Friday, October 18, 2013

DUBROVNIK, CROATIA......So Many Changes Since the 70's!!!!

Entrance to the walled Old Town...We arrived in Dubrovnik at 7:30 a.m. and had a short visit, all aboard was at 2:30 pm.  The last time I was in Dubrovnik in the 70's the country was still called Yugoslavia!  I was en-route from Graz, Austria via train around the time of some sort of civil unrest and the country was very poor and no where as developed as I saw today.  It was NOT a huge tourist destination and it was a time before the huge cruise ship travel.  Once I got into the old walled city is was the same, except for the crowds of people and all the shops and cafes.  I opted to take the shuttle from the ship and Jeff decided to walk...needless to say I had to wait.  But it was Jeff's first visit to Dubrovnik and I wanted to share his first impressions!

Once inside the old city, it was as I remembered architecturally, but all else was different.  Now there are numerous cafes, bars & restaurants.  Tons of shops and a wide variety of food and YES lots of people.  The people were helpful and friendly.  But, in the 70's they were down right hostile.  I actually was accosted by a Vendor in one of the squares for not buying what he was selling.....physically....a really good shove!  His fellow vendors stepped in and calmed him down.  Uh, yes, he was Drunk!  Today's experience was so wonderful.....nothing like I remember.....I highly recommend it as a destination !
Again, like in other ports in this area, the old towns are these wonderful alleyways.  Above is one we found that was lined with residential apartments.....the flower boxes.....the quaintness....I just loved it.  My trip to Dubrovnik this time was beyond incredible.  It's a pedestrian area dotted with Renaissance Churches & Fountains.  Large open squares surrounded by historic buildings and a bit of modern with Cafes.
And of course, there is LAUNDRY DAY!!!   You have to love walking around a corner, turning into a side "alleyway" and see the days laundry hanging....this is what I love about Europe, about Dubrovnik, Montenegro, Venice......and perhaps all the other ports I will visit!
Lesson to everyone.....I am finding....that in most ports in Europe, there is free WIFI....here is Jeff sitting in a little cafe in Dubrovnik.....order a beer....get a password.  Simple as that!  When you turn on your WIFI, in my case, on my IPad.....the restaurant name will come up on the screen.....then just type in the password they give you.   Voila.....you are connected.  It has saved me tons when working on my blog.
Just some more views of the squares in Dubrovnik.....I think this may be the one where the nasty Vendor got rough with me.  
Just an average weekend "Muster" with the members of a local club......Not sure what was going on, but it is just another impromptu thing you see in all these wonderful towns!!!!

Water Alas!


After Jeff headed back to the ship, since he was walking......I had time to finally find the sea....with a little walking I came upon the WATER and some outside views of the walled city from the Sea.....It was a great find.

Dubrovnik is located directly across the Adriatic Sea from Italy's East coast, under which lies Bosnia & Herzegovina.  I am recognizing a pattern emerging as I re-visit these places since the 70's.....I was there at a time of pre-cruise traffic. The influx of large numbers of people from the cruise ships has certainly given places like Dubrovnik a huge positive burst of development that in turn has boosted their tourism dollars.

The areas leading to the old city are developed with lovely homes and apartments....and I could easily see this place as a destination to spend a few days, even a week ......Kudos to Dubrovnik for making it a real destination!!!!!

Next post will be about Venice........MY PARIS!!!!!