Dubrovnik

4 08 2005
Havent written anything for a few days now. Been pretty busy.
Madrid:
Loved madrid. Everyone said it was gonna be scorching and muggy but the weather was beautiful and there was heaps to see and do. I think the people you stay with can really make a difference to a destination. When in barcelona i was in a hostel of mostly french speaking peopl
I flew out from Madrid airport after my plane was delayed, by a few hours – again. As we approached gatwick airport (in london) we weren’t able to land for ages because of the cloud cover. Finally were able to land and it was 1 in the morning in london. My flight to dubrovnik was not until 11 so i had a fair amount of time to kill in the airport. I tried to find a place to sleep and found where everyone else was trying to sleep, couldn’t get a bench so wound up just lying on the floor in the airport. It was hell trying to sleep becasue after the recent terrorist bombings and scares in london, the airport security measures have been stepped up. One of these measures is a booming announcement over the loudspeaker saying "Please keep your bags with you at all times, otherwise they will be confiscated and maybe destroyed" this was followed by a kinder but equally loud message to "help avoid security scares by keeping luggage", these wen’t off every 10 minutes. This made it hell to sleep and i wasn’t helped by the 9 year old black kid who’s foot kept dropping off the bench and landing in my face/gut. I moved and finally got a bench, and slept in 10 minute sessions interspersed with security alerts until around 6.
Anyway my plane to dubrovnik was also delaed by a few hours… I’d like to point out that every plane i’ve been on this trip has been delayed – thats 4 out of 4.
 
 
Anyway finally got to dubrovnik and caught up with Owen and Bongers in town. Was great to catch up with mates. However the boys had picked up a few fellow travelers along the way  Dave and Rod from Sydney and jarrad from leongatha. So theres the 6 of us aussies terrorising dubrovnik! After getting shafted on accomadation from a place recommedned in the lonely planet, we have moved in to a nice little pension about 250meters from the old city (which is great location).
Dubrovnik is a beautiful city. The roads and pavements are made of white marble. I’ll put te photo’s up but as always they don’t do it justice. I’ve been spending my days walking around the old city during the days, and heading out with the boys at night. The town is amazing. One side of the city walls (which were originally built by the romans around 300ad) borders the adriatic ocean and me and the boys swam around it the other day. Can’t say it was an easy swim, but it sure was pretty all the way. I’ve been wondering in and out of wonderful buildings and it’s been really nice. As regards catching up with the boys,
One word which eptomises that aspect of the ‘Fuego!’ all the boys favorite club here – although i’m not as keen. Every night we’ve been hiting that club and the drinks pretty hard ($2.50 for a litre of beer over here), it’s not bad ,but i’m pretty over it now. The other thing i’m over in dubrovnik is people like me – tourists!
The first day was ok but these other days dubrovnik has been swamped with tourists. Tourists everywhere, the only locals i’ve really seen have been working in the shops. THats only a slight exageration. I understant that tourists bring money into the city, and tourist money is better than no money at all –  but sadly the tourism begins to ruin the very thing people are coming to see!
 
Tourism hasn’t been in dubrovnik for too long – it was being bombed  by serbs and the yugoslav army up until 1995.But already it appears to have radically alteredto cash in on tourism.  All the stores are catered to tourists. Restaurants, tourists shops selling kitch and shoe and jewlery shops are about all you can find in the city. Like i literally walked passed 4 jewlery shops in a row selling pretty much the same stuff. Not to mention the tourists who take away from the ambience – Tourists who find nothing wrong or ironic about tour guides who bring gourps of 50 into a silent cathedral and scatter them through the congregation – then have the temerity to launch into a (microphone magnified) spiel about the history of the church whilst others are trying to pray. Tourists who come to see something different and then complain when they can’t have the luxuries from home. This leads to these luxuries beng incorperated into the town and the loss of uniqueness that makes the place special in the first place. Also their mere presence changes the atmosphere of a place, it’s not the same walking through a church when there’s 50 other tourists rubber necking as well.
I like tourist destinations because theres somehthing to see, i even like some tourists as individuals (as i’ve met heaps of interesting tourists on my travels so far) but i don’t like tourists as a group.
 
Anyway now heading somewhere that the tourists won’t be such a nuisance – i’m off to Bosnia tommorow morning. Going to Mostow  – a town still recovering from the ethnic wars of the 90’s.  No tourist attractions per se, but definetly lots to see there…
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