Saturday, July 21, 2007

Dubrovnik, Croatia – Day 2

We started our day with breakfast and watching as we approached Croatia. We arrived around 9am and began the tenders around 10am.

Dubrovnik is a bit like Venice without the canals. It has that same aura of ancient, tiny "streets" filled with life rather than cars, but it's laid out on a much smaller scale. One of the major distinctions of Dubrovnik is that the medieval-era city is a walled city -- completely encircled. The atmosphere is lighter here, perhaps as much due to its gorgeous setting -- on the shores of the Caribbean-blue Adriatic -- as for the sand colored stone of its buildings. Dubrovnik is still being restored; the city was seriously damaged as a result of shelling that occurred during the Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian war in 1991 - 1992.

We took the ship excursion to “walk the wall” of the city. The stone walls that completely encircle the city -- as much as 81 ft. high and 1.5 miles around -- have stairs at two points. The views were breathtaking; we could see forever over the Adriatic, the over-the-terra cotta rooftop town, and even peek into the backyards of some of the private homes and apartments that line the edges of the walled city. We started at the entrance to the walled city -- the Pile Gate. We were also able to visit the Fort of St. John Maritime Museum.

Dubrovnik was so beautiful with the terra cotta tile roofs. Walking the wall was extremely hot but worth the effort. After returning to the boat we had a light lunch and headed to the pool before it was too crowded. We swam and enjoyed the water in the shade for about an hour before going to the room to shower for supper.