This is Dubrovnik's Stradum as evening falls. We are enraptured with southern Croatia and are trying to cram as much sightseeing as possible before we catch the night boat back to Italy tomorrow. Today we took a tour that included a drive along twisty roads beside the sparkling blue ocean, up and down steep hills with olive groves, cypress trees and vineyards, a stop at the town of Ston with 13 km of walls built in the 13th century to protect Dubrovnik's salt marshes. Our tour guide Olga was a wealth of information about Croatia's history, both ancient and modern. She speaks five languages and teaches Spanish and Italian.
We took a boat to the island of Korcula, where Marco Polo was born in The 11th century. Croatians claim him as their own but so does Italy, as Korcula was under Venetian rule at the time. The old rivalries continue, it seems. As Olga spoke about Bosnia and Serbia and Kosavo and other Balkan countries it became obvious that cultures still continue to clash and ebb and flow. The layers of history and civilization that are so evident in this part of the world are continuing to be laid down even today.
Korkula is a sweet town set up for day trippers, but it's Dubrovnik's old town that has really stolen my heart. In the evening after the crowds from the cruise ships have left it weaves its magic with restaurants in all the ivory stone lanes, lanterns gleaming, music wafting on the warm air and people of all ages and cultures eating seafood and drinking wine. Tomorrow we get up early to walk the top of the old walls, then a few more hours of exploring before we have to say goodbye.
I haven 't downloaded today's photos so I give you a few more images of Dubrovnik.