Woolly says – regardless of how many times I prodded and poked the girls they refused to wake up! Hmmm might be because we had no plan to wake up at 6am! Woolly says – having re-planned the day five times, reorganised my back pack six times and recounted my remaining pistachios seven times.....my stocks are running low! They finally arrived at the front door and I galloped off to the small bus stop for our short journey back into the centre of Dubrovnik. First on my itinerary was Fort Lovrijenac, built on a 37 meter high rock overlooking the sea around 1018, it was of prime importance for the defence of the western part of Dubrovnik against attack from land and the sea. When it was working at full capacity it was manned by a 25 man garrison and a Commander of the fort. The mammoth seemed to be full of energy as he bounced up the steps to the entrance, this could be scary! Woolly says – the interior wasn’t that exciting with it’s curved archways, it did however have some rather nice
circular windows and some little niche holes...just the right size for a mammoth! The view however was incredible and as I sat atop a cannon gazing out to sea on my search for pirates I thought what a lovely place to be this was. Having finally convinced him to leave his cannon behind we headed back through the main city gate and into the seething masses once more.. Woolly says – Our mission...if we choose to accept it, was to find the Gallery of War and Suffering but even clutching the map tightly in my paws this proved to be elusive. Tiny street after street greeted us but having lost all sense of direction I decided to start looking for our next destination, having made that decision we of course found it! Unfortuanly it was closed but the information board outside told us the story of a famous Croatian artist Ivo Grbic. During the height of the shelling on December 6th 1991 his house received a direct hit and caught fire ending up completely destroyed, along with a large inventory of his work. As his house burnt a photographer took a very
peculiar photograph which became a symbol for the residents of Dubrovnik and of wider Balkan defiance. In the photo stands Ivo wrapped against the cold in a blanket with a pot on his head in front of his house which has flames shooting from his bedroom window, he is looking bent over and haggard but holds his fist up in the Balkan symbol for defiance and is SMILING as his house burns to ash behind him. Well if he could show defiance to the enemy then I’m sure I can manage these thousands of streets....onwards we go! As we hurried after him I attempted to take pictures, we bypassed churches and peeked into the Ethnographic Museum which was asking a kings ransom to look round it’s one room. I could hear my small friend muttering but couldn’t quite make out what he was saying. Woolly says – MOSQUE! Why does no one listen to me! As soon as I shouted out of course Zoe pointed at the small lantern above my head that read Mosque! Giving her a quick glare I scurried up the stairs, I had thought to include the Mosque
having seen so many churches here and found the only Synagogue, I thought it would balance the religious states somewhat but on entering the upstairs room a rather stern looking lady stared at me, I smiled but although she didn’t stop me from going into the Mosque area itself somehow I didn’t feel that it was a good idea. Zoe and I both felt the same so having retreated to the ground floor we thought that a snack (for Woolly) and a rethink was in order. Woolly says – fuelled up once more I eagerly set off into the maze of Dubrovnik once more on the hunt for the aquarium....well it would defiantly make a change from churches! I of course spoke too soon as we rounded a corner and met a monumental Baroque staircase, jumping up the steps I was met with the incredible sight of the Church of St Ignatius. Iganzio Pozzo a renowned Jesuit architect and painter was called to the City in 1699 and proceeded to design the church, the plans of which were finalized in 1703 he then set about the construction which was completed in 1725.
Entering into the huge place I stood and stared about me, the single nave with it’s side chapels and a semi-circular divided apse decorated by magnificent Baroque frescoes with scenes from life of St. Ignatius de Loyola painted by Gaetano Garcia were amazing. I nudged Jo to stop staring and start clicking before the next swarm of tourists arrived and deprived us of the wonders in front of our eyes. At that moment the doors opened and the flocks arrived, time to go. It was very impressive but we were on a mission! Woolly says – I charged through the streets, turning corners and then finding that we had doubled back on ourselves, in desperation I asked a nice smiley waiter and he pointed at the other side of his restaurant, asking how I got over the building he suggested a snack and the use of his stairs, well it would have been rude not to. Once the our furry disposal unit had finished eating once more we arrived at the entrance to the fishy underworld of the Fort of St Ivana. Woolly says
– It was lovely and cool and as I padded round I passed the time of day with the rather large Logger Head Turtle, a lobster that would have fed an entire army of mammoths and a variety of other sea creatures. The lightening was proving difficult for Jo and although she did her best I wasn’t convinced there would be much evidence of our watery experience. Not the biggest of aquariums but sweet all the same and rather than tank after tank of exotic fish and fauna it dealt only with what could be found in the depths locally. Woolly says – arriving back into the baking temperatures I was reminded of a place that Zoe had already suggested having seen it on buzzing or some such site. The Buzz Bar or the Hole in the Wall Bar as it is known locally offers the best views in the city, it was a shame that the only table free for us allowed us only to see a slither of the sea between the umbrellas and that the cider that Zoe had ordered wasn’t in stock but it was pleasant enough watching
the kayaks bobbing along on the ocean and laughing at the skiers falling into the water. Relaxed and refreshed we were ready for our last assault of the day, the City Walls. Most people would have course walked along them first to get their bearings of the city but nooooo we like to be different. Climbing up at the first available point gave us a birds eye view across the red roofs, steeples and sea, amazing to say the least shame about the three million tourists that decided to do exactly the same thing at the same time as us!
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