A Week Around Dubrovnik – 8th April – 15th April
This was an excellent holiday with a great group of people – thirteen in all including our leader Peter, who organised us with quiet good humour and arranged the week’s programme around the changeable weather so that we were able to see this lovely area at its best.
One of the highlights was the warm, sunny day spent visiting the Elaphiti Islands (Kolocep, Lopud and Sipan) aboard the Marina Mala. Each island’s walk was different: some coastal, some through woodlands with bee orchids, cyclamen and the smell of wild garlic.
On Lopud we climbed up steps and tracks to the ruins of an old fortress for great views and our picnic lunch (those early morning expeditions to “Tommy’s” provided a variety of goodies!).
The Old Town
There was so much to see on our sightseeing day in Dubrovnik; many returned to spend more time there later. The old town has picturesque grand buildings and museums, narrow alleyways and steep steps crowded with small houses, cafes and shops.
The brass band playing in the square and the singing in the cathedral during a baptism added atmospheric touches. Our walk around the city walls gave views out to sea and inward over the patchwork of terracotta tiled roofs, with glimpses of lemon trees and wisteria on tiny terraces below.
Over 800 buildings were bombed during the Homeland War 20 years ago. Most have now been well restored but the mix of old and new materials shows the extent of the damage. On our walk to Cavtat we visited St. Nicholas church in Cilipi, where desecrated holy statues remain as a reminder of events in 1992.
The peaceful garden at Trsteno with aqueduct, Renaissance fountain and sea views, the walk from Ston via Broce (which included a lovely waterside location for lunch), and our visit to the Island of Lokrum (15 mins from Dubrovnik by ferry) with botanical garden, monastery ruins, peacocks and fortress, all added variety to the programme.
There was a good mix of sightseeing and walking. For those wanting more of a challenge Peter arranged extension walks on most days, for example around the fortified walls at Ston (while the rest of us tracked their progress from the café in the square!), up via zigzag path to Mt. Srd and, on our wet last day, a hardy few walked the disused railway route at Ohrid.
From the first afternoon when we set off in brilliant sunshine around the Babin Kuk peninsula (and then sheltered in a bar from torrential rain!) to the last evening at the Sirena coffee shop, this was a great week.
We’ll remember the walks, scenery, history, sunshine and showers, the sharing of knowledge and experiences, and of course all the laughs – thank you Peter and all the ramblers of 8th April 2012.