A Travellerspoint blog

September 2018

Aachen's magnificent cathedral highlight of German city

View of Aachen Cathedral from City Hall; from 936 to 1531, 31 Holy Roman Emperors were crowned Kings of the Germans.here in Aachen

View of Aachen Cathedral from City Hall; from 936 to 1531, 31 Holy Roman Emperors were crowned Kings of the Germans.here in Aachen

In the main entrance of the Ponttor, there is a portcullis as well as a machicolation, through which things could be dropped on invading forces

In the main entrance of the Ponttor, there is a portcullis as well as a machicolation, through which things could be dropped on invading forces

Aachen City Hall was part of Charlemagne's monumental palace complex built around 800; during Charlemagne's reign, Aachen was the most influential center of culture in Europe

Aachen City Hall was part of Charlemagne's monumental palace complex built around 800; during Charlemagne's reign, Aachen was the most influential center of culture in Europe

This character is part of the fountain called Circulation of Money built in 1976; the bronze people represented show the wide range of impacts money can have on us

This character is part of the fountain called Circulation of Money built in 1976; the bronze people represented show the wide range of impacts money can have on us

The cathedral's main altar is adorned with a golden altar piece from 1020, depicting Christ's Passion

The cathedral's main altar is adorned with a golden altar piece from 1020, depicting Christ's Passion

A wheel chandelier hangs on a long chain about four meters above seating in the cathedral, with a diameter of over four meters, which is known as the Barbarossa Chandelier (1165-1170); this artwork was a donation of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and his wife Beatrice

A wheel chandelier hangs on a long chain about four meters above seating in the cathedral, with a diameter of over four meters, which is known as the Barbarossa Chandelier (1165-1170); this artwork was a donation of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and his wife Beatrice

Aachen seems to be a working class city with a large middle class; it's only 50 miles southwest of Cologne but not a popular tourist destination

Aachen seems to be a working class city with a large middle class; it's only 50 miles southwest of Cologne but not a popular tourist destination

During World War II, Aachen was heavily destroyed but the cathedral's basic structure survived; the cathedral was one of the first 12 sights awarded UNESCO World Heritage status

During World War II, Aachen was heavily destroyed but the cathedral's basic structure survived; the cathedral was one of the first 12 sights awarded UNESCO World Heritage status

Aachen is packaging its tourist drive around Charlemagne; a large new center is being constructed focusing on Aachen's history as an imperial city

Aachen is packaging its tourist drive around Charlemagne; a large new center is being constructed focusing on Aachen's history as an imperial city

Haus Lowenstein, completed in 1344, sits opposite the City Hall across the Marketplatz; it is one of the few Gothic buildings to have survived the fire in 1656

Haus Lowenstein, completed in 1344, sits opposite the City Hall across the Marketplatz; it is one of the few Gothic buildings to have survived the fire in 1656

Aachen Cathedral is one of the oldest in Europe; the question of which geometric concepts and basic dimensions lie at the basis of the chapel's construction, enabling such a huge interior, is not entirely clear even today

Aachen Cathedral is one of the oldest in Europe; the question of which geometric concepts and basic dimensions lie at the basis of the chapel's construction, enabling such a huge interior, is not entirely clear even today

The cloister of the Aachen Cathedral is adjacent to the Treasury which houses one of Europe's most renowned church treasures

The cloister of the Aachen Cathedral is adjacent to the Treasury which houses one of Europe's most renowned church treasures

Since my luggage already weighs a ton (I brought my ankle weights) I'm not buying anything on my trip so I wasn't tempted to buy any lederhosen

Since my luggage already weighs a ton (I brought my ankle weights) I'm not buying anything on my trip so I wasn't tempted to buy any lederhosen

Europe has become so multi-cultural; I wonder what Hitler would think of Germany these days

Europe has become so multi-cultural; I wonder what Hitler would think of Germany these days

The Shrine of St. Mary (1239) contains the four great relics of the Aachen Cathedral; every 7 years they are taken out and put on display

The Shrine of St. Mary (1239) contains the four great relics of the Aachen Cathedral; every 7 years they are taken out and put on display

Charlemagne's Carolingian core building (800) was the first post-Classical cupola to be constructed north of the Alps; it was simply stunning!

