We arrived in Dubrovnik in the middle of the day, in the full sun and terrible heat from Korčula Town, by ferry. Our friendly host, Daniela, came to pick us up at the terminal. Before us, we saw a large town built around the old town and harbour, where big cruise liners moor in the dazzling blue water. We were eager to explore.
Daniela led us up several long, stone flights of stairs and narrow alleyways to get to our apartment. Cats laze around under the odd tree or bramble and vehicles park wherever they can. What a different life to what we are used to.
Only now do I understand why cars and other vehicles do not have side mirrors, or have big dents and smashed windows. The narrow little laneways are barely big enough to squeeze a motor cycle through, yet with other vehicles parked along the sides clogging the road, somehow the cars manage to get through the haze. I see the logic in all the many smart cars zooming around the city. They are super easy to park and fit through the tiniest places. This comes in handy in Dubrovnik.
Dubrovnik is made up of many old homes and buildings, all rock or concrete wit red roof tiles. Colourful wooden doors on some of these make a beautiful contrast.
Near the back entrance of our little apartment, there’s a concrete wall. Earlier that day when we headed to the beach, I found a ping pong ball floating in the harbour. I am desperate to play hockey or tennis. Traveling the world (backpacking especially) you must be resourceful. So with a small wooden cutting board from the kitchen and the ping pong ball against the uneven wall, I got my tennis fix.
One evening we went to the old town to have a nice dinner, a look around and most importantly an ice cream. The old town itself is absolutely stunning! Festive little tables and chairs sit out in the alleyways. Each restaurant, café or pub has candles or lamps to light their part of the narrow path. The old churches are the only quiet and still places you can find within the city walls. These consist of amazing architectural designs, and are adorned with colourful paintings. Bands of traditional singers and musicians move through the city. Their music can be heard from outside the large stone walls.
What, however, spoilt all this magic for m,e was the masses of tourists. On top of the little alleyways being so small and narrow, it was extremely hard to move around. Everyone was everywhere, on top of everything, all wanting to get the same photos, wanting to do the same things. It drove me nuts! Every time one of those massive cruise liners would appear in the harbour, hordes of tourists would all head to the old town city gates and swarm the place.
We decided to eat dessert first. So as soon as we entered the gates to the old town, our first (and only) mission in life was to hunt for ice cream. I say hunt because firstly (and most importantly) we wanted to scout out the best ice cream in all of the old town and then secondly (this one mattered mostly to Dad and not the the rest of us) at a reasonable price. At last after our crazy search, we each had a large chocolate ice cream in our hands whilst exploring the old town.
We now started to notice how seats at the restaurants were filling up fast. At some places people were even standing in line, desperate to sit down and have a meal. We started casually looking for a nice place to eat. Of course, our tight budget had us walk past many places more in my class. 😉
At last, the perfect place came. In the budget, good food, and in a particularly beautiful little alleyway… and most importantly: a table for six! 😃 This doesn’t sound like such an amazing thing, but if you had only known how all six of us have been squished into places so unimaginably small, you would be rejoicing too. After South America, everything feels like luxury! 😂
One of the things I will never forget is when Dad suddenly emerged with a brown paper bag and a big grin. ‘I have something for you all!’ he announced excitedly. He took six candy tennis balls from the bag. They were massive gum balls! Dad specifically got the tennis balls because every spare moment we would be quickly checking the Wimbledon results. We are big tennis fans. Well, some more that others. And all the way home that night, Mum and Dad taught us four children how to blow bubble gum bubbles, something you would never expect your parents to teach you. It was loads of fun and a night I will never forget.
Tomorrow we will bus off to Kotor in Montenegro. Our time in beautiful Croatia has been way too short so far. Luckily we will return soon to this magical place. 😁❤️
Until next time,