Dubrovnik is located in the southern most part of the Republic of Croatia. Our arrival was scheduled for 9:00am and we watched the picturesque approach from our balcony while we got ready before heading to breakfast. We had an excursion booked to leave the ship at 10:00am, so we did not need to hurry this morning.
From the where we were docked at the Port of Gruz we were taken by bus to the old walled city of Dubrovnik. The bus, though, took us first past the city to an elevated area north-east of the city to give us a nice overview of the Dubrovnik. The bus ride concluded near the west side of the walled city and from that point we were on foot. The day was shaping up to be a very hot day, with very few clouds in sight.
The city itself is picturesque, situated on the Adriatic Sea with walls that extends all the way around the city. The city dates back to the 7th century (some sources say even earlier) and the walls are dated between the 13th and 17th centuries. We entered the old city through the Pile Gate, passing the Onofrio Fountain as we walked along the Strandun or Placa - the main street in this medieval city. Either side of the Strandum were shops, restaurants and small alleys leading to more shops and restaurants.
We walked to the end of the Strandun to the location of Sponza Palace and the 17th reconstruction of a 14th century church. Our guide explained that the original church was destroyed in 1667 when a major earthquake hit the city. Together with the ensuing fire, the earthquake claimed about 5000 lives and destroyed much of the city. The last major earthquake was fairly recent - in 1979.
After walking the Strandun, we ventured up one of the sets of stone steps to the top of the city walls. We walked most of the way around the city. The walk provided us fabulous views within the walled city, out over the old harbour, out over the Adriatic Sea and looking up to the adjacent landscape to the north of the city. At one point along the wall walk we took a break to take a look inside the maritime museum with art and artifacts covering the city’s history. We decided to leave the formal tour when we had walked back over the point that we had entered the city. From there we descended down the steps to roam back around the Strandun and adjoining alleys. It was interesting to us that there was no break from the heat in the shops - Dubrovnik didn’t seem to believe in air-conditioning.
Linda also found that the toilet facilities were just a little different from those back in Canada - clean, but just a whole in the ground! A cultural exchange, indeed. It was on the Strandun near the Onofrio Fountain that we found a street vendor with pleasant small water-coloured paintings. We purchased one of them from him. Croatia was the only European city on our trip that had a currency other than Euros - with the official Croatian currency being Kunas (approximately 7 Kunas to 1 Euro). The vendors in this tourist-filled area would accept Euros, though. We took a walk just outside the walled city in a small garden area near the sea before taking the bus back to the Port of Gruz.
The ship sailed at 5:15pm and this time we watched the departure from our balcony - complete with fresh canapés and fruit, of course. This evening’s dress code for dinner was formal. As became the norm, it was an excellent dinner.
After dinner we went to the Celebrity Theater at 11:15pm for the Captain’s Gala Toast, during which the ship’s Captain Michael Karatas introduced his senior staff and we all raised a toast to a memorable cruise. After the toast we stayed to watch the show - the Celebrity Singers & Dancers in a production called “Spectacle of Broadway”. Two of the singers in particular had very good singing voices. More impressive, though, was the accompanying band - known as the Celebrity Orchestra. They were extremely good musicians. We preferred the show time to be after the late dinner seating rather than before dinner - just as it was this night. Once the show was over we meandered back to our room - tomorrow would be a relaxing day at sea, but also we’d lose an hour of sleep as we adjusted to Greek time.
WHITEonline is the digital home of Gary & Linda White. We’ve been married since 1980 and live just outside Toronto in Ontario, Canada. Linda was born and raised in Toronto while Gary was born in London, England and moved to Canada at the age of 11. We enjoy travelling and taking photos while we travel. WHITEonline provides the opportunity to share some of our photos & experiences.