For most of the holiday in Croatia, we have been staying in the safety of the resort, enjoying the air conditioning in our apartment, swimming in the pool and- once- in the beautiful Mediterranean. How’ve re, my parents had apparently decided that we had to get out and about a bit, so at 11 we took a boat to Dubrovnik.
Ok, I’m being unfair. I wanted to see it too. But seriously, did we have to go at the start of the hottest time of day? Really?
It is beautiful, though. The whole place is pedestrianised, so for once I did ‘t have to think about howI really don’t like cars. It’s obvious why the producers of Game of Thrones favoured it- I suspect it was the imposing, castle-like stone wall looking on to the sea. (I don’t watch Game of Thrones, so I can’t be sure.) I’m not mad about it, but the houses are lovely- all sorts of muted shades of grey, white and brownish yellow, with pretty tiled roofs, all a deep, rich red. Quite a few times, we walked down side streets lined with flowers in pots and lush, woody green clusters of leaves growing on the walls. People do that thing of hanging their washing out of the windows, sometimes across the gaps between buildings- there’s something so pleasant about that practise, although I don’t know what. There are a couple of churches- I don’t know if they’re all Catholic there, but the one we stopped in was. It was nice- very peaceful. The whole place looks like it’s from hundreds of years ago, although someone scrubbed it up in between.
Update: I just found out, at dinner, that Dubrovnik was heavily shelled near the end of the Cold War, when Communism was breaking up everywhere (Croatia was part of Yugoslavia at the time). Pretty good repair work!
I didn’t buy a candle, but I offered up a quick prayer for the ‘boat people’ of the Mediterranean- for immigrants everywhere, in fact, whatever their reasons for moving. There was a collage of children’s photos, another of young-ish adults, and for a second I thought that they were dead or missing! Then Mum said that they it was probably celebrating their first communion. Phew! But I hope they grow up kind and compassionate, not hiding behind a Bible to judge and hurt others. It’s easy to believe that a child will, looking at their smile, but we were all kids once.
Back to a happier note, we had lunch (I felt ok eating fish, since it’s most likely local) then wondered round the shops a bit. I am now the proud owner of a lovely big sunhat, a cute handheld mirror, (temporarily) some postcards, and a really quite fantastic bag that I’m hoping to use at 6th form. It’s got a psychedelic spiral pattern all over it, but on the front there is a gorgeous multicoloured owl. I’m so glad I bought it- I’ve never seen one like it in Britain. (I can’t upload photos at the moment, but once I’ve published this post I’ll add them back at home.) I didn’t buy an gorgeously shaped and decorated candle, but I admired them extensively.)
But oh my god, the HEAT. My top was drenched in sweat by the time we got back, and I frequently felt pretty damn groggy, as well as getting a lousy stabbing headache. Thank god for the old-fashioned water fountains that we splashed our fac and limbs with, and for a delicious chocolate ice cream- and. I shouldn’t forget the divinely air-conditioned bus we travelled back in, either.
Anyway, I definitely recommend a visit to Dubrovnik- it’s an exquisitely pretty city. But if you want to truly appreciate its beauty, I suggest leaving it a few months, until the weather’s cooler.
Tomorrow, we’re embarking on a day-long boat trip to a few surrounding Islands. Daniel’s really excited, because it looks quite a lot like a pirate ship! Should be great!
Untul next time- Zbogom! (No, that’s not a mixed-up superhero shout. It means ‘goodbye’ in Croatian.