Dubrovnik: Venerable Dubrovnik
Trip Start May 13, 2010
11Trip End Jun 06, 2010
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We rolled into Dubrovnik on yet another early morning bus. We were looking forward to the next six days with friends and only one transportation requirement. Ayu and I were meeting 6 of our friends - some flying in from Berlin and the others from Toronto. It was good to have a week romping around by ourselves then another week to spend with a group of our cronies.
Dubrovnik is a stunning place - a large walled-in town with beautiful houses characterized by brown tilted roofs. The main avenues, laid with slate have been worn down over time that it is now extremely smooth providing an optimum surface for Moonwalk fanatics. While Kotor's surrounding water came in a green hue, the pearl blue Adriatic hugged most of Dubrovnik exponentially increasing the place's charm. The Adriatic's tone provides most of the Croatian coast with a very characteristic feature that is essential to its tourist draw
Much like Kotor, the place was dominated by hordes of older tourists whose tour groups congested the tight alleyways, sometimes refusing to anyone outside of the group to pass by. A lot of these people came streaming in off the big cruise ship that was anchored off-shore and would cause chaos down at the port as they lined up in drones to re-board the Love Boat. A friend told me that in the past few years, Dubrovnik has been severely limiting access to cruise ships since they are not ideal guests. The folks from the cruise ships spend less than $50/day on average while people who stay in and around Dubrovnik bring in three times that since they require accommodation, transportation, three meals per day and evening activities while the boat people simply eat lunch in Dubrovnik and then take off - everything else is done on the boat or organized by it.
We met up with our people and sat down at a port-side restaurant. The food prices were generally expensive unless you ate pizza which was under $1 for a big slice. The food choices were rather minuscule - Italian and some seafood - and the quality was sub par especially for the prices paid. After a plate of lasagna, we roamed the city figuring out its layout. We found an amazing sea-side bar that was cut into the stones on the outside of the wall and set up shop for the afternoon
In the evening, we attempted to find something to do but the city was empty as there was a mass exodus back to the cruise ships. We ended up finding a bar that advertised karaoke but entered to find a tightly packed pub with rave music blasting and 15-year-olds. Next was the "Latin" bar just outside the gates. We didn't last long since it resembled a high school dance more than a dance club - SNOWBALL! I guess we should have been on the cruise ship.
MAY 22ND, 2010
After an expensive breakfast and loads of excellent espresso, we met up with our people and climbed the city walls. Photo-taking was at a high, since the walls provided beautiful views of the Adriatic and the town. From the walls you could see the hanging laundry and locals being real which was good because 99% of the time all you see are tourists which somewhat turns the town into a grown-up Disneyland.
After the walls, we retreated to our sea-side bar and saw the evening in.
MAY 23RD, 2010
A few of us headed to a small island called Lokrum which was about 1.5hrs off the coast of Dubrovnik. It was an ecological reserve and populated with confident peacocks who would let you get close to them until they spazzed out in sudden apoplectic fright. We also found a dead lake which was gorgeous, so gorgeous that our mate Matt needed to jump off something into it. He did, it rained, we left.
We spent our last evening at our friend's seaside villa. We cooked a makeshift dinner, played cards and readied ourselves for Split.