Inside the stout walls the city is almost impossibly bright, as the white stone of the city streets and buildings reflects the summer sun.
Although the peak season was still a month away the streets were already heavily laden with tourists. On our first walk through the old city we investigated the main attraction, the tour around the city walls. Sadly the walk closely resembled rush hour traffic in Auckland. Instead we made it back early next morning before the rush, allowing a leisurely wander taking in one of the most stunning locations in the Mediterranean. Well worth the early morning start. Given the warm summer weather we finally capitulated and shelled out for a beach lounger, although not before Leah managed to haggle the price down. Thankfully the beer was cheap and decent food was only a small wander away after we had our fill of the sun. Many museums were visited, giving a fascinating insight into the Renaissance golden age of the city, with many artifacts from the time incredibly well preserved.
During our wanders around Dubrovnik we happened across a few scars from shelling the city suffered in the early 90's. At the time they seemed to be little more than superficial scars on a city that had confidently moved on. Yet on our drive out to the airport a local gave us an insight into post war Dubrovnik. His stories vividly expressed how the residents still bore heavy scars from a conflict that was indeed to wipe the Dalmations away from the region. The airport itself was in the occupied part of the region and it been utterly decimated by the opposing forces. The anecdotes told chilled us both. That said our talkative driver ended on a very positive note about Dubrovnik and Croatia in general, and he wished us both to return again in the near future. We told him we hoped very much that would be the case.
A two hour taxi van ride an we found ourselves in our final Croatian destination, Dubrovnik. The ride itself was a stunner, serving to cement our view that the Dalmatian coastline truly is one of the planets greatest. We weaved through mountainous terrain that tumbled down to crystal clear waters and quaint seaside villages before arriving at our destination. The old town of Dubrovnik sits almost awkwardly on the coast, pressed hard between the mountains and the sea. A location chosen for it's strategic utility more than anything else. Indeed it's the defensive posture of Dubrovnik that reels in an unending sea of gawking tourists. They, like ourselves, came to wander the stunning alleys and streets behind possibly the most beautiful of fortified cities to be found.