the old city of Dubrovnik: the princess of the Adriatic

walking through the streets of the old city, in a drizzling rain, we felt humbled and fresh and slippery in our modern ways. 

time seems to stand still here, novenas still recited in local dialect every night.  even I was inspired to light a candle for our lasting love.  

shuffling the crowds of tourists, the opulence of the old city of Dubrovnik still stands.  in its heyday, what a sight this would have been.  

I imagine myself, layered in fine woven cloths, lace adorning my chest, gold bands around my ears, neck, and wrist.  worn sandals at my feet.  would I have traveled to the fountain to obtain water every day? 

would I have kneeled before these steps at twilight?

 

the Franciscan Monastery is just one of many religious structures attached to this ancient city.   onlookers take photographs at the famous cathedral steps, myself included. 

Dubrovnik has always been a trading port, competing with Venice for bragging rights. during the Yugoslavian breakup, and the Croatian War that ensued, the Serbians blockaded this port city and cut off all food and water supplies.  

over 8000 bombs were sent flying through the air, destroying homesteads and businesses alike within these UNESCO protected walls.  no army resides in the old city.  the UN declared this one act of many by Milosevic a crime against humanity. 

the people here have held strong, as they have done over centuries: against the Illyrians, the Greeks, and the Venetians.  they have resolve and grit embedded into their Croatian, yet Italian influenced, accents.

 

it took twenty years to rebuild, and now Dubrovnik looks as majestic as ever.  held tight within its self contained fortress.  

against the night sky, she glitters like a diamond bracelet, lustrous and brilliant. 

may she shine on. 

the princess of the Adriatic. 

živjeli! 

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flourishing Dubrovnik: initial intakes from the ancient city.

we arrived with a soft landing. not necessarily a queens landing- maybe a kings landing?- still… a cotton candy drop into a confectionary land of dreams. 

after a short stop at our seaside resort and a bus ride into old town, we stood at Pile Square. 

tucked between the outer wall of Dubrovnik and Fort Lovrijenac, the fountain laden meeting place provides for many scenic moments. and tourists. lots of tourists.  

we followed the crowd through the small medieval gate and slowly began to see why so many flocked to this space.  

large fountains and churches flanked every square.

 

white stone worn to gloss paved the stradun.  

opulence abounds.  

in awe of the magnitude of history we were experiencing, the sommelier and I made a small lap through the city center, then sat to take a bite to eat.

 

influenced mostly by Greeks from the South and Venetians to the West, Dalmatian cuisine can best be described as Mediterranean.  fresh fish, salad, vegetables, and light pastas. 

beyond my glass of rose and fresh anchovies my eyes laid upon Fort Lovrijenac, Dubrovnik’s “Gibraltar” and built in the 11th Century in just three months to deter Venetian rule.  

 

our first impression of Dubrovnik is one of vast beauty.  the summer months bringing such a variety of tourists here, the sommelier and I often wonder what the real culture of the city is like.  

one thing is for certain. we are only 55 minutes away from the capital, yet many millions of miles away from her culture. Dalmatians of are a different mindset, yet still Croatian.  

back to our lapad beach resort, where we will spend the next few days exploring more of this ancient city, in our own, unique opulence.  

živjeli!