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Dubrovnik, Croatia


Our first stop in Europe took us to Dubrovnik, Croatia, a small Adriatic seaport town of about 40,000 with about 1,500 years of history. According to Ivo, our guide, Dubrovnik, in its heyday was one of the most significant outposts in all of Europe, first as part of the Serbian state, then under the sovereignty of Venice and finally with the Ottoman Empire.  Its commercial value declined however, with the discovery of the New World to the west. As a city, it was an early adopter of modern laws and institutions.  The first pharmacy opened in 1317 and is still operating today!

We stayed within the walls of the old town, explored old churches, the pharmacy, the monastery, the old docks and fortifications.  There were LOTs and LOTS of stairs to climb, a good thing because we also found great food!  The views were amazing.  After hiking  along the top of the city walls (3 miles of them) we repaired to the Buzz Barr, perched above the bay to enjoy the local beer and watch people jumping off the walls into the sea. 

One of Dubrovnik’s recent claims to fame is as the city of ‘King’s Landing’ in Game of Thrones.  Many of the famous sites around town made it into the show including the Pile Gate, one of 2 entrances into the walled city where King Joffrey faced a citizens’ riot, the never ending fortified walls where Tyrion and Varys strolled and  Circei’s walk of shame down the Jesuit Staircase. We saw them all as we walked.

Apparently Dubrovnik is also a wedding destination place for Croatians.  We saw one wedding photo shoot and two different wedding parades in one afternoon, complete with folk music and dancing.  Very festive!

Next stop Bosnia!

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