Back in 1991, Yugoslavia wanted to annex the area around Dubrovnik to Montenegro. While it is part of Croatia, it is isolated from the rest of the country, actually surrounded by Bosnia and Montenegro. To make their point, Yugoslavia attacked the city but eventually Croatia beat them back and kept Dubrovnik as a part of Croatia. (Obviously, this is the short version of the war.) In the last 20 years, Dubrovnik has almost completely removed all traces of the war ravaged city. They do have a few museums that includes videos, pictures and memorials of the war. When you look at the utter destruction, you have to marvel at how spectacular the recovery in Dubrovnik has been.
As we got out of the car and looked towards the city, a wave of Disneyland assaulted us. The plaza is perfectly clean. All around the plaza are castle looking restaurants, fast food, drinks, and people in old costumes. To enter the city you must travel across the bridge, under the great portcullis and into the castle – well, actually it’s the city but you get the idea. Thankfully, we had been picked up at the ferry and brought to the castle area by the room manager. No cars are allowed inside and parking is extremely limited at the castle so while he moved the car, his 7 year old daughter led us from the gate to our apartment. She insisted on wheeling Jeff’s bag for him so she took off, down the ramp and out to our apartment. She kept up quite a running conversation, pointing out things as we walked along (sadly, NOT the information booth), where to eat, where to get on the wall, how to get to the dock. Later in the day we saw her leading other people out to one place or another. She’s getting a lot of practice in for a future job as a tour director.