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Published: March 29th 2012
Now, where was I?
Suitably relaxed, we packed the Berlingo, said our goodbyes to the campsite fella and his cat, and headed south-east-ish. We had decided to head for Dubrovnik, and the usual way to get there was to head southwest, straight towards the coast.
We decided to take the advice of Nedzo from Blagaj and hang a left on highway 6. As is usual, taking local advice paid off. Not only did it reduce the number of border crossings (the normal way required driving into Croatia, then back into Bosnia, then into Croatia again) but it took us through some quieter, dry Mediterranean type countryside. The road wounnd its way through some lovely country, through towns with great names like Stolac, Ljubinje and Trebinje, all a bit bucolic in a dry sort of way.
Not a long way, really, and a nicer drive, we hear, than the other. We wound our way slowly up the hills until we topped out in sight of the Adriatic. It was blue.
The border crossing was painless, and we headed for the coast. We had a couple of camping grounds in mind. The first one we tried was, well, a
bit shit, really. Small, but not in a good way like the one in Bosnia. Quiet, but only because it was a million miles from town. We moved on.
Eventually we found ourselves at giant, very commercial affair right near Dubrovnik itself. We had decided to spend at least two nights here – the 90 euro a night fee changed our minds in a heartbeat. But we were stuffed, so we stayed. We found a spot, a long way from the dunnies and so forth, and chipped away at the rocks as, millimetre by millimetre, we got a couple of pegs into the ground.
It was hot and dusty, so we simply chilled for a bit, drank a few beers, and hung it with another cat – this one a stray. Klaire was most taken with it. It was a young cat, a kitten really, and pretty cute. Klaire, of course, being somewhat allergic to cats, spent the rest of the day with sneezing with a headache, but she seemed to think it was worth it.
As the sun dropped in the sky we made our way into the town of Dubrovnik itself –
about a 20 minute walk away. It was a pretty walk, all in all, and the day had cooled nicely. Dubrovnik is a beautiful town, and it was clear that this is not news to anyone. Massive cruise ships in the harbour, rows of buses, many white hats, white pants and pink skins. By the time we got into the old city it was almost 6pm and still very busy.
The thing to do, apparently, was a wall walk. Dubrovnik still has a great old wall surrounding the old town and, for a reasonable fee, you could walk the whole thing. Happily, the walk closes at 6, so we made it just in time. It also meant that once we were in no one else came in, so we only had to contend with the people already on it – and there weren’t that many. There was no time limit on how long you could spend wandering about up there so we took our time, stopping for a nice quiet beer as we gazed over the sea. The sun was sinking slowly towards the ocean, and the failing light cast some pretty cool shadows about the place, the change
in the wavelengths of visible light setting off the medieval architecture of the old town. So, there’s a tip – do the wall walk as late as possible.
We made our way back down into the narrow alleyways of the old town. Even with the mass of tourists it was occasionally possible to find a quiet place – but not easy. We did manage to find a pizza place to have a good dinner. Not that it’s generally hard to find a pizza place in a tourist town.
Dubrovnik was, like champagne and Pink Floyd, good but overrated. Certainly a beautiful town with a hell of a lot of history. We were glad we went, and it’s not a place you should miss. But… it was unlikely that we would be back, and once we made the decision to head up the coast we weren’t sorry to go.
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