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Dubrovnik | Day 4 – By land, by sea, by sky

On our fourth and final day in the stunning Croatian city of Dubrovnik, we had the opportunity to appreciate the city afresh not just by land, but by sea and twice by air. Of course the second incident of airborne appreciation was also tinged with sadness, as it was accompanied by the whir of a Monarch airplane which was wishing us through the air towards the UK. But hours before that tragic departure from the city commenced, our first airborne encounter can only be described as an experience of utmost exhilaration, as we took to the city’s cable car up to the steep hills behind the city to enjoy an unrivaled view.

Seen from the cable car, and from the various viewing platforms at the top of the hill, Dubrovnik unveils the secret behind its beauty and its longevity. Perfectly encased in solid walls, and situated on rocky crags sticking out like and island in the Adriatic sea, it appears almost impenetrable – hence why history has so perfectly preserved its ancient streets and buildings – rich pickings for every visitor to enjoy. The views were just amazing. Beyond a sea of terracotta rooftops was an actual sea of every shade of blue and turquoise, and beyond that the almost hairy verdant island of Lokrum, and a scattering of other small islands as the Dalmatian coast stretched out into the distance.

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But it wasn’t just the views of the city that enthralled. Up on this hill behind Dubrovnik, beautiful mountaenous pastures were scattered with wild flowers and random rock forms for as far as the eye could sea, and cutting across the fresh mountain air, the quiet tranquil bong of bells hung around the necks of nearby cattle. Blissful. Sadly the onset of a passing rain shower had us running back for the cover of the descending cable car, and soon enough we were back in the little city centre, which had by this time become so much like home.

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Of course the clock was ticking and our homeward bound flight was not far away. So we decided to while away the last view hours of our trip not by moping around full of the inevitable depression which follows the end of a sensational holiday, but by appreciating Dubrovnik from yet another new angle – this time from the sea.

Dubrovnik’s old port is full of little boats taking tourists out for trips around the nearby coastline, for no trip to Dubrovnik can be complete without appreciating the sheer scale and magnificence of its walls and its geographical position from the sea. For only around £7 each, we not only got a boat trip, but also the boat and a very friendly informative driver to ourselves. He took us along the great walls, explaining the ravaged history of the city including the many attempted (and ultimately successful) invasions of various foreign conquerors, right up to the shocking bombardment of the conflict in the early 1990s.

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Then across the sea, we steered around the island of Lokrum which sits bang opposite Dubrovnik, and sailing behind the island discovered how rich an island of geological formations and unchartered natural beauty it is – there amongst sharply cut rocks were huge spooky caves and multi-dimensional forms – it was like a mystical land out of a fairytale. There were also a few nudist bathers thrown in for free – they might almost have been mythological, were it not for the trendy sunglasses placed upon their otherwise quite unaccessorised skin.

And so it was that, steering back into Dubrovnik’s old port, we felt fully satisfied that we had given this city our best, exploring its streets and slopes and squares and monuments on land, admiring its beauty from the height of its walls and the steep hill behind it, and appreciating its scale and magnificence from out of sea. Our final view of the city may have been from that London-bound plane, but we felt pretty sure that it would not be our last.

All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2014 and The Daily Norm. All rights are reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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