Why hello faithful blog readers! Hello? …hello…? Ok, I realize it’s been a literal year since my last blog entry, but in my defense, I am terrible at maintaining a regular writing schedule. Anyway, welcome back!
We decided on Croatia for our yearly trip and blogging spree. Having heard wonderful things about it from a family member as well as seeing the country’s mounting popularity with tourists, we figured there was no time like the present. After 19 hours of travel with a now almost 3 year old kiddo, we land in Croatia for a two week excursion of the Dalmatian Coast starting with the crown jewel of the Adriatic, also known as Dubrovnik.
Dubrovnik was alluring for so many reasons – the impressive walled old town, walls that have never been breached since their construction in the 1100’s, the little islands dotting the coastline, and of course the red-tiled roofs. After about three nights here, however, what I find myself most invigorated by is the ridiculous smells that permeate this city.
Apparently, Dubrovnik is a city of smells.
From the time I wake up – a sprightly 6 AM when our kiddo isn’t feeling quite so generous – and step onto our little balcony I am pummeled by the smells of orange blossom, lilac, and freesia. There is typically a breeze which only further ensures some aromatic delights will find your nostrils. Moving into the old town and the smells are only slightly different, in the heat of the day, getting lost in the absurdly windy, narrow, stair-only pathways, you’re sure to have the smells of fresh laundry as the locals hang dry their goodies mere feet above the highly trafficked footpaths. The contrast is so visually pleasing, who doesn’t love a set of white knickers with a lovely red tile roof backdrop?
Ok fine, maybe there were no knickers, but bras a plenty and pristine white sheets are a constant sight which just adds to the charm while serving as a reminder that folks actually live in these old walls, rather impressive considering any grocery run would require calves of steel…which brings me to stairs.
They are everywhere. Just when you think you’ve found a street that is paved and, even if hilly, is at least continuous, ha! Another staircase will appear out of nowhere. While researching where to stay, we saw many people would warn: “consider the stairs!”, which I scoffed at. I am fortunate enough to be strong and able-bodied, surely the number of stairs won’t matter one way or the other. What I failed to realize is that with a toddler you are sure to be carrying at least an extra 30 lbs up, down, and over these obstacle courses. Sure, we brought a stroller – useless on stairs – and our hiking backpack which, let’s be honest, doesn’t go with many outfits. Our reality ending up being daily walks, sans stroller, with a sometimes willing, sometimes not so much, toddler. We certainly got our steps in, though I think our smart watches failed to calculate the extra poundage we were lugging when the stairs became too much for Zeke.
So Dubrovnik, the city of smells and stairs which we found to be worth all the effort in every way. The views of the city from up high or wedged between the impossibly tiny alleys are so beautiful and a wonderful start to our Adriatic vacation.