Until my son Joel had a housemate from Dubrovnik a few years ago, I’m embarrassed to admit that I’d never even heard of it. It is an amazingly beautiful seaport along the Dalmatian Coast in Croatia, and as it turned out, this was both Alan and my favorite day of the cruise, which is why I’m telling you about it first instead of last! Although it only has a population of about 43,000, Dubrovnik is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Mediterranean Sea. After visiting…I totally agree with the world of tourists! 🙂 It took us about a half an hour on a bus to get from the ship to the center of the Old City, and it was such a gloriously balmy day that by then it was time for our daily gelato break. (Italian gelatos make American ice cream look a little lack luster.) Thus fortified, the kiddos were brave adventurers…with one caveat.
As an FYI if you travel there: Stop at the ATM before leaving the town square for some Croatian kuna (about 7 to 1 on the American dollar). Our toilet attendant would not accept Euros and expected payment per person to use the W.C. (water closet), so be advised! A kindly Englishman took pity on our crew, bless him!
So, happily reconstituted, we were all ready for a big day of exploring. Just a few blocks up the road from the fortress is a gorgeous maze of old streets, and beautiful buildings. The streets are lined with shops, musicians, and street vendors selling their wares. Old City Dubrovnik is clean and beautiful… even the pavement shone like glass! Like all world-class cities, the streets were also lined with beautiful flowers and appealing outdoor cafes. In the heat of the day, we decided it was time to find the beach. Banje Beach is one of the most beautiful Mediterranean beaches I’ve ever seen. The water was cool, clear, and just perfect for swimming! It was so warm that we all got to swim for as long as we wanted to, and after swimming, we could search for beautiful bits of sea glass on the shore. They had lovely, free changing rooms (and bathrooms!), and all in all, I think it was a 5-star experience for all of us! My mother traveled all over the world, but my mother-in-law used to say,
“If I want to know what some country is like, I’d rather look at a picture book!”
To each his own! If you ever get a chance to go to Dubrovnik, I hope you take it, but whether or not you enjoy adventuring, I hope you’ve enjoyed sharing our adventure. I hope you’ve also learned a little bit more about this unique and lovely city in the incredibly wonderful world that God has given us! “the hand of the Lord hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it” (Isaiah 41:20).