One of the more satisfying aspects of my transitional photographic road trip is not knowing where I am going more than a day or two in advance, but I had always intended to return to Dubrovnik.
Dubrovnik has a magnetic energy and presence. A free city state for 500 years until the early C19th and an early abolisher of the salve trade (C15th), its wealth and strong culture were supported by skilled diplomacy and international trade.
Walking on the City walls, I passed a kiosk-owner, who was cheerfully and optimistically waiting for customers. I felt sorry as I declined his offer of coffee and returned his wishes for a good afternoon. The view was wonderful as I rounded the Old City and although heavily overcast, a bank of dark blue cloud highlighted the orange roof tiles. I considered the walls and sea and the City and its trade and how true wealth is created by moving beyond the fear of others that governs so many of our interactions.
As I completed my circuit of the walls, it seemed that the sun would emerge just before it set, so I decided to go around again. I rewarded the kiosk-owner’s optimism and proceeded with hot chocolate and optimism of my own under a brightening sky. The sun broke through ten minutes after the last entry time and I was promptly removed from the walls at a ticket control point, the occupant explaining with evidence that I was there illegally as only once around is allowed. I thanked him as he showed me out. At the western end of Stradun, I met a wedding party and parade, complete with flares, music and dancing and I was truly grateful.
The magic of dusk as the city lights come on is magnified in Dubrovnik’s reflecting marble pavement. The absence of tourists in mid January made the buildings more accessible and I worked quickly, energised by the beauty of it all.
I have included more photographs than usual, because I liked so many. I am very pleased with the rocks and misty sea (it was actually very rough). I didn’t have a tripod, so put the camera on the sea wall and held it down for the 30 sec exposure to stop it moving in the wind. The wedding parade was great, raucous with accordion music and singing. I like the way Marin Držić is connected to his environment.
My next destination is Kotor, Montenegro and then I have a choice – should I turn around and go back up the Dalmatian Coast, head North into Hungary via Sarajevo and Pécs or cross the Adriatic to Italy and make for Venice?