Dubrovnik after Dark

It was already dark when we walked down the street of cobble stones, with tall stone walls like canyon on both sides. We wandered alone down deserted streets and alleys of the Dubrovnik old town.

We discovered the best time for a stroll through Dubrovnik’s Old Town is after dark. We passed by deserted shop windows which looked very different at day time.

The Dubrovnik old town at night is as beautiful as it is during the day.

We glided down Dubrovnik’s main street, the Stradun and  strolled past churches and shops closed up tight for the night. The shop windows were very appealing.

As we reached the end of the Stradun, we  turned to the square on our right and discovered this elegant Rector’s Palace which was  the seat of power in the old city-state of Dubrovnik.

This beautiful building is a harmonious mixture of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque elements. The original palace was modeled after the Roman imperial palace, with some influences from Venetian palaces. There were two gun powder explosions in the 15th century and an earthquake in the 17th century which destroyed part of the palace. The existing building was rebuilt at the end of the 17th century.

The central portico features beautiful archways and a second story mezzanine. The most beautiful part is the portico with the open ceiling and archways.

Further stroll brought us to the nearby beautiful Luza square where we  found the Church of St. Blaise, who is  Dubrovnik’s patron saint. St. Blaise was also the protector of the Independent Republic of Ragusa. The church is easily recognizable by the statue of the city’s patron, St. Blaise on its top! This 18th century Baroque church is one of the most recognizable Dubrovnik attractions.

Our empty stomachs reminded that we still did not have our dinner yet and we should be looking for a suitable restaurant.

This restaurant by the side of the alley looked inviting but at this time of the night, it was all full.

This restaurant really looked nice and it was blissful just to sit here and have alfresco dinning while gazing at the beautiful buildings nearby with the nights on.

After dinner, we walked our way back  to the hotel along the hilly driveway with roadside lights guiding our way.  .

When we reached our hotel. it was already late and we collapsed onto the comfortable seats by the pool while others opted for an evening swim.

We were happy that we were given another fine and blissful day and an enjoyable evening!

Goodbye to the Hvar Island

Tomorrow would be our last day on Hvar island, we would be leaving for Dubrovnik.  On Hvar island, we have enjoyed several very relaxing days. We were already feeling that we would miss this quaint island. The sun was setting, we once again strolled the main square heading towards a restaurant for dinner.

On reaching the restaurant, we were delighted with the ambiance. The atmosphere was sort of warm and cosy. Inside the restaurant, apart from some old stone arches, the restaurant has a retractable roof, which when retracted would allow fresh air coming in and viewing the sky. Quite a clever design.

There was an open oven which again looked great. The fire gave a very warm feeling. We were eager to order fishes which the chef delightfully grilled for us.

Early next morning, we were picked up by a van which was to take us about 77km from Hvar town on a steep and winding road to the eastern extremity of the island, Sucuraj.

Sućuraj is  a tranquil and picturesque small fishing town of about 400 residents. It was enchanting to see  fishing boats and  orange colored roofs. The tiny population of Sucuraj supports itself by fishing, farming and viticulture, now augmented by various tourist services. The town exudes an authentic local charm and is steeped in a rich history – it was settled by the Ilyrinas, Romans, Slavs, Venetians and French. Sucuraj is even mentioned in Homer’s famous epic “Iliad” – the poet refers to the town as “Kila”.

Like us, most people come to Sucuraj to take  the car ferry to Drvenik (on the mainland) and leave it quickly.  It’s  true that Sucuraj village lacks the amazing architecture of Hvar town but it’s certainly a peaceful and attractive place to visit. When we arrived, the car ferry was already there waiting for us.

It has been over 15 years that I have boarded a car ferry. Many years back, before the era of immersed tube tunnels, I have always travelled on double decked car ferries running between the HK island and the mainland. The sight of the ferry started to make me feel nostalgic.

As the ferry was leaving Sucuraj, the attractive lighthouse at the cape of Sucuraj became smaller and smaller until it completely disappeared from our very sight.

Hvar island is the most memorable and comfortable part of our journey in Croatia; it is also inspiring. Our several days on Hvar has taught us that life has to be taken slowly. The Hvar residents serve as  very good examples. They are the masters in practicing the art of idling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . like them, we would like forever to be on a permanent vacation.