Wednesday, May 26, 2010

War and Rebuilding


Today is set aside for exploring the city of Dubrovnik. 500 years ago, this city was a major maritime power with the third biggest navy in the Mediterranean. Much of the tourist sights are located within the old city walls. To reach this area, we walk 384 steps down from the pension - this walk deters any thought of unnecessary trips back to the room! From 1991-92, after Croatia declared its independence from Yugoslavia, the city was heavily bombed by the Serbs dominated Yugoslav army, who wanted to move north toward the town of Split. Over 2,000 bombs and missiles fell, destroying much of the monuments and homes. This is documented in photographs at a historical gallery - the images bring tears to my eyes. Today, much of the city has been rebuilt with a walking path on the city wall, the wide cobbled Stradum-pedestrian central artery and myriad of alleys. No cars are permitted inside the city walls.

We visit the aquarium to see marine life in this part of the world, saunter the quiet alleys, stop for coffee and yummy pizza at Oliva, wander to the harbor and sit for hours with our feet in the water, and sample Dubrovnik's gelato. Pretty laid back, I would say and easy to get used to! It is a quiet day in the city with few tourist groups. Everywhere we go, we are mistaken for Japanese - is it the cameras, do you suppose?

Having checked out the reviews on restaurants, we choose Lokanda Peskarija on the harbor. The seafood risotto and pot of mussels are served in heavy iron pots. We also try their baby squids and salted anchovies. We eat heartily and mop up the juices with fresh bread, leaving not a morsel or drop!

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