Dubrovnik by sea.
Dubrovnik Travel Blog› entry 201 of 251 › view all entries
August 17th, 2008 – by: cmgervais
Steve and I were warned that parking in Dubrovnik would be challenging at best, and that it would be best to take a ferry. So we shelled out $50 (!) for two roundtrip tickets from Cavtat to Dubrovnik and boarded a boat with about 30 others. Steve and I sat in front with one other couple, where we were occasionally sprayed with seawater. The ride took about an hour. I was very salty at the end of it.
Dubrovnik really is best approached from the sea. The city’s history is a tale of maritime success due to its excellent geographical position on the Adriatic. Its spectacular and famous fortress, which surrounds the city and wraps partially around the harbor, dates primarily from the period of its greatest success (1358 to 1808), when it was a wealthy independent republic.
As we arrived, the gorgeous view of the city was only partially obscured by the two enormous cruise ships parked out front (oh oh…). From this initial vantage point, I was surprised to see that the old fortress walls looked almost new…they are complete, not crumbling, and in surprisingly good condition. When we got closer, we saw that the stones were indeed old, and that the walls have undergone restoration work. The whole area was heavily damaged during bombings in 1991-1992 by the Yugoslav army/Serbian irregulars, and the attackers did nothing to spare the historic buildings and harbor of Dubrovnik. [Link to a video of these bombings].
Of course that story has a happy ending. After the war, people around the world donated money to repair Dubrovnik, and today we saw no traces of what happened in that video. Dubrovnik appears to be fully recovered, and is certainly 100% open for business, with many bustling boutiques and cafes. It’s really an incredible and special place, too. We covered the entire Old City, which is full of beautiful and historic structures…churches, monasteries, a palace. There are wide pedestrian streets and narrow alleyways to explore, and although there were many other visitors during this peak season, it didn’t feel overly crowded. (When we visited the Maritime Museum, which is housed inside a section of the Fortress, we actually had the place all to ourselves.) There is a great, relaxed atmosphere here. I really liked Dubrovnik.
At the end of the day, we took the ferry back home. This time we sat in the back where there was no “refreshing” sea spray to cover us in salt. The view from the ferry was gorgeous, and I would recommend this mode of transportation in this area, if you get the chance. Good day... Dubrovnik lived up to the hype.
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