Charlemagne's Carolingian core building (800) was the first post-Classical cupola to be constructed north of the Alps; it was simply stunning!

The Aachen city council meets here; Aachen should only be 30 minutes from Liege by train but when I visited many trains were cancelled because thieves had just stolen necessary metal from the tracks

The Aachen city council meets here; Aachen should only be 30 minutes from Liege by train but when I visited many trains were cancelled because thieves had just stolen necessary metal from the tracks

In 1949, the citizens of Aachen created an award to honor persons for outstanding contributions to the unification of Europe; President Clinton is the only American to have won the prize

In 1949, the citizens of Aachen created an award to honor persons for outstanding contributions to the unification of Europe; President Clinton is the only American to have won the prize

The Master Craftsman's Court in City Hall; super impressive old building with the best views in Aachen

The Master Craftsman's Court in City Hall; super impressive old building with the best views in Aachen

The 14th century Ponttor is one of two surviving city gates; Aachen is the westernmost city in Germany and has a population of 250,000

The 14th century Ponttor is one of two surviving city gates; Aachen is the westernmost city in Germany and has a population of 250,000

Frustratingly, the train ticket machines would not issue international tickets even though Liege and Aachen are only 32 miles apart; this resulted in customers having to stand in long, slow lines

Frustratingly, the train ticket machines would not issue international tickets even though Liege and Aachen are only 32 miles apart; this resulted in customers having to stand in long, slow lines

The Coronation Hall in the City Hall is 45 meters long and 18.5 meters wide and was completed in 1349; it was the largest secular hall in the Holy Roman Empire

The Coronation Hall in the City Hall is 45 meters long and 18.5 meters wide and was completed in 1349; it was the largest secular hall in the Holy Roman Empire

Gold mosaic ceiling of the Palace Chapel in the Cathedral; Aachen lies near Germany's borders with Belgium and the Netherlands

Gold mosaic ceiling of the Palace Chapel in the Cathedral; Aachen lies near Germany's borders with Belgium and the Netherlands

Charlemagne's remains are kept in a shrine in the apsis of the Aachen Cathedral choir

Charlemagne's remains are kept in a shrine in the apsis of the Aachen Cathedral choir

People from more than 150 countries call Aachen home; like most European cities, you can find any ethnic cuisine you might crave

People from more than 150 countries call Aachen home; like most European cities, you can find any ethnic cuisine you might crave

Like most of Europe, there were great bakeries every block or two; unlike the US, there are also plenty of book stores

Like most of Europe, there were great bakeries every block or two; unlike the US, there are also plenty of book stores

The consecration of St. Adalbert's Church took place in 1005; it was badly damaged in World War 2 but has been rebuilt

The consecration of St. Adalbert's Church took place in 1005; it was badly damaged in World War 2 but has been rebuilt

Like the US, there are many people who seem to be homeless; few businesses offer public bathrooms so the city has a nice solution for men

Like the US, there are many people who seem to be homeless; few businesses offer public bathrooms so the city has a nice solution for men

I spent more time than I wanted to at the Aachen train station; the train schedules were a wreck and I could find no bus to Liege

I spent more time than I wanted to at the Aachen train station; the train schedules were a wreck and I could find no bus to Liege

Around the cathedral octagon is a magnificent gold mosaic ceiling; the Aachen Cathedral was modeled after the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy which I've also visited

Around the cathedral octagon is a magnificent gold mosaic ceiling; the Aachen Cathedral was modeled after the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy which I've also visited

Posted by RNRiggins 13:38 Comments (0)

World famous and photogenic Kinderdijk windmills

The Netherlands has 17.2 million people although there are large parts that are used for agriculture so it never seems like the urban sprawl we see in the US

The Netherlands has 17.2 million people although there are large parts that are used for agriculture so it never seems like the urban sprawl we see in the US

The windmills became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997; the two windmill museums were pretty underwhelming

The windmills became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997; the two windmill museums were pretty underwhelming

There are so many boats in the Netherlands that they have to dig deep for names; I've never visited the Netherlands when the weather has been so sunny and hot

