Day 14/7: Dubrovnik

This is our last full day on the cruise. If you thought yesterday’s post was long…get ready for today.

After last night, everyone is a little slow this morning. Most people didn’t even make it to breakfast. All well earned I think. I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Except maybe that last drink. That was a doozy.

We stayed on the upper deck this morning to sail around the outside of the old Dubrovnik walls. We saw the usual rocks, lighthouses and small coves. It is all very pretty and picturesque. If we didn’t have excellent tour guides and some triggers to remember why each site is important though I would be lost. It is a lot of history to learn over a week. I need to come back and spend more time in each place.

Lovrijenac (or Fort St Lawrence)

I’m loving the clouds today. It looks like a artist took a brush across them.

Once we got to Dubrovnik, we sailed back towards the cruise ship port (the old city port is only for small boats and tendering).

Our first glance of the outside walls

Cruise ship port “under the bridge”

We sailed outside our soon-to-be hotel in Dubrovnik for the last two nights of the trip as well. We could just see the little beach down below the hotel. It’s the one with the blue glass below.

We stopped for our last swim stop just outside the harbour. The wind and currents were up though. Most people stayed on board. A few of the kids and crazier adults swam for a bit and a few actually swam over to a little island and explored. The kids were tired coming back so N actually swam out some floaties to help them back. What a great guy!

After swimming we had our last lunch-steak. The only time this cruise!

We got ready for our city tour. First up- the cable car. We headed for the top of the mountain to get a glorious overview of the old city and the harbour. We could see the wall with the 4 fortresses, one in each corner. The old City is just out of this world. I just can’t cut down the pictures any more. You will have to bear with me. It is just so beautiful with so much history behind it.

First view from the cable car
Half way up the mountain in the cable car

The view from the top

On the way down

This is the video of the entire cable car ride in case you want to experience it without the stress of being in the air.

We headed into the old city through the Pile Gate. It is so busy that they even have signage and ropes to ensure you are going the right direction.

We heard about the Croatian war of independence and how much of the old city was destroyed. You can see on the map that it was about 70%. Yet it still exists. The wall also withstood a massive earthquake in the 1600s. That pretty good masonry and architecture.

Next we went on a guided tour of Old Dubrovnik. We headed to Luza Square and the Sponza Palace. We got the history of Orlando’s column and his elbow. He was a knight who stopped a siege of the fortress. Apparently all fabric was measured using the length of his forearm (51.2cm). What a funny way to measure things in your city, but I guess of you save your city in the medieval times, then you get that honor. The column was under construction.

St Blaise’s church was very ornate. The patron saint of the city was everywhere around Dubrovnik. There are many statues holding mini models of the city. All guests to the city had to bring a gift. And after dark, only nobles could enter the City wall unless specifically invited.

We also saw the main cathedral (Assumption of the Virgin Mary, but people just call it the Cathedral or Dubrovnik’s cathedral) which is very ornate but also under construction at the dome. You can see some of the damage from the war still on the side wall.

Side wall war damage, dome under renovation

We have heard many times about the predominance of the Roman Catholics (86%) in Croatia. Today we heard a little about the other religions. There is one Jewish synagogue and one Muslim mosque here which I guess is better than other parts of Croatia. There are however 26 chapels as each high powered RC family had their own back in the day.

Another Cathedral but I missed the name

The other interesting building we saw that tied to home was the orphanage. It was founded by the Catholics early on in Dubrovnik but when people were hesitant to leave their kids for fear of being seen, they made a door where you could leave the child but it would not alert anyone for a couple of minutes so the parent could get away. It’s like our Angel cradle at St Paul’s.

We saw the outside fortress walls and bell tower but left the climbing and walking around those for another day. It was too hot.

We left the tour and went to Bota Sare for a sushi and oyster dinner. It was fabulous. We found out they are associated with the oyster farm we went to yesterday! We had their oysters again and the freshest tuna (it was caught just yesterday!).

After the meal we had this honey brandy that was just excellent. I have to get some before we leave. Our waitress was outstanding and gave us a recommendation for a club and some drinks from her friend’s beach bar!

We walked around the old city a little more. We found the all year Christmas shop which my sister would love. My sister starts Christmas decorating and wearing green and red about September 🤫.

We walked Cersei Lannister’s walk of shame (for GofT fans).

https://images.app.goo.gl/PKyqfyJ8gEz2kLRw7

The Jesuit Stairs leading to Gundulic square were very impressive. There were a lot of people there though. Lots of people recreating her walk (me included sort of). We saw a lot of the sites from the series and you could believe you were in Kings Landing. Our guide actually said some people don’t know the city is actually called Dubrovnik. That doesn’t make the local people very happy I can tell you.

We watched the GoT ship set sail from “Blackwater Bay” which was pretty cool. It is the west pier in real life.

Our last stop was for an ice cream. Our guide had recommended it and it smelled too good to pass up as we walked by. O couldn’t decide so he spun the ice cream flavor wheel.

We headed back to the boat after posting our postcards from our last stop. We were all pretty knackered from the heat and the walking.

We sat with some of our new friends and chatted about how we now have friends all over the world. It was truly a great group of people to travel with. I was worried about who would be on the ship before we headed on our trip. I think with that size of boat, the group can make or break you. We got lucky and met some wonderful people who I would like to keep in touch with.

G and O got a bottle of Prosecco as a honeymoon gift as well as a souvenir of the cruise. Very nice touch.

Up next: Old Dubrovnik walls

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