The bus ride down the coast to Dubrovnik was stunning — the rest stop where we took a break along the way had a beautiful lookout. Once in Dubrovnik old town, we rolled our suitcases along the the Stradum in search of our apartment. Just above a lovely plaza, our apartment was perfection: tidy, ideally located, and outfitted with antiquey furniture and decoration. We paused long enough to change into clothing appropriate for the (finally) warmer weather and set out to walk the old town walls. Though there were definitely more tourists in Dubrovnik than anywhere else we had been thus far, it was still quiet and on our tour of the city walls, we were virtually on our own. We were incredibly lucky in this; I can imagine the experience wouldn’t be nearly as sublime with hoards of people on either side of you.

Dubrovnik was definitely my favorite part of the trip, and though I felt that every day there, every meal, every activity, was a highlight, walking the old town walls would have to top that list. Even at a fairly speedy clip, it took some time to encircle the city — mostly because at every turn and stretch, there’s a stunning view to stop and behold. Part of the fun is imagining what the city looked like when these walls were first built; and how they were used over the years. Part of the fun is peering into the modern apartments housed partially in the walls. I was struck by the juxtaposition of ancient stone with hanging laundry and satellite dishes. As we turned one corner, I espied on the other side of the wall a man sitting on his balcony, working on a laptop. The banal sitting just next to the sublime; modern life layered upon the old city’s historical frame. Here’s how I saw it: