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Dubrovnik II

March 11, 2012

We woke up spontaneously about 5:45. Breakfast was available at 7, and we worked on various things until 10, when the first shuttle ran to Dubrovnik. We reserved a seat on the last return shuttle at 5:30 this afternoon.

A fairly clear day, chilly and breezy. Nice. The bus plaza is just outside the walls of the old town, where we of course went. We decided to buy day passes, one day for me, and seven days for Jacky. We’ll incur the pain of the expenditure up front, and then not feel as if we have to evaluate whether each attraction is worth it or not.

The main street through the old town is reasonably wide and leads straight through to a plaza. In the morning, there were considerably fewer people; this photo — still not showing a crowd, really — is from early afternoon, from the city walls.

The first place we stopped was a large open courtyard, below. A pianist was playing something nice when we went in, and the acoustics were surprisingly good. As we settled in to enjoy, she got up and left with her husband — just another tourist, one who happened to be musically talented. Nice.

The high point, so to speak, is the city walls. We spent at least two and possibly three hours doing the circuit of the walls. Well repaired, interesting, and nice views.


It occurs to me that, when you have a city built in the vertical, you can optimize space in three dimensions. This (below) would be very congenial.

There are a fair number of ruins around. I don’t know whether these are left over from the war damage of the 1990s, or whether they just reflect the ordinary turnover of any city. In any event, there are also signs of construction here and there. Feral cats everywhere; they don’t mind living in ruins.

Below: I have no idea! No idea whatever!

Jacky observes that it looks as if the rock is encroaching on the wall, rather than the wall having been built onto the rock.

I’m not particularly nervous about heights, but I would think twice about climbing that ladder!

The business of this town is clearly tourism, but there are a few people around who actually do real work. Harvesting seafood for the tourists, for example.

There are two bronze knights that strike the hours on one of the towers. We later saw their ancestors in one of the museums. Sculptured in considerable detail, far more detail than the observers in the street will ever see. Interesting to notice the wires and levers that actuate them.

I suppose you could hardly call this anything but a handrail!

And if you need a standoff to keep your cables from chafing against the wall, well, why not!

We decided to have a late lunch and skip the hotel restaurant. Doubtless we will have other evenings in the hotel’s restaurants. So we strolled around the old town until we came upon the Ragusa 2 restaurant, where we sat outdoors (wearing jackets) and enjoyed fish, a sea bass for Jacky and unspecified filets with peppery polenta for me.

Back to the bus plaza, where the shuttle was waiting to take us to the hotel. A great day. I’m glad I came a day early; it would have been a shame to have missed this.


March 10, 2012

Broadband Forum meets in Dubrovnik this time. Jacky came along, using my frequent flyer miles in business class. That lasted until London Heathrow, where we couldn’t book further travel on United, so we bought a separate itinerary on Croatia Airlines through Zagreb into Dubrovnik. I guess those aircraft have business classes, but it hardly matters.

It has been a long time since we have been in airports this small. Or aircraft this small, for that matter. Turbo-prop to Dubrovnik, where we walked down the portable steps and across the apron to get into the terminal.

My colleague Jaume was on the plane from Zagreb, and we shared a taxi to the hotel, the Radisson Blu resort on the coast about 10km south of Dubrovnik itself. It was mid-afternoon when we arrived.

We agreed to meet Jaume at 6, and went out to explore the immediate area. It is a rocky, steep coast, wonderful country for cycling or hiking. The resort advertises a beach, but they admit in the fine print that it’s a pebble beach, and indeed it is. Lots of islands out there in the water, more of the same rocky theme.

There is also some kind of mostly abandoned building that looks almost like a fortress here. No idea what it was, or what it is.

As to the rest of the area, there are apartments for sale, and the little resort map shows lots of restaurants and shops. Maybe this is all brand new and not yet in business, or maybe it’s after (or before) the high season, but it was mostly deserted. We saw more security guards than anything else.

Tried a local brew with Jaume, more flavour than Bud, but not an instant favourite. Then we went to the hotel’s Tartufo restaurant where we had a great dinner and a good evening of conversation, and greeting various others of the BBF community who are also here a day early.

It was a very long travel day for us, and we were more than ready to collapse into bed, where we did not awaken until Sunday at dawn. Another new city, another new country.