Friday, May 22, 2009

Out and about in Dubrovnik

Since we failed miserably last night to walk around Dubrovnik's walls we were determined to do them this morning even though we suspected it might get a tad warm. We were correct, it proved to be more than warm; approaching hot.

The views from the wall, built to keep the Ottomans at bay, are spectacular to put it mildly and there is a nice story to go with the walls. The Dubrovnik town council felt it necessary to build the walls but did not have the finances to do so, so they made a law that all visitors to the city had to donate a single rock suitable for the building a city wall and in a very short space of time the beautiful walls of Dubrovnik were built.

The cafe just outside Dubrovnik's wall that we went to last night is clearly not the only cafe. The one below looked particularly nice but how to find the entrance through the wall isn't as easy as it would seem.

We stopped on our circuit around the top of the walls to have a spot of chilled lemon juice; the real thing, I'm sure they juice them on the premises. The bitter, cool taste was just the thing in the 30deg heat on top of the walls which were unprotected from the sun.

The city still seems to accommodate locals, unlike in Venice where the tourists have all but taken over. Although there are a few places where there are ruined buildings, on the whole Dubrovnik has a marked lack of deterioration. The Croatians must have a penchant for neatness or something because, in general, everything seems to be in pretty good repair. Maybe not ostentatious but very nicely done.

The view from the top of the walls and down into the centre of Dubrovnik looks pretty much like this. Once we had descended we headed straight for the ice-cream parlour we found yesterday evening where they spoke to us in broken Afrikaans. Yes, Afrikaans spoken in Dubrovnik!

From sightseeing we headed to the Internet Cafe only to find that their wifi was broken so we gave that up as a bad job and went back to the campsite where it was twice as expensive but at least it worked. Things turned out a little differently, firstly it didn't work due to a general power failure and secondly it was free because we were using our own laptop so we took the opportunity to catch up on the blog, do banking and some email which took me a couple of hours all in all.

We were going to paddling around a nearby island but Caron came down with a migraine so she retired to her bed to try and sleep it off. I went down for a swim once the sun was low enough in the sky so as not to fry me and I spent a couple of hours on the beach swimming and reading. I definitely need to start swimming again, I think I swam about 300m and I could feel myself tiring.

We were planning tomorrows route yesterday and found, to our consternation, that Bosnia goes right down to the sea just above Dubrovnik and we don't have visa's for Bosnia. The guide book said that 'most' nationalities don't need visa's but we found out that South Africans do. It was a real problem until the receptionist said that there was a 'transit' lane through Bosnia so we are hoping that all goes well tomorrow. It would be a real expensive curve ball to have to take the ferry from Dubrovnik up to Split to avoid Bosnia.

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