Our Journey of Thirty-two sleeps: Sleep # 28: Dubrovnik, Croatia

Sleep # 28:  Dubrovnik, Croatia

Our little ship has been rocking and rolling for days now. The Reception has run out of seasick pills. I have my box of 10 pills. I just had to prove that I am not pregnant and sign a legal document to several other issues I do not have at the moment.

We were lucky to have a very special guide and driver to share with us a special tour of Dubrovnik and surrounding area.  We were provided this complimentary guide and driver by Signature Collections. Thank You to them. We ended our marvelous Dubrovnik experience on the Southern Adriatic Coast in a little town called Cavat. We sat on a patio with coffee and a spot of lunch while; the breezes truly caressed us. Sounds corny, but it was so true.

We experienced the Northern winds of Croatia when we were in the north. They are called Bora winds and today we experienced the southern winds called “Jugo.”  They were especially strong on the top of the magnificent ancient city walls.  These fortifications date back to the 14th and 15th century and are worth the climb. Our guide, near the end of the day said when she was told the ages of her clients, Skip and I, she thought we were going to be crotchety and not be able to do the things she had planned.  She said we did everything and she had to tell us about her early worries.  We sure did everything and she walked our too toos off for hours before she let us rest with a coffee and a little lunch.  She was so happy that we were enjoying everything she had planned and not too infirmed by the sound of our ages.

First, here are some photos of the overview of Dubrovnik from the city wall. The sights from on high are worth the trudge up the many steps.

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Notice the new bright orange tiles in contrast with the old more muted tiles.

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Our guide and driver picked this spot for the ultimate photo of Dubrovnik.

A look at the famous Onofrio’s sixteen-sided fountain.

We went on to see the Placa where everyone meets and greets. Our guide told us that she spent her growing up years on the Placa, first fell in love, first kiss and a few other firsts.  She said all of the kids would meet there everyday until they grew up and some moved away.  She often meets some of her early childhood friends in Placa for coffee to this day.

The Placa

We visited the Franciscan Monetary with adjoining chemist’s shop, which claims to be the oldest in Europe (since 1317).  We were treated to the Sponza Palace.

The Sponza got its name because when the wars were raging, they put sponges on the roof top in order to collect and store water as in those times they did not know if they could get out and have free roaming in the town.

We visited The Church of St Blaise, Dubrovnik’s patron saint.

It is a 14th century church with beautiful marble work. The alcoves on either side of the church each match the one directly across from it.

We visited the Rector’s Place, 1441, and can you see the Gothic-Renaissance mix of architecture?

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Inside courtyard of the Rector's Palace

Interesting information:  The Rector’s were picked for only a months term so that in this way they prevented anyone from becoming too powerful. Sounds like a plan.

The old port has served Dubrovnik in the past as a necessary navigational tool, but also as the fish market. There was a law that stated  you would only be able to sell fresh fish caught that day. In order to assure that the fish would not be sold the following day, the guardian would go along and cut off the tail of each fish so that by sight it would not be sold. Since food is/was such an important commodity they wanted to leave it  still good to eat by the family and friends of the fisherman/seller.

Lokrum Island:

This island  originally  housed a Benedictine 12th century Monastery. As the legend says, Prince Ferdinand and Marie Antoinette came to the island and fell in love with it. They expelled the Benedictines and built a mansion for themselves.  The Benedictine monks circled the island three times holding lit candles and cursed the island. Everyone who has owned it ever since those days has died a violenet death; again, as legend has it.

Lokrum Island as seen from Dubrovnik

To end the tour of the lovely, gorgeous city of Dubrovnik we visited a small Synagogue housed down a quaint alley and tucked into a doorway. It is classified as the second oldest Synagogue in Europe. After walking the stairs, you will come to the second floor museum and up another flight of stairs is the actual Synagogue which was exposed to us.  Surprisingly, it was all so very tiny. The women’s place was behind a wall with little slits for them to peek at the services. This visit was something we requested and the guide knew where to go immediately.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Reene
    Nov 09, 2011 @ 12:50:54

    I am glad you were able make it up the steep steep steps to walls and to visit the synagogue. We also enjoyed walking on the walls and looking down at the red tile roofs. It was quaint to see peole putting out their laundry, etc. It seems as though you are enjoying Croatia—a little bit of a surprise at every corner.===Reene

    Reply

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