Our second stop was the city of Dubrovnik on the coast of Croatia. Never in my life did I think I would be traveling to Croatia, but it was a beautiful place. We walked around the walled city, looking at the churches and other historical buildings. And although I had wanted to try authentic cuisine in each port, Croatian food didn’t sound too appetizing, and we all ended up ordering an Italian dish at lunch–maybe next time I’m in Croatia I’ll be brave enough!
There were many alleyways, and the laundry was hung out to dry between buildings–very charming and picturesque. I told my parents I’d be hanging my laundry out the window in the front of the house. The idea was not well-received to say the least. (I figured I could have “show” laundry so no one would actually be looking at my real clothes and unmentionables–like I have “show” towels in the bathroom–but that’s just so it looks cleaner all the time). I also can’t imagine tourists stopping by my house to take photos of my laundry.
We walked the perimeter of the city on the top of the wall, taking in all the views of the Adriatic Sea and the hundreds of red-roofed buildings within the walls. I bought both a watercolor picture and a small oil painting as souvenirs–and we’ll soon learn that I went a little crazy buying art throughout the trip!
However, probably the most meaningful part of our visit to Dubrovnik was seeing the ruins of the 1991-1992 siege of the city by the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA). For seven months the city was under heavy artillery attack–with no military to defend itself–because the JNA claimed that Dubrovnik was historically part of Montenegro. It was interesting to see ruins among the rebuilt structures within the city–and very poignant to think this all happened in our lifetime.
A little history: At one time, Durbovnik used to be an island, but residents filled in the narrow channel between the island and the mainland in the 13th century and built the reclaimed area in to the landmark Placa. The intact medieval walls and historic core have earned it a place on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Fun facts: The independent state of Dubrovnik was the first to recognize the United States of America when it declared independence from Britain. Also, Dubrovnik was the only major European port that did not recognize slavery or allow slave ships to dock.