Thursday, December 5, 2013

CROATIA: DUBROVNIK SMILES

While the walk along the undulating city walls and the pilgrimage through Old Town's churches certainly dominated our visit to Croatia, there were quite a few other odds and ends that we enjoyed along the way. The first thing that caught my eye as we entered the city walls was a citrus tree that looked strangely familiar, although it was taller and had a lot more trunk than its cousins in my yard:
Note that all the fruit from the lower branches has been picked, but there are still oranges to be had for someone who is willing to lean really really really far over the wall to pick them from above.
The Croatian flag's patchwork center is very unique, and we have to admire their choice of colors:
I adore this statue of Marin Drzic (1508-1567), considered Croatia's finest Renaissance poet, playwright, and prose writer. He seems so pensive, doesn't he?



However, like so much in Dubrovnik, a closer view yields a different perception. I love the habit Europeans have of rubbing the protruberances on sculptures for good luck. Marin's knees and nose appear to be especially well-loved. (Who WOULDN'T love this amazing nose?)


The lion is a common theme in Dubrovnik. (Remember the door knocker in the previous post?) This fantastic lion fountain stands unheralded in Gundulic Square:
The lion was my high school's mascot, so lions hold a special place in my heart. This one has an extra dose of personality:

The Onofrio Fountain, built in 1440, has sixteen sides, each adorned with a carved stone face with a pipe projecting from the mouth. The cupola was once adorned by a stone dragon, but it was destroyed in the 1667 earthquake.
Close-up of one of the faces
Besides stone creatures, there were plenty of live animals enjoying the temperate June weather:
We had stopped for a bit of a rest at the bottom of the stairs leading to St. Ignatius Church when we spied two furry little faces peering out of a space between stones on the wall:
We spent the next twenty to thirty minutes oohing and aahing and snapping photo after photo. Be glad I didn't post all of them.
It just isn't Europe without pigeons scavenging for crumbs on the pavement:
Aside from a few churches that remained locked during our stay in Dubrovnik, there was really only one thing I would have liked to have done that we didn't have time for: the cable car ride to the mountain overlooking Old Town and the Adriatic. The view from the top is supposed to be spectacular.

However, I had my priorities.  We did manage to sample PLENTY of the local cuisine:
Grilled eggplant and zucchini at the Ark A Restauran
Grilled squid (Quite fantastic, actually)
Grilled mixed fish
I found plenty of time for the Staff of Life, and no, that's not bread in my lexicon:

And there was time for lots of fantasizing about other possible treats:




It's a good thing we had a lot of these to deal with in Dubrovnik:

Farewell, beautiful city.

Next: A detour back into Bosnia-Herzegovina

3 comments:

  1. Those cute little kittens are one of the highlights of the trip for me. I don't even remember the lion fountain (but my high school mascot was a leopard).

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  2. Crepes and gelato: the best reasons to travel abroad.

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  3. The lion is the "mascot" of Venice--wonder if it leaked over into Dubrovnik? It's on the flags there (and yes, I have one in my trunk in the guest room, as I loved the flag). I'm writing down the name of this restaurant, and will take any others you recommend. So fun to see your travels!

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