Part 5 - Dubrovnik, Croatia - Day 2
Part 5 - Dubrovnik, Day 2
This morning we got up early as we wanted to be in Dubrovnik’s old town before the big rush. We met our friends Judith and Stuart in the lobby and just grabbed a cab directly from the ship. The fixed rate of EUR 13.00 for the ride to the old town was already marked on a big sign above the taxi stand.
The driver took us direclty to the square in front of the Pile gate. The rush the day before already hadn’t been as great as we had feared, but this morning it was even completely empty. So we entered the old town very relaxed and almost alone.
First of all we walked along the Placa/Stradun promenade. Here, as well as in the side streets, hardly any tourists were to be seen this early in the morning and only a few locals were there starting their day.
A market selling local produce was being set up on Luza Square in front of the bell tower of Sveti Vlaho church.
Knight Orlando (aka Roland) was watching the morning bustle from a column on the square. According to legend, he helped to free Dubrovnik from the dangerous siege of Arab pirates in the 8th century.
At the three arches of the arsenal by the old port it was just as quiet as in the old town. The excursion boats, which passengers had boarded and unboarded the day before, were still moored at the pier, and some merchants were supplying restaurants with fresh goods.
The four-legged residents were awaiting the visitors in front of the Rector’s Palace – probably hoping for something tasty.
We returned to the Pile Gate via Gundulic square with the statue of the poet, and along the little alleys through which we had come the previous day.
Photographers at work…
Now and again we saw posters and signs on the walls of renovated houses, which brought to mind the conditions during the war.
The traces of shrapnel impacts on the wall of the Church of the Redeemer in front of the large Onofrio fountain are another reminder of this period.
This was also the entrance to the walk of the city walls. At this time, the onslought wasn’t particularly great. From the top of the wall, however, we could see that more and more tourists were coming through the gate into town, and we were pleased to have started our visit so early.
From here we started our walk of the city walls, level with the city’s tiled roofs. The different colors of the tiles were indicators of which roofs had been damaged during the war and subsequently restored, and which of them still carried their original, faded tiles.
On the side facing the sea, the wall proceted the city from potential dangers that could have come from the deep blue Adriatic sea. These days, however, those pirate ships were merely manned by tourists and relatively harmless.
Since the wall also led directly past some houses, we were able to catch some interesting views from above of the gardens and balconies of their inhabitants.
Soon we had reached the eastern end of the old town, from where we had another great view of the three arches of the arsenal and the port.
Of course, we also saw a few spots which had served as a backdrop in the series Game of Thrones.
After this point, the walk climbed again. Instead of looking at the blue sea, we now looked at a sea of red tiled roofs.
After about an hour, we had reached the western end near the big watchtower of the city walls, and, therefore, our starting point. The Minceta Tower with its magnificent stone crown has dominated the city for centuries.
In the meantime, the alleys below us had filled up with more visitors eager to explore the town.
We met with Judith and Stuart at a café near the Onofrio fountain, and after a coffee and beer break returned to the ship.
For our return, we had bought tickets at a kiosk and took one of the public buses, which also left from the square in front of the gate. We got off at the stop near the harbor gate and walked the rest of the way to the ship.
We spent a leisurely afternoon on the ship. The Vision of the Seas, docked behind us, left in the early evening, and we followed not much later.
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