We arrived in Dubrovnik around 12:30 today and took a cab to our apartment, which is on the hill overlooking Old Town. The view from our terrace is nothing short of spectacular; it’s going to be hard to force ourselves to leave during the next two days, especially because once again getting home requires a real hike. This one mostly involves stairs – several hundred – so it’s rough! We’re going to be in amazing shape when we leave (and we were both already in pretty good shape before coming here).
We eventually left the view on the terrace and walked down to explore Old Town. I remember it fairly well from our trip eight years ago, but of course I didn’t see every single alley and street. We escaped the hot sun and had a late lunch near the water, then we walked down the Stradun (main street), surveying the various shops. We spent a while in a bookstore offering books in multiple languages, including English, so I was able to get something to replace my Kindle. They had a number of books about Croatia, Yugoslavia, and the war, but I overrode my inner nerd and opted for something more vacation-oriented. We also picked up a small book called “Flirting in Croatian,” which unfortunately for is is written to make audiences, but it’s still really funny to leaf through. My favorite was “posudiš mi telefon? Mama mi je rekla da je nazovem kad se zajubim,” which means “can I use your phone? My mom told me to call her when I fell in love.”
At the far end of the Stradun we found one of my favorite things in Dubrovnik: it’s a rain spout located on the wall of a church about two feet above the ground. It’s shaped like a head, and eight years ago there were always people attempting to stand on it and retain their balance, which is really hard. I think I only made it five seconds or so last time. Today it was practically impossible – I have a video showing me trying and failing miserably to stay on for longer than a second!
We explored further into the city in search of what I remember as “the holes in the wall that lead to swimming.” As you can see from the pictures, Dubrovnik’s Old Town is circled by a very thick stone wall. Rachel wasn’t quite sure what to make of my assertion that there are just random openings in the wall, but sure enough we found two! Both lead to small cafe areas where there are also people leaping off the rocks into the sea – from quite high; we watched two guys shuffle along the wall and then leap from about 15 meters above the water. It’s very cool to see!
We got a basic orientation to the rest of the walled area before heading back up to the apartment. We stopped on the way to get a few groceries for our chill evening – the idea was to recover from last night and Hvar generally by just staying home. We ended up going down once more to do laundry at a cute launderette recommended by Rick Steves; we threw our salty clothes into the machines and then crossed the street to sit on a bridge and have a drink while we waited. That’s one of those beautiful things about Europe… you can drink anything, anytime, anywhere.
We’re now back in our room enjoying Dalmatian prosciutto and cheese while we catch up on writing (me) and photo sharing (Rachel). Not sure yet what’s on the agenda tomorrow. We’re going through a bit of Hvar withdrawal, but Dubrovnik is wonderful, and we both felt really happy and relaxed as we walked around today.
It’s amazing that we’re only halfway through the trip!