatrefoil frame we see the harbour.... and part of St. John's Fortress.

I loved these curved steps at the entrance to the Sveti Sebastian Church.

I don't know how many gun ports were built into the walls and various turrets...

But when I saw these rounded rocks I knew they were artillery.  I read that they had 200 cannons around these walls... but we didn't take any photos of them... or even see any.  They may be on the part of wall we didn't get to walk.

The entire wall is 6,360 feet around.. that is 1.2 miles.  We missed the section on the south side... all waterfront.  Just not enough time.  We had to get back to the ship.

Photo credit to Zombie Hunter.

We never complained about paying entrance to walk on top of this impressive wall.  But there was a little whimper from Shirley when she got to the top of these stairs!

It is hard to fathom the scale of this wall.  The maximum height is 82 feet... and much of the wall adjacent to the land is 20 feet thick. To the far right is the Minceta Tower... the highest point.

I printed a map of the Old City to help identify as many of the buildings we had taken photos of... and was surprised to find no less than 14 churches, cathedrals, monastery's and convents inside these old walls.

Much of this old city was built in the 14 and 1500's.  Some roofs look old, like the one in the foreground with vegetation growing in the tiles.  Some roofs are newer. Our bus tour guide told us that the new ones are because of the Croatian War damage.

From the top of the wall a whole new world was open to our view... like this bell which may be for a monastery.

Don't you just love the red tile roof's?

The little island close to the old city is Lokrum Island. They say it has a Benedictine monastery (which you cannot visit) and conversely, a nude beach! Do you think any of the monks go AWOL?

As we were getting closer to Minceta Tower I was in need of a bathroom... and was amazed to see a toilet symbol with an arrow... soon we were at a little refreshment place right ahead on the top of the wall.

So I was glad to make some fluid level adjustments. While the man was whizzing me up this freshly squeezed orange juice smoothie...

I found a place to take a whiz. I could hardly believe to find this beautiful facility on the top of the wall!

Meanwhile Shirley was taking photos of the juice bar's tables made on Singer sewing machine bases.  What a great use of these old antiques!

The Minceta Tower invites us to come on in and take a look around.

It was huge up top... with several gun ports.  The view from here was spectacular!

From one fortress we see another.

Looking across to the other side of the city we see a small part of the city in ruins.

We didn't get to walk close to these ruins. Next time when we come we will walk the entire wall and spend time where ever we wish for as long we wish.

How nice to see a garden in between all the massive buildings, walls and tile roof's.

What have we here?  Could it be some internet satellite equipment?  It may be one of the oldest cities... but today everyone wants to have internet and cel phones and TV... so why not get things set up for wireless? Or are these guys setting up a covered roof top veranda?

On our way down the stairs to catch a ride back to the ship, Shirley turns to give me a smile.  Apart from the stairs, walking this wall is fantastic.

The Old City Walls have been recognized as a rare treat... and CNN includes it as one of the Top Ten Medieval walled cities.  How many of these have you seen?


  1. yes, I was afraid you were going to go for the the full range of possibilities with "whiz". sigh..

    now THERE'S a rock wall, eh?

  2. I think it helps to appreciate the massive amount of work to build this enormous rock wall when you have built a lot of rock walls. My little rock walls are nothing beside this piece of work.

    When I build a retaining wall it might be 30 or 40 feet long, six inches thick and 3 -4 feet high. These Dubrovnik walls are 20 or more feet thick, up to 80 feet hight and go for 6300 feet!

  3. Love those red roofs! Beautiful city, looks like you had a great day there!

  4. It was truly one of the highlights of the whole trip...
    to walk on the top of that huge wall was amazing.