Welshot Does Dubvrovnik – Day Three
Having had the luxury of a lie-in yesterday, today it was up bright and early to enjoy a quicker (but equally delicious) breakfast and then off to town to walk the walls – an absolute must for anybody visiting the Old Town. We arrived at 8am ready for our first climb of the day and for the first hour or so, almost had the walls to ourselves: by the end, it was choc-a-block.
As you can imagine, we took our time, stopping lots of times to breathe and take scenic shots from every angle and some arty shots of the curves and lines of the walls and paths. Lynsey had spotted a photographer’s display yesterday and was particularly taken with one beautiful mono shot of a z shape in the walls and wanted to replicate the image if she could. She did manage to identify the place but was hampered by people who were in the way (blooming tourists) so made plans to come again later in the week.
I’ve just realised that I’ve forgotten to mention the weather in the blog so far, so I’ll make up for that now. It was beautifully warm and definitely required light-clothing and sandals (and not the jeans, socks and walking shoes which I had packed – Lesson 5 for a future visit: pack light.) Walking along the walls and up the many steps made for hot Welshotters, but there were plenty of places to stop along the way and we were in no rush, so took our time. We just could not get enough of the views of the Old Town, the harbour, the fort, the hills and the ocean, not to mention the myriad red and mottled roofs.
I’m sure you know that there was a terrible civil war in the early 90’s in which terrible suffering ensued. Much of the city was devastated and as you gazed across the roof tops, you were reminded that the shiny red and orange roofs identified the houses which had been destroyed or damaged whereas the older mottled yellowy-orange roofs were those which were unscathed or had less damage.
The roof tops were fascinating and made for not only super views, but also afforded some interesting textures and Eifion encouraged us to try out some filters on our cameras – particularly the mono and dramatic filters which made the textures pop.
Who would have thought that people’s washing lines (complete with washing) would become the subjects of tourists’ photographs and would be taken home to all corners of the globe! From multi-coloured dusters to bedding and more intimate garments (lots of white Y-fronts!), the washing lines were quite an attraction! Eifion spotted a whole line of wet-suits hung out to dry along the harbour wall where kayaks were hired out and of course, we grabbed the shots!
Of the many photos I took along the walls, my favourite was the view of the walls featuring leading lines culminating in a church pitch roof and cross, taken in dramatic mode.
Not as good as the photo Lynsey had spotted but I was pretty pleased with it. A very kind young man who we later realised was actually a local tour guide (we had thought he was American, as his English was so good) offered to take out pictures at the summit. How could we possibly refuse? Hmm, she asks herself….did I post the photo of us at the fort in error on Day 1?
Half way round, we stopped for some ice-cold liquid refreshments in a little café-on-the-walls which was just lovely – literally, a chance to chill out, looking over the bluest sea imaginable. Our walk took us the best part of four hours, but we didn’t feel it pass. A lovely morning in Dubrovnik.
On ground level once more, it was down to the harbour for that promised ice-cream and my, were they good!!! A must-have if you visit. After four hours of walking (well, if you include all the stopping and shooting, too) it was time for an afternoon rest or wander round the city prior to an evening meal at Café Royal in the Old Town which we cannot recommend highly enough. It’s worth mentioning at this point (a random point, I know) that the loos in Dubrovnik are spotless. Every one of them was gleaming with hot water, soap, driers or towels all working. It’s not often you can say that – and to top that, there’s not a single piece of rubbish anywhere! It’s SO clean!
Rested and refreshed, we returned to the Old Town, stopping en route to photograph a beautiful yacht which was moored off-shore and which was beautifully lit, casting a stunning reflection onto the (now) black water. Eifion offered lots of guidance on exposing for the sea, the boat or the sky (a concept which my little brain often struggles with.) The problem was that at first glance, the boat looked still, but in fact, was bobbing around a lot, so it was difficult to get a sharp shot. By playing with our settings “one at a time” (as he reminded me so patiently) we finally achieved the effect we wanted – or as close as was possible. It was at this point that Ted and Joan drew our attention to a notice on the approach to the beach, warning that certain activities were prohibited including walking dogs, barbecues and other activities traditionally reserved for after dark!!! ‘Nuff said.
After the meal at the Café Royal, there were further opportunities for some long-exposure and street photography in the streets off the Stradum, passing an amazing quartet who were playing Glen Miller’s “In The Mood” and who were superb!!! There were lots of people milling around wherever we went, but while we occasionally waited so that we had some people-free shots, we were quite happy to capture some of the atmosphere and get some people / street view with Eifion giving us tips to make sure our lighting and shutter speeds did the scenes justice. I loved the ghostly appearance of the passers-by captured at slow shutter speeds. We must have made quite a scene in ourselves as we set up our tripods for an evening of photography. Quite a lot of people stopped near us and looked very curiously at where our cameras were pointing, clearly wondering what the occasion was, only to be disappointed at finding it was only a bunch of Brits with their cameras. I quite enjoyed that little bit of attention, I must admit, and love having people guessing who we were and what we were up to.
Dubrovnik Old Town tends to empty at about ten o’clock at night and for those of us who were trying to photograph empty streets, the time had come – even though some of us had packed away our tripods by then! Doesn’t it always happen?!
And finally, it was time to return to the hotel for an bed or a night-cap for a bunch of tired, but happy Campers!
And that was the third day.