Dubrovnik, Croatia

August 3-9, 2010

There are 67 pictures here.

I took a bus from Mostar to Dubrovnik, and then spent six nights in Dubrovnik. We passed over this bridge on the way into town.


I stayed at a sobe run by Paulina Čumbelič, a very kind, gentle woman renting four old-fashioned rooms. I was in room number 4, which was upstairs, and right outside the window were clothes lines on a pulley. That was great as I could wash clothes and hang them outside to dry. The windows were open all the time, and there were no mosquitoes or other flying critters. The place was right near the Pile Gate (Pee-lay), the main entrance to the Old Town.

Some 500 years ago, Dubrovnik was a major maritime power, with the third-biggest navy in the Mediterranean. Busy merchants, the salt trade, and shipbuilding made Dubrovnik rich. In the Middle Ages, the city-state of Dubrovnik (then called Ragusa) bought its independence from whoever was strongest – Byzantium, Venice, Hungary, the Ottomans – sometimes paying off more than one at a time. Dubrovnik’s ships flew whichever flags were necessary to stay free.

Dubrovnik flourished in the 15th and 16th centuries, but an earthquake destroyed nearly everything in 1667.

Liberty has always been close to the heart of every Dubrovnik citizen, and even today all over the town are flags with the name Libertas, meaning liberty. Dubrovnik believed so strongly in libertas that it was the first foreign state in 1776 to officially recognize that upstart experimental republic called the United States of America. [I thought Morocco was the first, but, oh well.]

 The Old Town is surrounded by a wall over a mile in circumference. Here is the Pile Gate. There used to be a moat filled with water.


The heart of Dubrovnik’s Old Town is the 200-yard Stradun promenade. Notice the LIBERTAS banner hanging on a wall. The promenade is full of tourists and lined with tourist trap shops.

E003      E004      E005

At one end is the Onofrio fountain with spigots where many folks get a drink of water or wash their hands.

E006      E007      E008

I heard the rat-a-tat-tat of drums, and saw the costumed “town guards” parading down the street to take their place at the Pile Gate. Many tourists get their pictures taken with them.


Off the Stradun are many, many very skinny side streets chock full of shops and restaurants. Most of the restaurants had tables that took up most of the street. Many of these streets went uphill.

E010      E011      E012

E013      E014      E015

Part way up E016

In his guidebook, Rick Steves recommended the “best” ice cream at Dolce Vita on one of the side streets. They got to know me there.

Entrance to Dolce Vita E017

Here is the wall that surrounds Old Town.

E018      E019      E020

Dubrovnik’s single best attraction is to walk the scenic 1Ľ miles around the city walls on a path at the top of them. There have been walls here since the start of the city, and they were beefed up in the 15th century when the Ottoman navy became a threat.

I walked the walls early in the morning, before the tourist crowds. It took me a full hour, as I took lots of pictures.

E021      E022

E023      E024      E025

There were lots and lots of stairs.


Here are some views from the path on the top of the wall.

E027      E028      E029

E030 The Onofrio fountain with all the spigots  

More views from the wall E031      E032


In 1991, after Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia, the Serbs began bombing Dubrovnik during a siege of eight months. The city held out and was liberated by the Croatian army. Most of the city was rebuilt. The roofs that are lighter in color are the ones that had to be replaced. The darker roofs were not damaged during the war. At the entrances to the Old Town are maps indicating everywhere a bomb was dropped. Shells struck 68% of the 824 buildings.

More scenes from the wall walk.

E034      E035      E036

After I walked the wall, I went to the Fort of St. Lawrence.

E037      More stairs E038      And more stairs E039

E040 Some stone cannonballs

At the top of the fort. The island in the background is Lokrum, which I went to.


From the ferry to Lokrum. Note the rocky shore. Most of the island shores were like this. The island was open only during the day, and you had to take the ferry back before it got dark.

E042 Looking back at Dubrovnik      E043 The shore  

E044 A path on the island

I went swimming on the island. One place was for nudists, of which there are no pictures. But the rock "beach" looked just like these, where I also swam.

E045      E046      E047

Cement “beaches” E048      E049 

I took the cable car up to Mount Srd. I was going to walk it, but when I got to the trailhead, it was virtually impassable.

E050      E051 E052

E053      E054

The large peninsula from Dubrovnik is Lapad. I learned to use the buses, and took one to here. There was a beach at Lapad Bay with a mixture of sand and pebbles. Most of the toddlers enjoyed clothes-free freedom. I saw one woman sunbathing topless. The swimming was great. I did a couple of laps from one side of the bay to the other.

E055      E056      E057

One of the tallest “hills” on the peninsula is Velika Petka. I walked past the “No admission” sign (in four languages) and took a very pleasant walk up to the top, where there were transmission towers. I loved the smell of pine trees on this road. 

E058      E059      E060

View from the top E061      E062

The water of the Adriatic Sea is such a pretty blue.

This time of year in Dubrovnik they have a Summer Festival, with concerts, dances, and dramas for a month. I went to hear a chamber quartet at the Rector’s palace. It was very nice.

E063 Rector’s palace

The performance E064      E065

One morning I visited the Dominican Monastery, which was nice and peaceful.

E066      E067

One day in the middle of my Dubrovnik stay I took a day trip excursion to Montenegro, shown on another page.

When I finished my stay in Dubrovnik, I went to Hungary.

That's all for Dubrovnik.