Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Dubrovnik Dubrovnik, Croatia, Friday, 04 July 2014 11:50pm

The downside to being a very accessible, incredibly picturesque, compact old city on the Adriatic is cruise ships. Between the late morning and the early evening, Dubrovnik is mobbed by cruise ship tourists ashore for the day.

On the advice of the guidebooks, I decided to leave the city for the height of the tourist hours and do an afternoon kayak/snorkeling excursion on the Adriatic, leaving the morning to try to see some of the more popular sites before the other tourists arrived.

I started with the most popular activity: walking the city walls. I arrived as close to the 8am opening as I could, and got a lot of great views from the landward side with very few people around.

Tinny messaged me to let me know that she'd booked us a tour of Montenegro the next day (surprise!), so I had to hustle to visit some of the rest of the sites in the morning. The highlight for me was the Maritime Museum, which had a lot of information about the city's history as a rival to Venice (Dubrovnik was an independent republic for many years) and a wide variety of ship models and artifacts. Also fun were the Rector's Palace, which I think contains the stairwell where Daenerys discusses ships with the Spice King of Qarth, and the Ethnographic Museum in the old granary. In addition to the usual typical costumes and implements of daily life that ethnographic museums usually contain, this one had a floor devoted to the mythology and folklore of the region.

In the afternoon, I did the planned kayaking on the bay of Zaton (not right around the walls). It was pretty relaxed. Besides me and the guide, there were two pairs of newlyweds. We kayaked over to a little outlet where meltwater from the nearby mountains mixes with the Adriatic, and then towards the mouth of the bay, stopping midway to put in at a beach bar and have a drink. Then we left the bay for a short while and stopped for snorkeling at a small inlet.

Back in town, I had dinner at a little place that specialized in seafood tapas, and tried some more liqueurs: a pelincovac (wormwood) and a delicious maraschino (cherry) with a note of cinnamon.

Later on, Jarek and I found our way to a couple of bars situated on the rocks on the seaward side of the walls and tried the travarica (herb) and peprmintka (mint) brandies.