Blogspot @ Head-over-Heels

The travel blog for the backpackers guide to the world


Posted by | Evil Kristos | June 13, 2011 | No Comments

Dubrovnik is everything I expected. It was probably here, on a day like this; a cruise ship anchoring in the port and a zombie army released to haunt the city, when Dante was first inspired to write the Divine Comedy. Strangely enough and without knowing I was sitting in a street named after him, when that thought first occurred to me. Interesting coincidence. I probably nailed it. That’s because I travel like a man. Never ask for direction and see where you end up. Inspiration will come. I rock.

So Dubrovnik is a bit like the seventh circle of hell. This where you are being sent after some serious sinning. I don’t actually remember the seventh circle. Who was being sent there? I should read the book again. Not an easy read but beautifully written. A true masterpiece.

So what did I do to deserve this? I haven’t done anything wrong, I mean ever! I never murdered anyone, stole from the poor or blackmailed the rich. I’ve never even spoke ill of people. May be me being stuck here for a day is meant as a preparation for later. A sneak preview of hell. Or I am being given a reference point, so I can truly appreciate what lies ahead. May be ….

Don’t get me wrong, Dubrovnik is very, very impressive. The mighty ring wall, the old town, the gates the fortification, it’s quite a view. But you do pay a price for it; literally and metaphorically.

The old town has Dublin prices. It is ridiculously expensive. The thing is; I could live with that. What really spoils it is the people that are attracted to a site like this. I feel like I am attending the annual Grey Panther symposium. They poor in as if this was the last place on earth where they sell cake. And that’s not the worst. These grannies are ruthless but they are fitter than me. They outrun me on the ring wall with its zillion steps. They keep going after I have long giving in. Stairs, hills, they take it. I am quite impressed, especially in this heat.

The main problem is the cruise ship people. You have to see them to believe me. When they roll in it is like a stampede. Some of them look as if they have swallowed an entire hippo for breakfast. In one piece! I feel like I am back in Disney land. That’s the only other place on earth where I have ever seen anything like this. Looking at some of these people you start believing in the ugly stick. Some of them are so fat they can’t walk. What the heck are they doing in a place like Dubrovnik. Ninety percent of that town are only accessible by going up- or downhill and steps. I am here 24 hours and I am knackered. And I probably weigh less than their ring fingers. I wonder what kind of music the captain plays when they leave for the shore. “Who let the dogs out”?

The thing is; and I am not making this up, the locals maintain a remarkable sense of humour. They are actually quite nice. I hate to say it, because I really wanted to hate this place, but it turns out I can’t. You see there is more to Dubrovnik than the old town. Once outside the gates it is quite nice. There are parts that are so petty you want to hug them.

Once you just start walking and don’t care where you go you will eventually end up in really nice places. Suddenly there are small cafes where a coffee doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Suddenly people mind their own business rather than harassing you. The park behind the university for example is just pretty. You get a spectacular view and it is quiet. You can just sit down and enjoy it. Apparently it is not on the tourist map so the people that are driven through the old town like a herd of cows never make it here. Lovely.

That doesn’t mean I recommend going here. Quite the opposite. I think there are far better places in the world but if you get stuck here, like I did, it’s not the end of the world either. The way I see it: If you can’t fight it, embrace it. It’s like drinking Raki. It’s disgusting but you do get something out of it.

And that’s the news from Dubrovnik.

Guess what I was thinking when I took that picture!


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