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Friday, 19 June 2015

Dubrovnik

The Walled City

In January this year I read a book that was partly set during the Siege of Dubrovnik that happened in 1991. The town was cut off for 7 months as the waring factions in the Balkans war, fought it out. This sparked an interest in seeing Dubrovnik for real. It's the most famous town in Croatia and visited by millions of tourists each year. (A large percentage seem to be here right now! There are packs of them trailing behind a guide holding either a sign with a number, or a flag of just a stick in the air!)

When staying in Dubrovnik you have a choice of staying in the old town or in a resort style hotel with pool outside the town and either walking or taking a bus to the old town. I decided I wanted to stay in the old town (and forego the pool!) I liked the idea of being immersed in the setting that is the old town.

This is the view from my window.



I am immersed in the sights and sounds of the town, the street noise (including annoying an child blowing a whistle constantly!) the church bells, people eating out at the restaurants down below. I've ended up in an apartment so get to shop at the small local market each day for what I need. The old town still has a resident population which is sadly decreasing (some research, it's 1500 currently, 20 years ago it stood at 5,000) The price of real estate is driving the locals out as apartments are bought up to house tourists like me.

The town is famous for its defensive walls, one of the few places left with walls intact. (I've been to another one, Derry in Northern Ireland) It's possible to walk the length of the walls, either the entire circlet or leave at certain exit points. I chose to do the entire walk.







The main thoroughfare that bisects the town, called The Stadrun. Picture taken from the wall looking down when there weren't that many people, during the day it was full of tour groups!



Looking down into the old port.



I think this is 'Kings Landing' from Game of Thrones, I've only watched the first season, then stopped as my favourite character was killed off! Dubrovnik was used from Season 2.



The locals are quite hardy souls that will go swimming from the rocks outside the walls! Complete with concrete steps to get into the water.



Looking over the roof tops. The shelling of Dubrovnik during the siege destroyed or badly damaged many buildings. They have since been restored, one way of noting which ones have ben repaired is by the roof colours, the bright red terracotta of new roofs are the repaired ones, contrasting with the faded tiles of the undamaged buildings.

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