Saturday, 11 July 2009

it's just like Venice without the water

That seemed like a pretty wild claim to me. Venice is all about the water so how would old town Dubrovnik be just like Venice? K claimed he’d accept that claim if it had narrow streets, piazzas, gelati and Venetian style masks. Well, the old town has narrow streets, piazzas, gelati and even masks not unlike Venetian masks. There are no cars or motorcycles just like Venice, but then there are no Vaporettos and no canals. So while not being a totally bizarre claim, there are essential ingredients missing.
It’s incomprehensible that just twenty years ago this town was being bombed in the Serb-Croatian crisis. It’s a lovely town set on hills rising out of the Adriatic. We dined on a terrace overlooking the diamond water. A pair of pigeons preened next to us as we ate.
The old town is like many in Europe. It has massive 25 metre high walls surrounding it and it is well preserved. It only functions because of the tourist trade. Small shops house paintings and crafts by local artists, others sell the usual run of souvenirs – it seems that every city in Europe claims Pinocchio as their own! Some of the buildings house international clothing companies like United Colours of Benneton. Every thing is aimed at extracting euros/krunas from tourists who flit into town, take photos, eat, buy a few souvenirs and move on.
In the fleeting visit what I learnt was that this part of Croatia is breathtakingly beautiful. it survives on the tourist trade and that the locals, like many throughout Europe, are multi lingual.

Lots of greenery and ocean views in Dubrovnik.

I rather liked this sculpture in the main square. It was both amusing and beautiful.

Hills. Venice doesn't have hills, but it does have lots of steps!

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