I travelled to Dubrovnik almost 10 years ago now and it still seems fresh in my memory. It was May and the weather in the UK had been on its usual slow climb out of winter, a fairly bland spring and no obvious signs of summer.
I arrived in Croatia to blazing sun and clear blue skies. My first trip to the Balkans, feeling fairly adventurous at that time, travelling in the footsteps of my great-grandmother who i found out used to “winter” in Dubrovnik.
There’s always a mixture of excitement and nerves arriving in an new country, but having happy weather always helps. The bus ride from the airport was one of the best. A coastal road taking in the mountains and sea views with hair pin bends and little settlements along the way.
And then, when you were least expecting it, you round a bend and there it is, protected within its walls, perched above the sea and looking like it does in all the post cards.
That was the first time I can remember arriving in a place and it being as good as the guidebooks described it. It may happen more now, with better pictures and instant publishing, things can be kept up to date more easily.
I had four days to explore the city and everytime I looked around me I was wowed by the place. To look at buildings in any detail, you could see the bullet holes and war damage, but taking in the bigger vista – picture postcard pretty. Exquisite!