June & July 2019

Hello again to both our readers, remember your feedback is always welcomed, by someone. The sharp eyed between you will have noticed there was no June blog post. I did start it, but it was more of a ‘bloglet’, so I thought I would combine it with July. Here goes…

June

Well, June has passed and what a change from May…it was a scorcher, we just about dodged the heatwave that hit mainland Europe, but temperatures have been above the norm all month and there hasn’t been a drop of rain!

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As the summer enters its peak season, we are asked a lot about the ‘crowds’. Well, yes, Dubrovnik like any city can get busy during the day and this is completely down to the large tour groups who arrive, mostly by cruise liner or otherwise by coach for the day. They all tend to join guided tours, laid on by their respective operators, and when walking 18 abreast in groups of 30-40 it can be a right pain in the fork trying to negotiate your way through town (or anywhere for that matter). However, this was a picture taken on Sunday morning on the 28th June at 8am…lovely.

  

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For those of you who have been waiting patiently, peached on the edge of your seat for an update on the cathedral repairs, here it is. The scaffolding still going up. Admittedly there is a lot of it, but we are now entering week 12 of the pre-repair work, it does make you wonder how long the actual repairs may take. Could this become the new look for the cathedral, permanently clad in an iron frame work, occasionally adored with workmen, who very occasionally appear to do anything. Work has now officially stopped for the summer…so that’s a surprise.

 As the month ended, it’s not unusual, well actually in this case it was, as Tom Jones arrived in town to play a concert. Tickets sold out months ago, but the old town by the cathedral was packed out and the crooner from the valleys duly delivered with songs from Leonard Cohen, Prince and of course some TJ classics, brilliant. If anyone from the City of Dubrovnik is reading this, give the man a call and get him back for New Years Eve..!!

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 July

8am queue for the city walls…

8am queue for the city walls…

Like clockwork, July arrived with no let up in the heat and the sea temperature is now averaging a very respectable 24-25 degrees. The crowds continue to build, but if you plan your day well, you can avoid most of the day trippers. This was the queue for the walls at 8am one morning…

8.30am Buža Beach..marvellous.

8.30am Buža Beach..marvellous.

A far better option might have been to hit the Buža beach (just 30meters from The Byron) for a quick dip and a coffee when you have the place to yourself and then hit the walls at 9am after the initial rush.

Visitors to Dubrovnik this summer are being greeted by posters at the city gates proclaiming the 600th anniversary of Orlando. Now for those not quite up to speed on the legend, Orlando was a knight who, in the 9th century sailed his fleet to Dubrovnik and released it from an 18 month long Saracen siege. The reality as always, is a little different. It was used as a symbol of a city under protection of the Hungarian-Croatian King. Similar statutes were erected across the Hanseatic League to symbolise alliance to the Hungarian-Croatian kingdom.

Orlandos…picture.

Orlandos…picture.

Orlando's Pillar is the work of the local sculptor Antun Dubrovčanin and master sculptor Bonino di Milano from 1419. The column pragmatically served different purposes as the forearm of the Orlando statue was the standard measure of the Ragusan cubit, lakat, shown more accurately by a line in the base of the column.

So with forward thinking and advanced planning that any Brexit negotiation would be proud of, the powers that be in the city council decided that as it was such a special year, they would take him away for restoration. (Seriously, what are they planning for, the 700 year celebration?). In its place, visitors can marvel at a lovely hoarding, with a picture of Orlando..see you all in 99 years.

 

As July came to a close, so did the good weather and we received a months worth of rain in about 3 hours on the 28th July. The streets were rivers and people were swimming on the Stradun, mind you it did cool everything down a bit which was lovely.

Waiting for the storm to arrive….

Waiting for the storm to arrive….