Subject: Re: Dubrovnik
Linda and other Ziners, We were in Dubrovnik for two nights only and it is the only part of Croatia that we visited.

Getting there: We ferried from Bari, Italy, overnight on a Yugoslav ferry. We had a room and one of the odd things was that men and women bunked separately so I shared a room with a young woman and Dan with her husband. The Immigration officer took our passports after we boarded and returned them the next day. It upset one passenger who was a Yugoslav national residing in the U.S. but this was before Yugoslavia broke up into separate countries - early 90's. I don't know if they still do this. One lesson learned: always carry a photocopy of your passport.

Where we stayed: Locals clustered around the ferry dock, touting rooms to rent and we negotiated with a gentleman who took us to his home in a Renault that had seen better days. He spoke very little English but was charming and most hospitable. Our room was on the third floor of his home, with a separate entrance and bathroom. It was very clean and tidy. Best of all, it was on the hills overlooking the city so we had a beautiful view of Dubrovnik and the harbour. We paid less than $20.00 per night. The Yugoslavian currency was being devalued daily and I'm sure costs have risen astronomically since then.

Our stay: Dubrovnik is a jewel. It dates from the 7th century and the old town is surrounded by a wall. The influence is Venetian and there is a local legend about how, in the 10th century, St. Blaise saved the town from destruction by the Venetians. The streets are made of a material that resembles marble! Gorgeous but slippery when wet. We walked the City wall, lounged on the beach and ventured up the road a little to explore. We visited every Church (the cathedral is St. Stephen's) and historical building around and in the evenings participated in the ritual walk with the locals stopping at the fountain to eat for ice cream.

What we ate: Food was cheap (lots of goulash on the menus) and the restaurants provided us with a complementary liquor after dinner.

You'd only want one - powerful stuff. Pastries were out of this world and, a word to the wise, ice cream very expensive. We bought bread, cheese and beer, and brought them to the beach for lunch - just like the locals.

Our time there was very quiet. There was one cruise ship docked which disgorged Russian tourists. I imagine there are many more now as the City is a prime destination. Fortunately, we visited before the City was bombed and when we read the news reports we cried over the destruction of such a gorgeous spot. I understand that the damage has been completely repaired.

Getting back: We weren't so lucky on our return trip - no rooms available. The ship had left Corfu the day before and was filled with backpackers on their way home from their months in Greece. So, we slept in the disco (after it had closed). As you can imagine we were rather tired the next morning but we didn't care because we docked in Venice. This was another highlight. Coming into Venice in the early morning mist is amazing and very touching. I'm convinced it's the only way to approach that city.

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Lucy, Toronto