21.11.09

Croatia Trip - Day 3 Lokrum


Sun shone again though thunder and rain roared in the night.  Another nice day began.  Only I forgot my camera.  So, pictures of the day were from my trip mate.

We took a boat to Lokrum, the nearest island to Dubrovnik, from a little port.  Since it was not yet high season, boat frequency was on hourly basis.  The 15-minute journey took us to a little haven of tranquility.  Sightseeing points include botanical garden, monastery, a fort on the island's top with fabulous view of the suurounding and a little salty lagoon for a relaxing swim after a summer walk.


Peacocks wandered around. You heard and saw them walking with pride everywhere, even next to swimmers at the jetty.  We first walked to the sea with cliffs.  Soon we arrived at the lagoon with beautiful crystal green colour.  It seemed like an invitation, 'come into the nice cool water'.  We could not decline the invitation.  Like other tourists, we relaxed under the sun and enjoyed floating on, swimming in the salty lagoon.     We continued the walk around the rocky coast and slowly arrived at the monastery.   It is Romanesque style.  Rock music was playing but the restaurant was not opened.  So, we continued the day with a hungry stomach. 


No problem, we were rewarded with the beautiful blossoms at the botanical garden.  There were species that we did not see or know before.  Some trees with strange shapes stood there for ages.  Slowly we climbed up to the fort located at the top of the island.  We enjoyed a gorgeous panoramic view of Dubrovnik.

Croatia is a country catered for swimmers, at least along the coast and the cities we visited.  Along the rocky coast, ladder is provided to ease the going into and out of the sea.  Wow, the height between the floor and water surface surpasses my height, right at a short distance from the rock.  We saw lovely little fish around and creatures on the sea bed.


Then we headed back to Dubrovnik, walking through the small lanes and looked for our last dining place. The dinners in the previous two nights could be summaried as very touristic. We dined in a rustic restaurant which was highly regarded in a local magazine. The salad with roasted almond and cheese was excellent. But the main courses, prawns and local famous stewing meat were disappointing. Nevertheless, the stay in Dubrovnik was great, a very good impression on Croatia.

17.11.09

Croatia Trip - Day 2 Dubrovnik & the City Wall

A friend nicknamed me 'Mango smuggler' because I bring Mangoes to Europe every every time because my trip partner loves it.  We enjoyed it during our breakfast in the garden.  It attracted the cat and dog of the owner.  A surprise! 

Dubrovnik was full of tourists during the day.  Tonnes of tourists arrived by big vessels.  Crowds were everywhere.   The folks left in the late afternoon, leaving the city quite barren in the night.
Dubrovnik is a pearl of the Dalmatian Coast, a favourite city of many people. The compact town is surrounded by hills and sea. Beautiful squares, buildings, monasteries reflect its richness. It's comparable to any rich little towns in western Europe. Mightly city wall protects it. People can climb up the wall to have a gorgeous panoramic view of the town and the surrounding. Walking on the wall is very enjoyable. We walked 1.5 round trips to reinforce the memory of the impressive walk.
 
Dubrovnik enjoyed years of prosperity.  But it was very damaged during the internal war in the early 90s.  Roofs blown off, houses destroyed.  The city was so beloved by many people.  After the war, funds for rebuilding the town rushed in.  As of today, many roofs are new.   The war left hardly a trace.  But climb over the wall.  You can see the reminiscent, a few old roofs dotted in a sea of new roofs.   Enough to imagine the destructive power of human violence.  On the other hand, it's just amazing how quick it could turnaround.



15.11.09

Croatia Trip - Day 1 Arriving Dubrovnik

I met my trip partner at the boarding gate in Munich Airport.  It was a pleasant flight.   We had a fairly good view of the coast prior to the landing.

Temperatures in Munich and Dubrovnik were of two extremes.  It's cold in Germany but nicely warm in Croatia.  We managed to change some money at the airport at a much higher rate and headed towards our accommodation. 



The bus journey was enjoyable with a fabulous view of Dubrovnik. See the picture and you will agree. Our bus stopped at the bus terminal at Gruz. It's only a 10-minute ride to Dubrovnik. The owner was very nice. He gave us an apartment instead of a double room without a private shower. He also showed us ways for restaurants and supermarket. The apartment is enclosed by a lovely rose garden. We enjoyed our evening tea, breakfast at a table outside our apartment right next to the garden. It's a blessing!


We did not go to Dubrovnik the same day.  I was just too tired to do so.  Instead, we walked around Gruz to have an impression.  We picked a terrace restaurant facing the sea.  Dinner was simple.  Next, we stocked  food at a big supermarket (Tommy) for our breakfasts and drinks (no alcohol).

In the night we heard thunderstorm and heavy rain.  But the sun shone for us the next day.