Trip Start Jul 23, 2007
Trip End Aug 23, 2007

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Flag of Croatia  ,
Thursday, August 9, 2007

I woke up really early this morning and couldn't get back to sleep, so am by the sea 'sun'bathing on a rock by 8:30. There are thick clouds, but at least it means I don't get burnt and it is still 25 degrees. It's so nice just to relax and remember I'm on holiday! I read my book, lie around for a while, then when I get too hot, jump (OK, slowly lower myself using the steps provided) into the sea. The Croatian coastline is somewhat lacking in sand, and their pebble beaches are often crowded, but Lapud has steps going down to rocky outcrops, allowing you to have your own little patch of water and rock to lie on. Because of the cloud, it is a lot quieter than the day before, so I more or less have the idyllic place to myself. Despite a refreshing swim, I start to get a bit hot by 11am, so I head back to the hostel for another nap!

Ready and raring to go, I enjoy a leisurely walk down the new harbour, and then take the bus into town. It's me against the crowds. I quite often have to wait to walk across a stream of people to get anywhere, and it takes a long time to get through archways, doors etc. I think there are probably more Italians than Croatians here- this is the absolute peak time of year. I probably should have realised before I come, but if anyone is thinking of coming in the first few weeks of August, I would honestly say it's better not to come at all than to come then! Unless of course, you're staying in Lapud and only spend a few hours in Dubrovnik, but I feel the city is almost robbed of it's charm and beauty as it was so crowded.I'mre I would have loved it when it was a bit quieter! I spot 3 more copies of LP Croatia, am thinking of starting a tally.

I decide to try some of the local fish, but already know its out of my price range. They sell fish by the kilo here, and it's normally about 33 pounds or so. Little bit over budget. So i settle for some fried sardines and a glass of Croatian white wine overlooking the Old harbour. Feeling somewhat cheapskatish, I smuggle the left over bread into my bag. Well if I'd paid for it, I might as well take it! That'll be lunch tomorrow.

After my delicious lunch, I wandered the stone streets and saw all the sights I was told I had to see. Don't get me wrong, they are very impressive, and the culture is fascinating, but I think I was a little cultured or possibly crowd-ed out. Was slightly bemused by their toilets (bit of a digression here). They have automatic hand-detecting taps, yet no toilet bowls, just your regular stand and aim. Surely there's something a bit backward about that?! I try to leave the city walls as late as possible in the hope that the crowds will go down, but there is still a queue. I consider leaving them, but decide I might as well join everyone else, so walk slowly behind the crowd most of the way round. The views are fantastic, but there's a reason they close at 7pm. By the time I got round, most of the city was in shade, which obviously detracted from the colours and impression of the city. It was still fantastic though, I just had to ignore everyone else! Oh, incidentally, I was following a girl wearing exactly the same shorts as me. Primark. I was also impressed by the cultural awareness of those around me. One couple were wearing matching 'Croatia' T'shirts (forgivable, I suppose). A guy I spotted was wearing a T-Shirt stating 'I'm blind and deaf. Take me to the next bar.' And finally I spotted a lovely one while walking on the walls. There was a give way sign on this man's T-shirt, but it instead said 'Give Head'. Nice. I wonder what all the Croatians who live in the side streets of Dubrovnik think about all the people invading their town.

I was going to stay later for a concert in one of the churches, but am so frustrated by the crowds that when I descend from the city walls to see the crowds have actually got bigger from cruise ships/locals coming in for dinner, I don't even consider it and head back to the hotel. So I go and stand on a bus as busy as those in the London rushhour back to my hostel. Escape!
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