Dubrovnik: walking the walls and exploring churches

Today was overcast and rain forecast for the afternoon so we set off to walk around the city walls first thing when they are quieter. There are good views over the town and the Adriatic, a few runs of steps to the viewpoints and Minčeta Tower which are good exercise and some spring flowers.

There was a small cafe in the walls providing a welcome espresso and others near the St John Fort and Maritime Museum where we started and finished our circuit. Wandering back along the Stradum I noted that a number of the places we have visited or are about to have been film sets for either Game of Thrones or Star Wars or both and here there are plenty of shops to buy souvenirs. Very few destinations are without an Irish pub and I have seen two of these so far. We had a look in the cathedral where there are some modern paintings depicting the stations of the cross

and then the church of St Blaise which has stained glass windows by Ivo Dulčić.

In the early evening we were wandering around trying to decide where to eat. As we we are a little out of season some places are not open. James was not keen to hang around the harbour until sunset at 19.17 so we headed back towards the centre of town and found a place (Konobo Colosseum) right next to Croatia’s equivalent of the Spanish steps.

Discovering Dubrovnik

Spring was in the air as we drove down to Gatwick. Oilseed Rape was in full bloom turning the fields yellow and lambs were enjoying the sun. I even had to put my sunglasses on. After a night in an airport hotel and an early start, we had an uneventful flight with some good views of the snowy Alpine peaks and a quick passage through immigration and baggage claim. Our taxi driver was waiting for us and we were soon on our way to Dubrovnik. There was building work at the airport and new hotels going up all along the coast. The driver told us that we had made a good decision coming in early April rather than in July and August when it is so busy. I have heard that passes for access to the old city are being considered. As in other coastal European cities, cruise ships arriving can disgorge hundreds or even thousands of passengers at a time, causing crowding.We met our host and we had settled into our apartment which is in a building in the old city wall. After a rest we headed out to explore, looking at the buildings and some of the interesting side streets.

We also met some of the residents, including numerous cats

and a few parrots. I did not see a dog until we were walking back from our evening meal and a few small dogs were having their evening promenade.

We passed the home of Ivo Grbić, an 85 year old painter. His house had been hit by incendiary bombs in 1991 but he has rebuilt it and now has a gallery of his work.

Following an alley through the city wall with the following written on it

led to the Bužar Bar. We sat by the rocky shore opposite Lokrum Island with a beer listening to the waves and the Rolling Stones. Apparently the bar sometimes has to close if the sea is too rough.

Today’s outings were concluded with dinner at Azur, a Croatian/Asian fusion restaurant nearby which was excellent.