I had been counting down the days to Dubrovnik for months. We had booked what I thought was going to be a fantastic 🍷wine tour🍷 to Bosnia-Herzegovina. I was excited for two reasons. First of all, one of our winery stops was at a monastery where they had been making wine since the early 1400s. I thought that sounded pretty neat! Secondly, we were going to visit Bosnia, which I also thought was kind of neat. I mean, how many people from Texas can say they’ve visited Bosnia? Not us! We couldn’t say it before the trip, and we still can’t say it! Here’s what happened…
We woke to another beautiful day, and docked (if I remember correctly) a little early.
We met up with the other two couples on our tour before we disembarked, and showed up about 10 minutes early to our designated tour meeting place right across the street from the ship. We waited, and we waited, and then we waited some more. I sent Mario (the owner of the tour company) several text messages and emails. I finally heard back from him 30 minutes after we were supposed to leave that there had been a bad accident that morning which resulted in our driver being air lifted to a hospital in Zagreb and also put our guide in the hospital.🤕 Obviously, Bosnia was not to be.😢
I can’t fault Taste Dubrovnik (the company) because accidents happen. However, I was a little uneasy while we were trying to get in touch with Mario and find out what was going on, because we had no communication for about 40 minutes. We were angry while we were waiting and wondering, but once we learned what had happened we understood and moved immediately to plan B. We had a PayPal refund by the time we woke up the following day.
Luckily for us Dubrovnik is a pretty easy place to find something else to do. There had been plenty of tour operators hanging around watching to see if we got picked up or not! We ended up hiring a tour company (van & driver) for €15/person. They took us to see the local scenery and views. The views are definitely not too shabby!
We followed the scenic drive by spending the rest of the day in Dubrovnik Old Town.
Once we got to Old Town we walked around a bit, then went to a restaurant called Konoba Jezuite for lunch at the recommendation of the tour company. Truthfully, the walking around part of that last sentence was because we couldn’t find the place!
The restaurant was tucked away out of the major traffic areas and we wondered if perhaps we’d been sent on a wild goose chase, but our meal was fantastic. Konoba Jezuite actually ended up being a great choice because we had a wonderful table outside without the kind of crowds we saw at so many other locations.
Once we finished lunch we decided to walk the walls of the old city. The Croatians have done an excellent job of creating a steady stream of income in Dubrovnik. The tariff to climb hundreds of stairs and walk the walls of Old Town is about $22.50. Per person!😳
One thing that makes the walled cities in the Adriatic different than any of the historical places I’ve visited before is that they’re not ruins, relics, or museums. They’re actual inhabited town centers that happen to have ancient walls to protect them from invaders. People live, work, and play in locations that have been inhabited hundreds or even thousands of years longer than the United States.
Unfortunately, the walled city of Dubrovnik was heavily shelled during the War for Croatian Independence in 1991-1992. The Montenegrins and the Serbians set up shop on the hill overlooking Dubrovnik and bombed the walled city relentlessly for seven months. Here’s a map I found on Wiki that shows how devastating the war was to Old Town:
In the pictures you will notice two different types of roof. The solid red roofs are fairly new because those structures were damaged or destroyed in the war and have been rebuilt. The roofs that survived have more signs of age and variation in color. You’ll also notice some buildings that are nothing but ruins. The ruins stand next to surviving buildings that are occupied and house shops, restaurants, and families.
We went back to the ship around 6:30, and had dinner in the dining room with one of the couples we spent the day with. Once again after dinner I went straight to bed. I was definitely not the life of the party, but with 10 days to go I didn’t want my cold to decide to linger or turn into anything worse! I was asleep long before we left port headed for Kotor, Montenegro!😴