I visited the city of Dubrovnik in August, 2010
I find a seat at a table with a great view of the ocean. Blue water as far as you can see, only interrupted by a passing boat every now and then. Across the water is Italy, but too far away to be seen.
A very cute waitress approaches me, takes my order, disappears. Quickly returns with my ice cold beer. It tastes great in the heat.
The cafe is really cool. Laid out in terraces on the steep cliffs outside the city. The city wall on one side, the ocean on the other. Walk all the way down the cliffs and you can take a dip in the Adriatic Sea. A couple of kids are doing just that, their parents enjoying a beer further up the cliffs.
I do not feel like bathing, am more than satisfied with my book and the view.
Dubrovnik is a beautiful city on the Adriatic Coast in southern Croatia. Its main attraction is the Old City, a well preserved medieval walled city. The city of Dubrovnik was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1979.
The origin of Dubrovnik is disputed. For a long time it was believe the city was founded in the 7th century, but in recent years a new theory, based on recent excavations has emerged. According to this theory Dubrovnik was founded by Greek sailors before the common era.
I leave the cafe, take the winding roads back to Stradun, Dubrovnik’s main street. All the buildings are shining in the sun, the white stone reflecting the sunlight. It is hot, some buildings offers shade but mostly they simply reflect the sun.
Groups of tourists are walking in either direction, above us a woman is hanging her laundry to dry out of her window. A strange mix of tourists and local life. What is it like to live here, I wonder. Not only among the tourists, but in a UNESCO World Heritage Site. How is it to live in such a historical place, a museum in a way. I’ve heard there are rules to what color you can paint your shutters in, they all have to look perfect.
I get nearer to Stradun, more and more people crowd the road. All of them tourists. Always pictures being taken, people posing. Smiling, making the V-sign if they are Japanese.
Today Dubrovnik is a major tourist destination, the most popular in Croatia. People come to stay in the city for a few days, visit on tours from other parts of the Balkans or come with cruise ships only to stay a few hours.
Dubrovnik is a wonderful place to visit. The city is beautiful and contains many restaurants and bars. There is a lot of history to indulge in if you are so inclined, and there is of course the sun and the sea.
A cruise ship has arrived, all the passengers embark in the harbour and walk up Stradun just as I get there. So many people. Almost impossible to move. Luckily I have been here a few days now, know where to find the places not overrun by tourists. I am meeting my brother and sister for dinner, we have chosen a restaurant away from the tourist trail. I slip into a side street, walk away from Stradun. It doesn’t take long before the streets are quiet. Only me and the locals. As I get to the restaurant my brother and sister are already there.