Kathryn and Ken's European Vacation
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Day 35: Dubrovnik, Croatia
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Day 29: Istanbul, Turkey
Day 30: Kusadasi, Turkey
Day 31: Rhodes, Greece
Day 32: Alexandria, Egypt
Day 33: Cruise at Sea
Day 34: Corfu, Greece
Day 35: Dubrovnik, Croatia
Country



Croatia


Hotel


MS Rotterdam



Temperature

Sunny and hot with a high of 26C

 


Day 35: Monday, October 9, 2006     Dubrovnik, Croatia

Town with Only One Roofing Contractor


Currency:  Croatian kuna
Language: Croation (also Serbian, Italian, Slovene , Slovak and German)

Dubrovnik, "Pearl of the Adriatic", has a remarkable history. An independent, merchant republic for 700 years (abolished by Napoleon in 1806), it traded with Turkey and India in the East and had trade representatives in Africa. It even had diplomatic relations with the English court in the middle ages. Its status was such that powerful and rich Venice was envious of this Croatian-Slav city.
The old town was completed in the 13th century and remains virtually unchanged to the present day. Tall ramparts surround it and there are only two entrances to the old town which lead to the Stradun, the city's promenade.  In 1991/2, the Serbs shelled the city causing considerable damage, but thanks to local efforts and international aid, the old town has been restored to its former beauty. No motor vehicles are allowed inside the walls, and except for the Stradun, the old city is a maze of picturesque, narrow streets - many steep and twisting.


We arrived in Dubrovnik about 8:00 am.  As we surveyed all the roofs of the town from the ship, Al MacDonald said to me "Looks like they only have one roofing contractor". 
This was the only port that we would have to ride the tender boats in from our anchor spot

All the houses have red clay roofs

and it proved to be a problem.  They tendered those passengers who had signed up for a shore excursion first.  Then one of the tenders broke down and it took they quite awhile to release another one.  The water of the Adriatic Sea started to get very choppy and this made tendering very slow.  It was after 11:00 am by the time we got into town and we had to be back to the ship by 2:00 pm so we didn't have a lot of time.

The city of Dubrovnik has a population of over 50,000 spread over 300 square km.  We restricted our visit to the walled Old Town.  We paid 15 each to walk around the wall.  It was well worth it
even if the wall had lots of steps that went up and down and was hard on poor Ken's knees.  You can see the different views of the whole town as well as the Adriatic Sea and the nearby hills and mountains.  We walked started by the Town Hall, went north, then west and walked the entire 2 km length of the wall before arriving back at the Town Hall (see map below).  After leaving the wall, we passed the Cathedral of Dubrovnik and St. Blaise's church before walking down the wide Placa Stradun.  At the other end of the boulevard we saw a polygonal fountain, called Onofrio's Large Fountain, after its architect.
Kathryn sitting on the wall

We then wandered around the streets of Old Town and found a farmers market.  The streets north of the Stradun are much higher and the side streets leading up to them are stepped.  We climbed the steps to the next street and walked along it.  It was full of restaurants on each side with outdoor tables and chairs which did not leave much room to pass by.  Kathryn wanted to do a little shopping so Ken went and had a beer on the Luza Square.  Are we noticing a pattern here?  The Luza is a busy square that is a kind of crossroads where

Kathryn at the Farmer's Market in Dubrovnik

tourists stop to cool off with water from Onofrio's Little Fountain, explore an exhibit in Sponza Palace, meet friends at the city bell tower, take a bijela kava break at the Gradska Kavana, or sit down for a few minutes on the steps of St. Blaise Church.
 

About 1:30 pm, we went back to the tender drop-off and there was a huge line-up to get back to the ship.  While Ken held a spot in line, Kathryn went off to look for some last minute bargains.  When we got back on board, Kathryn went to play bingo while Ken went out to the Sea View deck to work on his tan.

That night we went for our last dinner on the cruise.  All the wait staff and wine stewards came down the stairs (the dining room was two stories and we were on the lower floor), waving napkins and singing a farewell song for us.  Our waiter gave Ken one more lesson on making the mouse from the cloth napkin.  The show in the Queen's Lounge was two previous entertainers Daniel Bouchet

Dubrovnik map
and Dima Belinski.  We then had to go back to our rooms and pack our suitcases which had to be put out before we went to bed.  The cruise is over - boo hoo!

Click here for a slide show of Day 35 photos.

Day 36

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