Monday, October 3, 2016

The Ancient wallled city of Dubrovnik, Croatia

My first view of the old town as seen from the bus
I had a few hours before my taxi arrived so I walked around near my hotel until it was time to go to the airport and fly to Dubrovnik.  I had read up on this walled town so I was looking forward to visiting it. I caught a shuttle bus at the airport and I knew the bus station was close enough to my hotel to walk. It was raining  lightly when I arrived at from bus station. Luckily it was about a 15 min walk from the bus station to the hotel Petra and someone showed me the quickest way to walk which was past the cruise ships.  I took a nap, still exhausted from the time change and then it stopped raining so I walked near the hotel.

Pile Gate

I woke up early and after breakfast caught the bus to Dubrovnik which left right across the road from my hotel.  The bus dropped me off by Pile Gate the entrance to the old town.  I started exploring the town by 9 am it was not too crowded yet and thankfully not to hot at the moment.  I  stopped in St Blaise church, then I climbed a lot of stairs and visited the church of St Ignatius considered the most representative Baroque example on the whole Croatian coast.  I then wandered some alleyways and then back down the stairs and walked to the port. It was quite lovely as the sun was shining and there were boats in the harbor. I  decided to take a glass bottom boat ride and as I was waiting to ask about it I was suddenly surprised to see wait for it Yellow Submarine, I was excited  about that.  I said to girl selling tickets hard to pass up the Yellow submarine since I am a Beatles fan and then she pointed to her John Lennon t-shirt she said my dad is a huge fan so I grew up listening to the Beatles, she was young and it was nice to hear.  She then told me that it was hard to climb on and sit on top but I could go below. She was selling tickets for both so I knew she was being truthful. I have since seen a review where someone said it was hot and smelly so  I am glad I choose the glass bottom boat ride instead.The ride was about an hour and it was nice to see the old town from the water as far as glass bottom it was closed until we got to a spot and he opened the "shutter" and we could view the bottom the guide said at one time you would have seen a lot of fish but that has not happened for many years.

St Blaise
up to St Ignatius

St Ignatius Church the stairs up ended and the church began

We all live in a Yellow Submarine

along the shore

Pile Gate as seen from boat

I saw some people holding signs for a walking tour but by now it was getting pretty hot and I asked if there were any later and he said the next one was 5.30; apparently they stop them for a few hours because of the heat. I decided to go inside the Assumption Cathedral, it was built on the site of former Cathedrals the money to build the basilica was partly contributed by Richard the Lionheart as a votive for having survived a shipwreck near the Island of Lokrum. It was almost pretty much destroyed by the earthquake of 1667 and was rebuilt in Baroque style.   By 2 pm it was quite hot (I found out later it was 90 degrees) and I tried to avoid the sun and that was not easy to do I walked into a church I had already been in and sat down at one point while in the church I felt very strange and had to sit I awhile I think I was dehydrated I had to keep from passing out.  After when  I felt better and drank some more water I  went back out and avoided direct sun until the shade came. Luckily the sun dropped enough to make walking in some shade possible.  I saw some ice cream and decided it might be good way to cool down and I got a cone of what was probably the darkest shade of brown I had ever seen. another interesting spot was Big Onofrio's Fountain which is a 16 sided container with a cupola that was build in 1438-1430. The ancient water supply supplied the town with fresh water for 500 years.
on top of the Cathedral

Big Onofrio's fountain

At this point had enough time to either take a walking tour or to walk The Walls of Dubrovnik. I had read about the walls and decided to see if I was able climb up the stairs so I got a ticket and started the climb. The Walls of Dubrovnik (Croatian Dubrovacke gradske zidine) are defensive stone walls that have surrounded and protected the citizens of the proclaimed maritime city-state of Dubrovnik since the city's founding prior to the 7th century.   There were so many great views from up there and I walked along taking photos and just stopping to enjoy the views. I got to one point where you could see a lot of cats laying around in one area and others saw them and were counting and pointing there were 17 in all. I became a challenge to find them.  Found out later that the restaurants feed the cats because they kill rats who carried the plague. All in all a good day in Dubrovnik.

climbing the stairs to the Wall

on the walkway 

views from the wall

crazy cats on the wall