8/18/08 - 8/21/08 86 °F
We are about to leave Dubrovnik, Croatia, which is quite possibly one of the most romantic and beautiful cities ever, which we knew from the moment that our flight began to descend into the city, because below is what we saw out of our window.
The city itself is rather small, the heart of it is concentrated into the old city (which is pedestrian only). The old city sits nestled between the mountains and the Adriatic Sea and is surrounded by giant castle/fort-like walls, which you can walk the entire length around and get an amazing view of the city and the sea. It was probably one of the most amazing things we've seen, the views being really mindblowing, pictures don't really do it justice.
Erin with her beloved audio guide on top of the wall
A view into the bay next to the old city from atop the walls
A view into the fishing port next to the old city from atop the walls
View out over the city from atop the walls in Sepia, cause we started to feel artsy
If you can even believe it from looking at the city itself, during the shelling of the city in the conflict in the 1990's, 70% of the building in the old city took a direct hit. Since the end of the fighting, UNESCO (our new best friend) poured A LOT of money into the city in order to rebuild the building and restore the walls surrounding the city and are we ever glad they did. In terms of the history of the city itself, which we got a lot of information on from Erin's audio guide, it has historically been an extremely progressive and independent place. Until the 20th century Dubrovnik was an independent state, the Republic of Ragusa. At one point in the 1500's, it held more consulates in other countries that any other country in the world at that time. It also built one of the first hospitals for the poor in the entire world, and has long been known as THE place for weaving and philosophers. Being on the sea, fishing and trading was a huge part of the culture and society, and in the past, transport boats-barges made in Dubrovnik were regarded as the best in the world.
We made good use of that fishing part by eating a TON of seafood since we've been here. We started with a giant platter of mussels,
Erin with mussels and my Croatian beer, which rivaled that of Austria
and have also had some calamari, which wasn't quite as good as the ones we had in Istanbul.
Croatia also has some of the bluest water we have seen so far, but still more of those pebbled beaches we've grown so fond of.
Devin in front of the water, proving that we didn't just steal a picture of it from somewhere online.
We spent one full day laying out on the beaches, still no burning on Devin's part, possibly a world record. The second day we did some sea kayaking, which we've been wanting to do for awhile but haven't had the chance. So we get to the meeting point, and the guides are explaining what the 3 hour trip is going to be like. We're going to kayak around this small looking island and then rest on the beach, snorkel, relax and then kayak back. So we are understandably quite excited. Also there are some kids in the group, about 8 or 9 years old, so we're thinking, this can't be too hard. Um, yea, we were wrong. The whole trip was 3 hours, we resting for about 20 min. That small island, not so small, but deceivingly oblong. But the resting place was in a gorgeous cave, and Erin yet again braved her fear of swimming with fish and did some snorkeling. All in all, at the end of the trip, we were feeling pretty proud and fit.
Erin at snorkeling beach
Us, showing off our on-dry-land snorkeling skills