Friday 15th August- thank God we didn’t get the 6.30 I tell Gilbert.

Off the water taxi feeling a little green, we head into the old walled city of Dubrovnik joining the other tourists with mouths open, looking up. The old walled city will no doubt be one of my highlights. It’s much bigger than I imagined. The Main Street separates kind’ve thru the middle and the street cobbles are polished smooth to an icy sheen from centuries of heels. You could skate on it, and I nearly do.

It’s not that busy and we are easily able to view it all. Up side streets and into doorways and alcoves. We find an I-site and in true form the girl is eating and barely gives me a glance. When I ask for a map she tosses one onto the counter but after heading to the door I decide to ask her where I buy the discount card. Mouth full and without eye contact she waves her hand out the door. I have obviously taken up her time during her lunch break. I head in the direction she waves to find it. They are only a little better and when I ask where on the map are we now as I can’t follow it he says to ignore the map I have just bought, and use the other two. One has alphabetical letters with highlights and the other has street names. He tells me to find the places I want to go to by the letter on the small map that we need a magnifying glass for, and then find that street name on the other map by guessing the general direction. That way I’ll find my way around he assures me. “Yabbaga!”, I say to the others when I come out.

I have no idea! We pick a letter between us and make our way to what we hope is the museum. Turns out it’s closed. Normal day to close is Tuesday and today is Friday so no idea how that works. We carry onto the next one and it’s open. Yay. I think it’s going to be the restored house of Marin. It seems to be more of a museum

but we can’t find hardly any English and one bedroom kind of space, nothing else resembles a house. Artworks ate pretty cool tho we can’t read anything. Next we head to the Rectors Palace. This is where someone from a wealthy or respected family is chosen to be in charge for a month. It’s a beautiful building with beautiful furniture and paintings from the time. Next museum is closed so we have ice creams and head to the stairs that take us to the top of the wall.

It’s a serious climb to the top and I have to stop half way for a breather. Up to the top and it’s amazing. I have forgiven all the shitty help staff as I gaze right round. The terracotta rooves and older crumbling bits and green shuttered windows is so beautiful it’s breathtaking. We all move around the wall one way and about a quarter faces the sea. Historically believed to have been in existence in some form since 6th century, a lot was rebuilt in17th century after the ‘Great Quake’ which destroyed most of it. I love little details that I recognise from our castle visits like the way the water collection after rain works or the way fresh air is fed inside the walled area.

We are looking down into some newer builds and it surprises me that so many people appear to live within a UNESCO site. There are hotels and juice bars and jewellers. Handcrafts and sweet makers. Perhaps similar to the time in years gone by!

Everyone is taking photos but the funniest thing we saw was Asian couples with extenda wands to attach their cell phone to so they can get selfies from a better distance. Unbelievable!

Not sure if it’s normal but the bells on the many church’s around are ringing regularly and Lindy wonders if our local rings it’s bells on the hour, half hour and for special occasions as well as deaths. I have no idea but before we finish up the top we hear church choir kind of singing and go to investigate as soon as we are down. It’s a huge crowd. Two thousand at a guess and a full choir and heaps of Nuns and priests and about 6 uniformed what look like police. Lindy says she’s never seen so many nuns together in one place. We enjoy a little of the mass admiring the mass when I see the priest. He is much more elaborate than a priest I say to Lindy. Take a look as he’s dressed pretty flash. “Is he the pope?” I ask her as she’s peering thru the masses. Nah, can’t be she says. It would be more security for the Pope she’s sure. We head off on our way and I tell Gilbert we saw the Pope. It’s almost time to go so we don’t miss that last ferry home. Gilbert’s wishing we could’ve caught the earlier one now. We’ve been here six hours walking and he’s wacked…. then the nuns, priests etc all head towards us waiting on the wharves and a blessing begins.

“Excuse me”, I ask the very pious looking women who say Amen in all the right places. “Whats happening now?”, and one tells me the Cardinal has come to say Mass at the Dubrovnik Cathedral as it was named after the ‘Assumptin of our lady’ which just so happens to be celebrated today. August 15th. “So what are they doing out here on the wharf?”, I ask in all my naivety. He’s just blessed all the ships and boats she replies as if that is a very normal thing to do after Mass. Just so lucky we didn’t catch the 6.30 I tell Lindy and she agrees as the boat makes it’s way out of the harbour with the Nuns singing and strains of Andrė Botticelli that was playing in a different quarter, running thru my mind.

We get off the boat at Cavtat and sit down for a beautifully fresh seafood platter and stagger home a bit before midnight, full of Omega Three. Delicious.
Could have done longer at his place called Cavtat but must farewell for Split tomorrow.

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