Saturday, May 1, 2010

Dubrovnik, Croatia: A Walk Across the Wall Tops

May Day. May Day.
Today, Saturday, May 1, was the day that the jet lag finally caught up with me. I went to bed about midnight. I woke up at 7:30 AM. I was still tired so I went back to sleep. I woke up at ...
1:30PM. Dubrovnik time.
I guess I needed the sleep. That didn't leave much time for much adventure, however. So many great museums in Dubrovnik, although the best museum is the city itself. That meant it was time to walk the city walls. What they don't warn you about in the guidebooks is just how many frickin' steps up you have to walk to walk the walk. It is way up there.
One of the first things you notice, along with the steep stairs, is how this wall is neither ADA compliant nor child-proofed. And that, in the Year of Our Lord 2010, is absolutely awesome! Yes. Yes. I have litigated ADA Title III cases. Yes. Yes. I am a hypocrite. But you've got better hypocrisy traps than that you can catch me in. There is no alternative elevator to get to the walls. There are no ramps to use when walking upwards. There are plenty of places where there are knee-high openings in the walls. Perfect for an unattended child to fall through. (Not that I am encouraging any such thing.) There are plenty of window-like openings in the walls, some even with a ledge that slopes downward toward the water. Perfect for an unattended child to fall through. (Not that I am encouraging any such thing.) It's as if the whole nanny-state does not exist! I bet the toy stores here sell candy cigarettes and lawn darts!
The magic of Dubrovnik!
Speaking of magical, here are some pictures that were taken during the course of my hour-plus walk across the wall top:
(1) Orlando's Fountain, as seen from high atop the city walls.
(2) Who is this studly, well-groomed gentleman? He looks so sophisticated! And he has the Lovrijenak over his shoulder! The Lov-ri-what? Dunno. I got the name from a guidebook.
(3) An aerial view of the Stradun.
(4) That Lovrijanek thing, from across an inlet, west of the Stari Grad.
(5) A fellow shutterbug, with the Lovrijanek again positioning itself over the photo-subject's shoulder. How does it do that?
(6) One of the interesting things you notice, walking above the city along the walls, is that Dubrovnikers take their recreation to the roofs. You see a few basketball courts (European foul lines, of course) atop building rofs, reminding one of the fact that this is indeed a basketball playing country.
(7) The ruins of building. Was it war damage caused by Serbian shelling? I'm guessing yes. Land here is too valuable for that to be leftover destruction from the last major killer earthquake. And this is earthquake country. The steep, sheer California-looking cliffs north of town attest to that.
(8) A cannon still present where cannons have likely been since the invention of the cannon. Off in the distance is a cruise ship. I don't recognize the "C" flag it is flying. Fire!
(9) - (10) This is a look through the "windows" in one of the cupolas (or whatever the proper term for these features atop city walls), the first looking south and the second looking east. In the eastward view, you can see a cruise ship attacking the harbor, preparing for an invasion. To the guns! (CODA: the invasion already occurred. It's elbow-to-elbow on the Stradun when the cruise ships are off the coast. Lots of large groups led by guides holding numbered paddles. Makes for no-fun sightseeing if you're not part of that group.)

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