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Dubrovnik, Sunday 19th June

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Dubrovnik placa on a sunny dayThe colour lavender is invisible to men.

“Oh, look, a lavender farm…let’s stop?”
“What, where? I can’t see it.”

But not the smell. In Dubrovnik there are lavender sellers on every corner, with the usual mishmash of bags, oils, and other clutter. But also, there is the tidal blast of fried fish, belting out from a doorway, dropping on you from above, knocking you out of your chair while you eat breakfast.

If I had to choose I’d pick the fried fish anytime. We had a couple of seafood meals in Dubrovnik. One I already mentioned. The second one was at a Lonely Planet-recommended place, Revlin. It’s a restaurant/nightclub/ artspace/museum right near the Ploce entrance to Dubrovnik, on a terrace overlooking the harbor, shaded by a massive pine tree. It was ok, we got good food, exactly what we ordered, but so plain….! It was expensive, and I didn’t really enjoy it that much. I had basic spaghetti in a fish stock sauce, a few onions in there and some clams.

One thing we didn’t do by not staying at Mljet was have an “under the bell” roast. This is a regional specialty, which involves a long slow roast under a metal dome. The restaurant that I was interested in was at the far end of the island, and it would have taken a day to sort out transport there and back, or we could have stayed there or something. Anyway, it wasn’t on our day-tripper’s agenda.

In Dubrovnik there are too many restaurants. But in a quiet laneway was an empty place with an “under the bell” sign out the front. The waiter was shattered when he realised we had come for that. He needed to know ahead, at least 2 hours notice to get the slow roast started, and if we left he’d have zero customers, but left we did promising to come back tomorrow at 7.15. Clearly he didn’t believe us. He made a half-hearted attempt to get us to have something different, but that night I took us to the dis-satisfying seafood restaurant instead.

When we came back the next night the rosemary-flavoured bell-roasted meat (lamb and veal) was fantastic, and the food the other table ordered looked good too. We should have stayed there the night before.

Dubrovnik from the fortress above

Today we caught the chairlift up to the shattered fortress overlooking Dubrovnik. Here in the 1990’s a small group defended the city against the Yugolsav/ Serb/ Montenegran army. The fortress took a hiding in the process, and it is only starting to get some love and care now. I don’t remember the chairlift being an offering three years ago, and it seems to be new. There’s a lot of work going on, landscaping and strategic viewpoints.

Inside the fortress is a bit of a narrative about the siege of Dubrovnik and the mixed bag of soldiers and citizens who were the defenders. It’s all a bit depressing.


Ill-omened wedding. Fat guys to the left, in the background of the video

We went back down and sat around in the shade in the afternoon. The water was rough, and we didn’t tackle a swim. Not so much the water itself, just the getting in and out on the rocks…..

I forgot to mention, the swimming spot near where we are staying has a ridiculously photogenic outlook…straight across the harbor to the main fortress tower guarding the port. So much so that on Saturday night two separate weddings parties dropped in for their snaps.

Sylvia and I stood back a bit, not wanting to get our blobby speedos in the background, but the locals took great delight in participating in the event. Ironically, painted above the bridal parties’ heads on the rocks was the upended anchor symbol, which means “No anchoring”. Not a good symbol for your wedding photo .

Swimming spot with a view

I did get to visit the Virtual Museum. It was ok…it was a pumped-up powerpoint presentation in content, but with lush photos, a few 360 degree images and some actors dressed up and giving the segments some flavor. What I enjoyed most out of that was a presentation of the “holiday home”. When there was wealth in the area local upper-class families built exotic holiday homes nearby.

Dream homes really, with the sort of features you fantasize about….a seawater fish pond, curvaceous, carved veranda areas, lush gardens. Thrown in was an exhibition on decorative stonework.

I also went to the Serbian Orthadox church. It isn’t on the map, doesn’t get much visitors…there’s not a lot of Serbs left in Croatia. But the basic layout of the Orthadox churches is a refreshing break from the garish lushness of the Catholic churches.

Sylvia did go shopping, and bought some stitchwork tablecloths. And a bag to carry extra stuff in. We came over light and the packs are starting to feel the pinch.

Written by wurstofvienna2011

June 19, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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