Night location: Dubrovnik
After only one night in Rome we said "Arrivederci" to Italy and "Dobar Dan" to Croatia. Arriving in Dubrovnik by way of the airport bus was truly spectacular. The road hugged the cliff and the elevation meant that we had stunning views down the cliffs to the sea and across to the high-walled Old Town of Dubrovnik.
With the exception of Gareth, this is an entirely new part of the world for us to explore. After dropping our bags into our hotel we immediately set off for a tour of the ramparts. The old town is completely enclosed by a 2 kilometre winding wall that drops sharply off to the sea on one side and rises up on the other to provide impenetrable protection. We seemed to just miss the crazy busyness of the massive tour groups and were able to climb and stroll along at an easy pace. The view back over the town was particularly impressive as we were high above most of the rooftops. In the early 90s, 65% of the town was destroyed in the war with the Serbians and there are small pockets of the old town that remain in ruins. The majority of the town however is now entirely devoted to tourism which in some ways seems a bit sad also.
About half way along Amber and David retreated back down to the main part of town for refreshments while the others continued on, up and up to the main bastion at the top of the ramparts. The stairs became narrower and wound their way up to the main viewing platform that boasted beautiful views across the town and out to the sea far below.
While Mum and Dad went back to their room for a rest, we decided to go up Mount Srd via the cable car to watch the sunset. The views over the town and across the Adriatic from the cable car and at the viewing platform 405m above sea level were phenomenal. We watched the colours stretch across the sky as the lights far below started to dot the coast.
One of the highlights of our day was yet to come however as Dad found details of a classical music concert being held in the Rector's Palace. The program consisted of two pieces by Mendelssohn performed by the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra and Saint Saens' Piano Concerto No 2 showcasing the incredibly talented pianist Jasminka Stancul. We relaxed and enjoyed listening to beautiful music in the stunning atrium of the palace.