Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Road to Dubrovnik

We managed to pry ourselves away from our little beach on Korčula, but it wasn't easy. A brief bit of cloudy weather helped ease the pain.

With Korčula's old town in our rear view mirror, our day would take us down the Pelješac Peninsula.

This highly diverse and somewhat unheralded bit of Croatia might be more famous if it were an island, something that might easily be accomplished with a backhoe, some shovels and a bit of determination.

The daunting topography is laced with challenges of all kinds.

We found ourselves in another tiny tunnel that disgorged us high above the Adriatic.

At the narrowest point of the peninsula, the ancient fortress of Ston offered one of the more curious wall designs you'll see, but presumably it was effective.

Ston also happened to be Croatia's seafood capital.

Too bad we don't care much for seafood.

Finally, we approach the gates of our destination... would the reality live up to the legend?

Finding a parking spot in the lots outside of Dubrovnik's city walls was an epic task, and the fees were the stuff upon which legends are built.

We were also met with a stark -- and prominently posted -- reminder of how badly mauled Dubrovnik was by Yugoslav army shelling in Croatia's 1992-95 war of independence.

But it was only when we stepped inside the gates in the heat of the afternoon, blithely schlepping all of our luggage and managing two tired kiddos, that we discovered the travails Dubrovnik had in store for us.  We had, for some reason, assumed that the old city was basically flat.  It is, in fact, shaped like a giant football stadium, and our seats were on the opposite side.   There was nothing to do but haul everything down hundreds of stairs to the flat area in the middle and then back up the other side to our apartment.  

We must have been a pitiable sight to the throngs of tourists who were equally hot but not nearly so encumbered.

 Once installed in our garden at last, it took a while to cool down, but we managed.


Soon we were setting out to explore the city and soak up its many centuries of hard-earned ambiance.


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