Dubrovnik, Croatia is a very beautiful place to spend a few days. In October the weather is just perfect for almost everything: walking, swimming, sunbathing, sightseeing. The old city center is very clean and well maintained. On our first day we walked around the city walls and enjoyed the view from the every point of the wall.
On our second day my daughter got sick and we had to take a more relaxed approach to sightseeing. Thus, the only thing we did was to sit and have coffee and sandwiches at a small café on the rocks. We saw this café the day before from the city walls and decided that it was one of the most relaxing (and beautiful) places in the world.
I got a thin book about Dubrovnik’s history, art and culture and read it while having coffees and looking at the Adriatic sea with my daughter. To my surprise, I think, I learned more about the city from reading this book in that remote café on the rocks, than if I would have devoted the day to regular tourism.
We did not visit any church, any museum or any gallery. We did not stop and admire beautiful plazas. As a matter of fact we only stopped on them when we got lost, and needed to figure out what plaza we were on, mainly by it’s shape and presence of some church on one of the sides, but that was about it.
All we did was to sit at the café, read the book about the city’s history, watch people jump off the rocks and swim, salute to the small tourist boats and try to see what fishermen in the skiffs fished from the sea.
There were mainly locals; bathing, smoking, playing cards and reading. Two women with a small dog, four old men playing cards, young people jumping off the rocks, couple of men sleeping in the cafe chairs, two grey cats and some more men smoking and discussing something in Croatian.
The history of Dubrovnik is all about the city fortress, towers and how many other nations tried to attack it from the sea dating back to the 7th century. And from where we sat it was obvious why others attacked the city.
Once you’ve enjoyed the warm sea breeze and the sunshine you also want to conquer this place and live here. I do not think we would have gotten this conqueror spirit by just doing the touristy walk through the city and its history.
If you ever visit Dubrovnik, skip all the touristy places, guided tours and museums. Just find this small café on the rocks by the city walls and spend all your time there reading, swimming and listening to the beautiful Croatian language. By the time the water becomes golden from the sunlight, you will know where the history of this place takes its roots.
Dubrovnik, October 19th, 2012