A little history of our desire to go to Croatia: Back in 2003 (before kids) Brett and I took a 7 month sabbatical to travel around the world. Almost 5 months of that trip was spent in Europe. Croatia was tentative on our itinerary. I can still remember the moment we decided to cross it off the list. Not because it wasn’t important, but the contrary. Dubrovnik, “the pearl of the Adriatic”, was so far south and we felt it deserved more time than we could afford on that trip. We vowed that one day we would properly explore the area. Fast forward 9 years to last fall, when we had a 2 week trip booked. This was cancelled 2 days before departure, due to an unforeseen medical emergency. Although cancelling the trip was the right thing to do, we were beginning to feel like we would never get there.
But finally, the time came and Dubrovnik was worth the wait.
The photos above were taken while walking along the outer wall of the old city. We were advised to do this walk in the late afternoon, when the sun is in just the right position to capture a glowing light on the orange tile roofs. The walls are almost 2km in length, with a lot of steps and we had already walked the kids all over town that day. So an ice-cream reward at the end was definitely in order.
It is hard to believe that most of the city was damaged by over 650 hits by artillery rounds in 1991. By 2005 most of the damage had been repaired and the city was restored, according to UNESCO guidelines, in the original style.
To get even more of an aerial view, we took the cable car to the top of Srd hill, that overlook the city. This is where the first bombs struck.
Although the city is stunning from these distant vantage points, what I really loved about Dubrovnik were all the little nooks & crannies, coves & crevasses and arches & alleyways. We spent a lot of time just walking and wandering, with no destination in mind. Oh, and I think the blend of seafood and Italian is the perfect combination for my family.
This octopus salad (above) was to die for! And nothing epitomizes vacation happiness for me, more than dining alfresco on a big pot of mussels!
We had 3 full days in Dubrovnik. Had it been high season we probably would have ventured up the coast and explored some other towns, or hopped on a ferry to see some islands (the ferries don’t run on a regular schedule during low season). So perhaps we will return to the Dalmatian coast one day. But what we were really in need of during this trip was a mixture of a little adventure and plenty of relaxation. Taking the time to stroll the quiet streets and stop and enjoy the lazy atmosphere of this town was rejuvenating. And let’s face it, traveling with 2 young kids always provides a little adventure.