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.  


zagreb: a duchess of the heart.

there is a nationalist vibe in Zagreb, a city of nearly 800,000, ninety percent of which are Croats. her cafes and churches flank every square, and statues of Tesla and Preradovic adorn the sidewalks.

Ban Jelacic is celebrated in her heart, the town center.

pride in Croatian heritage is evident: a long mix of Greek, Illyrian, Roman, Turkish, Italian, Austro-Hungarian, Yugoslavic, and self-rule oozes out of her veins. Zagreb’s talk of recent war brings breath into the lungs, while she sighs with relief at the current quiet surrounding her.

while not as affected as other cities in Croatia, Zagreb still reels from the pain of bombings.

a Catholic nation who has recently signed a Vatican treaty with Rome, the people of it’s capital, Zagreb, are educated, yet traditional.

churches are full on weekends, and against the public statements of the current pope, homosexuality is still not accepted.

walking through the small alleyways in Gornji Grad (Old Town), an elevated area, it is apparent that community is an important structure of the everyday here.

locals meet for coffees or pivos at cafes, while tourists flock around them with awkward gawks and sweaty necks.

there are flower squares and market squares, every day replenishments provided for the local population. handwoven lace linens and doilies slather the wooden stalls.

honey and fresh fruits fill the baskets and bags of those gathering staples for the day. women gather for poignant gossip.

a genuinely helpful people, Croats strive for excellence in the understanding of their culture. many go to lanky lengths to ensure the tourist education of their trade. this was especially evident with regards to food and wine, chefs and bar men pointing out the different locales from which ingredients were acquired.

and the food was delicious: ranging from distinctively Croatian…

to Austro-Hungarian.

the opulence that makes up Zagreb is intoxicating.

breathtakingly beautiful.

and while we walked the cobblestone streets and breathed in her air, the sweat poured down our backs from the hot sun. the heat exhausting. pivos ensuing.

holding a small inner city, you can traverse her distinct museums and historical monuments in just a few days.

Zagreb is luxurious, and while we only spent a few days here, her sway from democracy to old socialist ties were evident.

she is more petite than her sisters Budapest and Vienna, beautiful yet short in stature. and while others may sing sweetly, or write lyrically, Zagreb is a true duchess of the heart.

she produces the beat of Croatia.