Advent In Dubrovnik
The last trip of this year was to Dubrovnik, Croatia. Dubrovnik is the popular tourist destination in Summer, but I love traveling to places like this in Winter for the few reasons.
Firstly, the crowds-I mean the lack of them in Winter. I got to the city wall minutes before it closed, but once you there- you gotta walk along it. Somewhere in the middle of the walk, I saw a man approaching me, thinking he’ll tell me to hurry up, as photographing and recording video made my walking a bit slower than usual. When he approached me he greeted me with a big smile. I apologized for taking my time with pictures and video and he told me - “ Don’t worry, just enjoy it! ” And I did. I enjoyed every single minute of my journey in Dubrovnik. I was enjoying the sunset on the city wall with few other strangers, where in Summer the city walls are visited by 9-12 thousand visitors a day!
Secondly, I love the Christmas spirit in the town. Christmas decorations and markets create the magical atmosphere. It was great to see how Dubrovnik transforms from day to night activities. There is so much to do to anyone's likings.
During the day all main attractions are opened- museums and galleries etc. When I pay a visit for the first time I love to take a simple stroll through and around the town, just to get the overall impression and atmosphere. If I get more time, then I do a detailed tour, such as museums and galleries. My trip to Dubrovnik was very brief, which makes me want to go back again and explore it in more detail.
I started to explore the city from top to bottom because Dubrovnik is situated at the foothill of the Srdj mountain. The cable car runs every half and hour, and its only a few minutes walk from the Old City. The view over Dubrovnik from 415 meters high is just spectacular. There is a viewing platform, a cafe, and a restaurant, a gift shop, and the Napoleonic Fort Imperial hosts the museum about the Croatian War of Independence.
There are only three entrances to the Old City, I continued my exploration by entering the Northern entrance. That’s the spot where you’re at the bottom of the City Wall and at the same time on the highest road (Pelline) within the walls. I had to choose one out of fourteen very steep and very narrow, but all uniquely beautiful streets to take approximately 200 steps down to the principal street called Placa or Stradun.
Stradum is the main shopping area and the widest street which divides the Old City into its Northern and southern part. The street stands on what once was the shallow sea channel that separated the settlements between the mainland and the peninsula. Placa acquired its proper function in the late 12th century when both settlements were joined into one urban unit by a city wall complex. Stradun looks so festive during the Christmas time- shops, markets stalls, decorations and plenty of lights made me to stroll this street dozen of times up and down.
The City Walls were the last to explore and I managed to get the last entry and was rewarded with the most beautiful location to watch the sunset. The City Walls is one of the best preserved fortification complexes in Europe. The 1940-metre long walls include five forts and sixteen towers and bastions.
The sun sets and the nightlife begin in Dubrovnik. It doesn’t snow in Dubrovnik, but in the evening, when all the Christmas lights are on, it feels extremely festive and joyful. Street bars and markets sell warm food, souvenirs and the hot cocktails (the one with orange liqueur and amaretto was the best). I’d like to come back again in Winter time, get inspired by the outstanding beauty, people, and the culture.