Wrapping up our stay in Croatia with Dubrovnik
Trip Start Apr 01, 2011
73Trip End Jan 26, 2012
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The walls around old town Dubrovnik are approximately 2 km long and people are able to walk around the city on top of the walls which gives you an excellent view of the old town as well as the nearby islands, the fortress tower outside the town walls, and large portions of the new town. During the Croatian war of independence, the city of Dubrovnik was attacked by portions of the Yugoslav National Army in October 1991 and held under siege until the middle of 1992. During this time, large parts of the city were damaged by mortars and shelling and 114 civilians were killed
During the siege, there was a young photographer named Pavo Urban who was taking pictures of the old town for the newspaper he was working for and while he was taking the pictures, another wave of artillery fire started. He continued to take pictures from the area where he was stranded and unfortunately the final picture he took was of the artillery round that killed him as it exploded just down the street from him. We have seen prints of the last set of pictures he took in a few places in Croatia and they are very moving images.
We took a walking tour of the old town with a tour guide who was in his mid teens when the war started and he was explaining what it was like to live in Dubrovnik during the siege. He told us how the residents could no longer get to the landfills so they had to throw all of their garbage off the cliff into the Adriatic to prevent disease from spreading and how once again the old well in the town square was used for drinking water when the water supply from the modern reservoir was cut off
We spent the rest of our time in Dubrovnik exploring the nooks and crannies of the old town and walking up and down more stairs than we had ever known could exist. Dubrovnik is built on the side of a steep hill and there are many flights of stairs that head from the waterfront up the hillside and into the new town. The room we were staying in was only about a ten minute walk to the old town, at least it is in the morning when we were fresh, cool and heading down the stairs. After a long hot day of walking around, staring at a half kilometer flight of stairs was not as much fun although it was great exercise and I'm sure I could stop a bullet with my calves now