We arrived at Dubrovnik airport yesterday at about 2pm and caught the shuttle bus to Pile (Gate), the west entrance to the old town. That was the easy part! We had been given what appeared to be quite simple directions to our hotel but they proved to be useless. Finally, a lovely young woman passing by checked our paperwork for a phone number and rang our landlady, who came to fetch us. Problem solved. We have a light and airy room with a private bathroom, one flight of stairs up from street level. We step out into one of the many tiny, narrow streets and almost fall into one of the hundreds of restaurants which populate the old city. Just about everybody is in the food business. We are in the middle of everything, which is great.
Dubrovnik is a medieval city located in the southernmost area of the Croatian Adriatic coast. It was the first harbour, protected by islands, on the maritime route from east to west and recent archeological investigations have proved that a settlement already existed on the site in the 6th century A.D. It is a very beautiful city. Only the Main Street is flat – its flagstones highly polished by millions of feet – and from both sides steep flights of stone steps rise towards the ramparts. The city walls, including the four towers built at the extremities, are extraordinarily well-preserved and they still give a sense of safety and enclosure, in spite of the heavy tourist traffic.
The weather has been unsettled, but still very warm, with only the odd shower. We have been to Lady PiPi for breakfast (thank you Mary) and tried various restaurants, most of which offer good seafood. We visited the museum and the cathedral and Geoff walked around the ramparts, which was a bit challenging for me. It is lovely wandering around in the evening, eating icecream (a serious pastime in Croatia), and watching the Alpine Swifts swooping around the city walls, seeking a place to settle for the night. It seems as if the whole world comes to Duvrovnik. There are many accents and languages to be heard, including Australian, of course.