Now that I am back home and have wifi that doesn’t run at a snails pace I have been able to upload a selection of photos from the trip for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!
Our second day in Croatia was spent in Dubrovnik, somewhere we have been wanting to visit for many years. Today we were berthed some three miles away from the old town and we had three transport options: local bus, taxi or Shanks’s pony and we chose the former. Like sheep we followed everyone else off the boat and wandered around like headless chickens in search of tickets, moving from one place to another looking for the elusive prize. That challenge overcome the next was to work out just exactly when to get off the bus fortunately everyone else on the bus was in the same situation.
The beautiful walled old city of Dubrovnik looks fantastic and so complete mainly because it has been rebuilt since the war in the nineties. The walls were designed to keep out a very different armed attacker and couldn’t have hoped to have withstood the pounding they took particularly from the hills overlooking the city. Today you can get a cable car up to these hills which give good views over the walled city. It’s not a great position for photographers through as the observation deck is placed such that the cables pass right in front obscuring a perfect photo of the town below. If only the architect had put the deck on the opposite side!
Like Split yesterday, inside the walls Dubrovnik old town is made up of lots of little streets but these are on different levels with steep steps taking you from one place to the next. We not only met our step target today but also are flights of stairs climbed too! We paid to walk around the town walls which undulated around the orange roofed shops and houses below offering some great views.
Today’s group of tourists to feel my ire was the Germans that flooded in from their cruise ship who seem to have zero etiquette. Maybe it’s just me but if someone wait at the bottom of a narrow passage of stairs to allow me to come down I’ll thank them. The Germans neither wait nor thanks. Maybe I am just to meek and should just barge through like they do?
Not wanting to finish on a moan, although it surely wouldn’t be a post of mine without one, I’ll say that we really enjoyed Dubrovnik and it certainly lived up to our expectations.
Today we started to wind our way down back down the coast towards our final destination of Corfu with a stop at Split, Croatia. Unlike Venice yesterday, today the boat docked within walking distance of the old part of the city so we were able to have a leisurely start to the day.
Like many places we are visiting on this trip the old town was contained within an old wall around the outside of which was a market selling everything from tourists trinkets to flowers. It seemed to cater to both the locals as well as the tourists. We seem to have got into the habit of trying to pick up a football shirt from the local team for our son when we go away. Having already got a shirt from a trip to Rome last year we felt that Italy had been covered but Croatia that was a different matter. Despite not following football at all I did know that the “big” team here is Dynamo Zagreb but they seemed to be difficult to come by, as did those of the local team in Split. In the end we managed to pick up a reasonably priced shirt from the Croatian national team. He doesn’t read the blog so I can post this safe in the knowledge that the shirt will still be a surprise when we return. Our trip to Kotor on Thursday could be challenging as I am not sure what the “big” team in Montenegro is!
Having wandered around the outside of the wall we found an entrance gate outside which were stationed two Roman Centurions. In Rome it would cost you an arm and a leg to have your photo taken with them but in Split they seemed to be part of the attraction rather than a money spinner, which made a refreshing change. We had thought that inside the wall might be, well, nothing, but actually there was a thriving town with many little streets leading off in all directions and, once again, you didn’t have to get far from the centre for it to a quiet and peaceful place.
In the centre of Split old town was a church and a bell tower. It is almost obligatory for us to have to climb any towers that are available, although my tower climbing partner, Grant, was absent on this occasion. The views looking over the walled city were great but I got quiet angry at the other tourists there who were insensitive to others. In this particular case it was the camera wielding orientals who insist on stopping to take photos in the most inconvenient places holding up the flow of traffic.
We spent several hours wandering the streets in the town and so were glad to get back to the ship for a rest. One thing we are having no difficulty at the moment is completing our 10,000 steps a day.
Next stop just a little further down the Dalmatian coast to Dubrovnik.