Last week Ivo, Abby and I were taking our early morning walk down to the old town from
our home in Montovjerna We always stop first at the park bench just above the bay between Boninovo and the small church at Dance. The view of the Adriatic Sea is breathtaking, turquoise green at the rocky edges turning into vivid cobalt blue towards the horizon. As we sat on the bench, I realized the dog cannot appreciate the wonder of the view like I can: homes on Gorica at the furthest point, the Libertas hotel and just the edges of the Bellevue on my
right and the small church at Dance and Gradac Park on my left with the rocky ledge just at our toes. There wasn’t a cloud in the clear blue sky and the sun had just begun to peak over the wooded tree tops of Gradac. The early morning air was crisp and fresh from the night’s rain and I notice the lovely Iris popping up from the ground nearby. It’s finally springtime!
We continue our walk past the old
hospital now being remodeled for the adjacent American University. Abby made her mandatory stop at the entrance of Sveti Gorga, one of the smallest and most magnificent churches in town. Once again I wonder why the arriving tourists never venture from the old part of town. They miss the magnificence of these stain glass windows! Their Christmas display is by far the most beautiful and shows the imagination of the Sisters who are the caretakers. This church is another much hidden gem which should not be missed by those who visit Dubrovnik.
Finally we reached the Pile Brsalj and walked over to the sea front for the view of Fort Bokar, the city wall, Fort Lovrijenac and Pile Bay. At the waters’ edge we noticed our friend Eno preparing his small boat for the evening fishing he does after his regular day’s work this each summer. After a nod and small wave we continued to the Vrata od Pile (Door of Pile), and stopped at the drawbridge to pick one of the orange off the tree for an early morning dose of Vitamin C. Abby knew we are were heading down the ramp where her nemesis, the pigeons of Dubrovnik, wait to tease her and fly away before she can catch one. This is an early morning game which I believe both Abby and the pigeons enjoy. On the ramp prior to the arch into the old town is an outline in the pavement of the original tower which was lost in the big earthquake of 1667. Hmm, I wonder how any of the tourists would know about this old landmark without the knowledge of a qualified private guide. They probably never understand what they walk on.
Under the arch, past the Onofrio water fountain and which still functions today, we finally reach the Stradun. We stop just opposite the bell tower of Mali Brac church and there is
Nana, owner of one of my favorite local Dalmatian restaurants. I hear the music of workmen making new shelves and reconstruction of several outdoor restaurants. The season is beginning and the vast majority of restaurants opened on Friday, 01 April. The old town has begun to come out of its winter hibernation. Soon we’ll notice the aroma of fresh grilled fish wafting thru the air. Espresso machines will grind our very strong coffee we locals enjoy as we sit watching the groups of tourists wander down the Stradun. Why do they not get off the main promenade and wander the back streets, find those wonderful places which are there, just out of view…..so few tourists really find the gems of Dubrovnik. It is funny how many report it is a wonderful place to visit when so few truly only walk one street of the town.