Benje Beach at Dubrovnik

While many tourists are attracted to the old town of Dubrovnik, the nearby Benje Beach is also an interesting destination.

The setting is perfect, overlooking the fortress and pier jutting out to the sea.DSCF0806

The beach with its sand and pebbles looks very much the perfect beach for lying down and enjoying the sun.

The water quality is superb, from the beach you can see a gradation of blue colors.DSCF0690

While there, the waters was still too cool and there wasn’t a lot of swimmers there.

Here are a couple of photos which give me fond memories of the beach.

 

 

Dubrovnik in Black and White

Can never forget the colors of Dubrovnik – the blue sky, the azure Adriatic sea water, the terracotta roofs, the green island offshore, just to name a few.

Dubrovnik reminds of me of the interesting fortresses, the walls, the churches, the houses, the beach etc.

Some of the images, however, appear to be even more interesting in B&W.

This image was captured while walking up the walls of Dubrovnik – lots of terracotta roofs, the blue sea and the green island – all underneath an arch!DSCF0863

We always started the day first having our breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant. What a wonderful experience is to sip your coffee/ tea while gazing at the panoramic view of Dubrovnik, with the sea breeze gently caressing your face!DSCF0795

There were also some quiet moments for reflection as one saw the bell tower against the serene sea and quiet hills as background; while the roofs showed an ever repeating pattern of tiles.DSCF0824A

After walking one complete round of the Dubrovnik walls, we took a rest nearby a seaside fortress. The sun was setting and your eyes gaze out peacefully on the horizon.DSCF0733

By this time, we were all hungry and scouting around to look for a restaurant for dinner!

After dinner we walked back to our hotel – a place we have breakfast, a bath and some sleep. Some took the opportunity of having a swim in the beautiful swimming pool, while I walked around the hotel and took a couple of the photos.

These B&W photos show the celebrities who have been staying in the hotel.DSCF0786

I am sure you will recognize some of them.

Some of them are conductors, pianists,  film stars, members of the royal family.DSCF0787

So, it was just another day in Dubrovnik which we will never forget!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Escape

Travelling is our escape from the bustling city where we live.

What else can be better than an escape to the seaside of the blue Adriatic sea?

We escaped last year to the sunshine of Dubrovnik, Croatia – to the fortresses by the sea.

The medieval fortresses helped us cast our minds back many centuries, to a time when Dubrovnik was almost as strong as Venice.DSCF0746A

Gazing out to the enchanting blue Adriatic with the castle on our right, our minds escaped even further when we saw a boat speeding out to the open seas; a man rowing a small boat  leisurely near the castle waters and, sitting on the rocks of the rocky shore, was a man reading his book.

Sometimes, we would like to escape, doing several things we like  or to be at different places we enjoy at the same time. . . . . .  speeding out to the blue sea, rowing leisurely and sitting quietly on the rocks by the seaside. I know we can’t physically escape immediately from where we are, but the mere thought of escaping already lightens me up!

PS  Please click on photo to enlarge as necessary.

Hvar – A Walk up to the Spanish Fortress

Looking up from the seaside promenade, the Spanish Fortress appeared to be perched high up on top of the hill, as if it were a sentry guarding the Hvar town. The shortest and direct path from the town to the fortress is very steep with long flights of steps.

This 16th  century fortress, built by Spanish military engineers, was  constructed on the site of a medieval castle built to withstand attacks by the Turks. The fortress  and the 13th century city walls were constructed  soon after the islanders requested Venetian protection in 1278.  It was enlarged in 1557 by the Venetians and after more remodeling by the French in 1811, it was again restored in the 19th Century by the Austrians. In 1579 , a thunderbolt struck gunpowder store, causing devastating explosion and major damage to the fortress . In the following centuries the fortress underwent repairs and adaptations.   In 1971  the fortress was restored to the present form.

While my father-in-law (age 80+) travelling with us was able to complete the walks up to the top of the Plitvice lakes, on seeing the steep steps from Hvar town up the Spanish Fortress (Fortress Spanjol Citadel), he was determined not to give it a try. No amount of enticement would change his mind. Leaving him in a cafe,  we climbed up hundreds of polished stone steps through  the old town, then through an iron gateway, and up a zig-zag path lined  with shrubs and agaves.

The view just got better and better as we gradually ascended higher and higher. The hike was not an easy climb, the consolation was that we were rewarded with a breathtaking view.

When we reached the base  of the fortress, we were stunned by the beauty of the  poppies, agaves and shrubs at the base of the walls.

Up on the fort, we were offered a perfect panoramic view of the whole Hvar town, the port, Riva and the wooded islands of Paklinski Archipelago. From the turrets and main walls the views reach past the Pakleni islands, where you get a perfect view of the arrangement of the islands and their proximity to Hvar Town. The view of the marina and surrounded hillsides are amazing.

Inside the fortress, we noted the massive walls and the old cannons which still guard the fortress. The day was so hot that we decided to have an ice cream up in the fortress cafe.

Many structures including armory, crew quarters, prison and hallways were built on the irregular terrain. We explored the interior walls and made our way   down the stairway to the basement and had a good look at the prison cell.

Hvar Town is encircled on its land-side by protective walls. On our way down the fortress, we came across this wall which separated houses from the fort.

We made our way down the steep steps. Passing through more stones houses on either side of the narrow steps, we came across these flowers which looked so beautiful.

The descent was relatively easy. We walked down more steps, reached the seafront and found our way back to the town square.

We have seen the “must-see” fortress and  strolled happily back to the hotel.