The ship arrived today at about 1pm. Usually the ship can dock right at the port and everyone can get off the boat nice and smoothly but some of the ports are small and will not allow ships as big as NCL to dock, so they have to anchor a bit further out and have small ferry boats bring groups of people to the dock. Today was one of those days so we got our ticket and waited for our boarding number to be called.
The city of Dubrovnik was very cool. As soon as we pulled up, we could see the huge fortress wall surrounding the city center. There was an opening where the harbor was and we could see people were walking up on top of the wall which was clearly where they used to look out for enemies. We went the opposite way of the city center first. There were herds of people so we thought we would take some time to explore other areas first.
We walked into a hotel to get a map and were told about a hike that would take us to the top of the city. First they told us to continue down the road where there were some small ruins and a secret swimming spot. We walked down the road and up the steps along the cliff and found the spot. Although we were in a city of many people, there were only a small handful of people here swimming and sunbathing…one without her top I might add. We took pictures of the small cove and stopped for a few moments to take in the view.
We walked back towards and past the city center… up the many steps and steep pathways until we saw the entrance to the hike. It was a rocky dirt path and it was uphill the entire time…zig-zagging back and fourth unveiling views greater than the last as we kept climbing. The sun was hot and we were glad we brought water with us. As we stopped to take a breath, we would also take a picture. We could see the whole city enclosed completely by the fortress walls with only the brick colored roof tops peeking out as well as islands throughout the landscape.
Once at the top, we reached the Fort Imperial-constructed in 1806, a symbol of defense for Dubrovnik specifically in their 1991 war. The building had a few rooms set up with information on the 1991 war…old weapons used, film showing some of the actual bombs and people could walk through what was left of the building. After we walked through and learned about what those people went through, we hiked back down to the bottom and over to the old center.
Once inside the walls, we saw the city and its huge streets, many restaurants, shops and tourists. We had to board the ship soon so were walking briskly through, admiring how beautiful it was with its shiny white stone streets and detailed architecture. We got lost in the crowd and back alleys and then made our way through the wall and to the harbor where we boarded the little ferry-boat to get back to the ship.
For dinner, we went to our favorite restaurant onboard…Le Bistro. It is a white linen French restaurant and the food is very good. The cover charge is $20 per person but well worth it. For starters…Giff had a mixed salad served with sliced duck and I had 4 baby cones filled with various salads…one was chicken, one duck, one veggie and one smoked salmon. Then we shared scallops with a tomato and pine nut relish. We followed that with grilled lamb chops for Giff and fillet mignon for me. And even though we should have said no to the dessert being we had so much food…we just couldn’t. They brought out homemade ganache chocolates, a chocolate hazelnut tort and a creme brûlée…yum.
Very full and content we made our way to the casino where we gambled before going to bed. Tomorrow is a sea day…no ports to visit.