Wandering Dubrovnik



Byron dubbed Dubrovnik the Pearl of the Adriatic, and the town has drowned under superlatives ever since. We sailed in on clear water, the vibrant new town hugging the foreshore. The bus from the port wound along the waterfront before eventually chugging up the hill – and there lay the old town, just as she appears in every photo.

The bus spluttered to a stop in a cobbled square by the city gates. Cafes decked with umbrellas, and stores offering cold water and ice cream, overlooked a crystal sea. Already the heat had settled in for the day, bouncing off the stones and onto anyone standing still. By midday the town would be wall to wall of sunburnt tourists.

For the moment, however, Dubrovnik was (almost) empty. The moat is now filled with orange trees, and their scent hung in the air as we approached the Pile Gate. Large metal balls on a chain acted as a counterbalance to the drawbridge, which was once raised every night. St. Blaine, Dubrovnik’s patron saint, looks down on all visitors from above the portal. (Don’t miss the small medieval door nearby.)

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