We were just about to land in Dubrovnik this afternoon. Karen had the window seat, and she was exclaiming over everything. “There’s the fort!” she said. “That’s where we’re going to stay!” She turned to me. “Right? We’re staying in the fort, right?”
I mumbled something about staying in the old city. By the time she said “What?” I had it figured out – she WAS talking about the old city. With the walls around it and the curved corners, it does look kind of like a fort.
The walls are amazing looking – they’re not at all what I expected. In fact this whole old city looks a lot different from what I expected. I’ll take some more pictures tomorrow night and you’ll see what I mean.
We were picked up at the airport by Pero the Driver, who dropped us off at the entrance to the old city (the walled-in part) where we met Pero the Landlord. (When I check my email I hope to find a note from yet another Pero, Pero the Emailer I’ll call him, who I hope is going to take us on a day trip to Montenegro.)
The place where Pero the Driver dropped us off is called literally the hole in the wall, one of only a few places where one can actually enter the old city. They don’t allow any motor vehicles of any kind inside the walls, as far as I can tell. This is because there is almost no room for them. The only street big enough to drive a car on is the Stradun (the main north-south road), but it is packed with people and restaurants. There are two or three other north-south “roads” but they are full of tables with people eating at them. The east-west “roads” are not roads at all. They are stairways, very steep ones, and narrow alleys when there is no slope.
We checked in with Pero the Landlord who gave us lots of maps and tips and showed us to our room. Karen and I are in the top (4th) floor, the room that took two grenade bombs in the 1991 war. It’s got an amazing view (see photo). Mom is one floor down, and she says she can hear us talk. Of course we only say nice things so it’s no problem.
The ladies were hungry so we wandered down the steps. Mom (81 years old) could easily fall on these steps. They are really tall, with no handrails. So she hangs on my arm and I try not to fall.
There are 189 restaurants in the Old City, according to one of the Peros, So we wandered through a few dozen of them (they all have outside seating in this incredible weather – in the 70’s as we strolled through tonight).
We found a nice-looking restaurant with outdoor tables along the square, which was full of people. There was live music too. Mom got her nerve up and ordered a seafood salad which included some things she doesn’t like: octopus and squid. She’s had squid before in fancy fish restaurants and thinks it has the flavor and texture of an old car tire. But she really liked this Dubrovnik way of cooking it. It was soft and tasty.
Time for some sleep! We are thankful to have made it here safely! Mom is being a trooper, doing great.