Day 9: Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik Travel Blog

 › entry 9 of 11 › view all entries
walled city in the distance as seen from the coastal highway

On this day, our final day of cruising, our ship docked in the port of Dubrovnik, Croatia. Jon and I were keen to take one of the ship's official excursions as it was the only easy way to get up on the coastal scenic highway with a view out to the sea. The various other group members splintered off to take excursions that interested them or to walk the old city on foot.

 

The excursion did not disappoint. The views from the coastal road were amazing. As far as the eye could see there was ocean with the walled city of Dubrovnik and its small offshore island below us. The island is quite remarkable in that for years it housed an occupied monastery until Napoleon conquered the territory and took the island over for munitions and operations.

side street -look at all those steps!
It is said that the monks put a death curse on the island and after Napoleon's exit no one has dared lived there since.

 

Once the tour guide had taken us on a leisurely stretch of the coastal road to capture some great pictures, we were then escorted down into the old city. I've never been in any place like old Dubrovnik - the historical portion of the city is akin to a castle - it's completely walled in with its back to the ocean. It's surrounded by a moat. A MOAT! Very very cool.

 

Our tour guide wound us through the narrow side streets up and around the larger main pedestrian walkway. We visited the oldest pharmacy in Europe still in operations, a few religious houses of study and worship, and learned a lot about the history of the town.

Interior of a church courtyard
There was an optional extension to climb up and walk the city walls for a handful of euros but I was tired and needed the restroom so we passed on that. And the restrooms- whoa.

 

Warning- don't read the next section if you're eating or about to.

 

 It was here in old Dubrovnik that I had my first encounter with what is called a 'Turkish toilet' (makes me never want to go to Turkey). Imagine you open a ladies restroom stall expecting to find a toilet but it seems someone has mistakenly put the floor of a standard walk-in shower in it's place. The only difference between it and an actual shower is that there are groove marks telling you where to put your feet on the floor to squat and do your business and instead of a showerhead you have a faucet (the kind you hook your hose to outside of our homes in the states) about a foot and a half off the floor.

church
Oh and the drainpipe is not covered as with a shower, it's open for you to, um, deposit your waste in. Just try to visualize this! Unless you are just urinating you better have VERY GOOD AIM. Otherwise you are just depositing your waste on the floor near the drainpipe and then you or the sad person after you is going to have to get it down the drain somehow.

 

I had so many questions as soon I opened the stall. How does this work for older persons or others with bad knees? How do I manage this wearing pants?! There was no time to contemplate these issues though since there was a very long line of women behind me. Obviously I was going to have to remove my pants, while keeping my shoes on. BUT THERE WAS NOWHERE TO LAY MY PANTS DURING THE OPERATION! I had to sling them over the door.

turkish toilet
Midway through this adventure of sorts I also realized THERE WAS NO TOILET PAPER. I don't mean it had run out I mean there was none supplied. I said out loud "There is no toilet paper, can someone hand me a paper towel" and another woman who spoke broken English replied "That's what the faucet is for". HUH? The faucet was not like a bidet where you could position yourself for a perfect aim or something - it was your standard outdoor faucet type as I mentioned above. Oh no, how was this going to work? It dawned on me that the intention of the design here was to turn the faucet on, get water cupped in your hands and clean yourself manually. This was clearly shaping up to be the most disgusting toilet experience I'd ever had. And the water was cold! Then I had to figure out how I was supposed to dry off in order to put my pants back on. There were some cloth hand towels there for that purpose but they looked as though they'd been used many times so I passed on them and just tried to air dry before putting my pants on.
town fountain
I am pretty squeamish so the whole ordeal just made me want to cry. Plus the whole procedure took at least 10 minutes what with the pants removal and trying to figure everything out and it really aggravated everyone waiting in line. Let me just put on my ethnocentric spoiled American hat here and say to the Europeans who still use this system, "WHY?! What is wrong with you?".

 

After my lovely bathroom experience, we stopped to pick up a Croatian cookbook and then boarded the shuttle bus that took us back to the port to board the ship.

 

Dubrovnik: town of castles and crazy toilets!

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
walled city in the distance as see…
walled city in the distance as se…
side street -look at all those ste…
side street -look at all those st…
Interior of a church courtyard
Interior of a church courtyard
church
church
turkish toilet
turkish toilet
town fountain
town fountain
armory/lookout on the hill
armory/lookout on the hill
the moat (no water in in now)
the moat (no water in in now)
streets of Dubrovnik
streets of Dubrovnik
city well
city well
city walls
city walls
clock tower
clock tower
city walls
city walls
the drawbridge
the drawbridge
old town architecture
old town architecture
a view out to sea
a view out to sea
Dubrovnik
photo by: benwielenga