My vocabulary is not extensive enough to accurately describe just how beautiful Dubrovnik is. This is by far the most breathtakingly gorgeous place I have ever been. All day long I found myself stopping and saying out loud, “It is so beautiful here. I cannot believe we are standing in such a beautiful place”. We spent the day wandering around the city, along the limestone walkways in the bright sunshine. We enjoyed a stroll through Old Town, cooling off in one of the many fountains and indulging in ice cream. While walking, we stumbled upon several beaches that seemed to appear out of nowhere, the clear water beckoning us in for a swim.
Some of the beaches consisted of huge rocks that took skill to navigate getting down, others were pebble beaches where you could swim to caves, while another beach was next to a large bar area and was full of sunbathers from all over the world. We swam in three different swimming spots. The water was incredibly refreshing from the heat of the day. Dubrovnik is found on the Southern coast of Croatia in an area known as Dalmatia. The summers here are hot and sunny. This area is compared to the French Rivera.
Here is a little history of Croatia. Croatia was established in the year 925. In 1102, Croatia entered an alliance with Hungary and was no longer a country for 900 years. At the end of World War I, Croatia became part of the former Yugoslavia. Croatia declared their independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. From 1991-1995 a bloody war ensued between the Croatians and the Serbs. The city of Dubrovnik was attacked in October 1991 and these attacks lasted until early 1992. It has been said that at least 2,000 bombs directly hit the Old Town. As a local resident who fought in the war said to us, “The war was a sad time on our country. Everyone lost someone they loved for no reason”.
Walking through Dubrovnik today, it is hard to imagine that a war infiltrated these streets not that long ago. The city has been completely rebuilt and is beginning to thrive as a tourist destination. Today we took a cable car to the top of Mount Srd (approx. 1,328 feet above sea level). The views from the top of the mountain were beautiful. There are over one thousand islands off the coast of Dubrovnik and several of those could been seen on top of the mountain along with a view of the Old Town, limestone cliffs, harbors, ships and everything that makes this area so special.
I feel that my writing today does not illustrate just how amazing this area is. It is breathtaking here. I keep begging my mind to capture all this beauty to hold on to for the rest of my life. Tomorrow we are planning to visit the Island of Lokrum right off the coast. Stay tuned for a blog post about the Island in the near future!