There are so many boats in the Netherlands that they have to dig deep for names; I've never visited the Netherlands when the weather has been so sunny and hot

You had to buy a ticket to visit the windmills with additional options to see the two windmills that are open and to take a canal cruise around the windmill area

You had to buy a ticket to visit the windmills with additional options to see the two windmills that are open and to take a canal cruise around the windmill area

26% o the Netherlands lies below sea level; built around 1740, there are 19 windmills here at Kinderdijk

26% of the Netherlands lies below sea level; built around 1740, there are 19 windmills here at Kinderdijk

There was a corny movie explaining the history of the windmills with people playing different characters and how the windmills affected them

There was a corny movie explaining the history of the windmills with people playing different characters and how the windmills affected them

People live in some of the windmills; there's a long wait list but the rent is relatively low provided you properly maintain the windmill and small patch of land that goes with it

People live in some of the windmills; there's a long wait list but the rent is relatively low provided you properly maintain the windmill and small patch of land that goes with it

This pumping station keeps the polders around the windmills dry, replacing the function of 8 old windmills; most of the polders were used for grazing or to grow hay or corn

This pumping station keeps the polders around the windmills dry, replacing the function of 8 old windmills; most of the polders were used for grazing or to grow hay or corn

Of course I couldn't resist talking to the animals and making friends; perhaps he just wanted a PowerBar

Of course I couldn't resist talking to the animals and making friends; perhaps he just wanted a PowerBar

I generally love Rick Steves's books but he doesn't even mention Kinderdijk in his Amsterdam and the Netherlands book; a Viking River Cruise boat was docked right next to the windmills

I generally love Rick Steves's books but he doesn't even mention Kinderdijk in his Amsterdam and the Netherlands book; a Viking River Cruise boat was docked right next to the windmills

There were lots of geese and ducks around the windmills and plenty in the canals in towns too; there are no fences around the polders so I assume the sheep and cows don't swim

There were lots of geese and ducks around the windmills and plenty in the canals in towns too; there are no fences around the polders so I assume the sheep and cows don't swim

The De Blokker windmill dates from before 1540, more than 200 years before the others; it appeared on a map that year although no one knows when it was built

The De Blokker windmill dates from before 1540, more than 200 years before the others; it appeared on a map that year although no one knows when it was built

It may seem fun to live in a windmill but the living spaces were compact and it didn't seem very comfortable; if you want peace and quiet then it might meet your expectations

It may seem fun to live in a windmill but the living spaces were compact and it didn't seem very comfortable; if you want peace and quiet then it might meet your expectations

I don't recall seeing yellow water lilies before, just white; there are more than 70 different species of water lilies

I don't recall seeing yellow water lilies before, just white; there are more than 70 different species of water lilies

The windmills at Kinderdijk were built to manage the water levels, that are below sea level, and drainage of soil near the Lek River and Noord River, after a failed attempt using canals

The windmills at Kinderdijk were built to manage the water levels, that are below sea level, and drainage of soil near the Lek River and Noord River, after a failed attempt using canals

Goat yoga as this guy stretches to reach the tree leaves; he was trying to time it right since the wind was blowing and the branches would sometimes come within reach

Goat yoga as this guy stretches to reach the tree leaves; he was trying to time it right since the wind was blowing and the branches would sometimes come within reach

In the past the sails of the windmills were used as a means of communication between the millers; they were used to share the news such as birth, marriage or death in a family

In the past the sails of the windmills were used as a means of communication between the millers; they were used to share the news such as birth, marriage or death in a family

We didn't get an explanation of the net but I assumed they used it for fishing; large rivers drain into the Netherlands so I suppose there could be sizable fish although I just saw small ones

We didn't get an explanation of the net but I assumed they used it for fishing; large rivers drain into the Netherlands so I suppose there could be sizable fish although I just saw small ones

The uppermost section of the windmills at Kinderdijk can rotate in a full circle, to catch wind at maximum efficiency

The uppermost section of the windmills at Kinderdijk can rotate in a full circle, to catch wind at maximum efficiency

There are reportedly 1000 windmills left in the Netherlands; the cost to maintain a windmill averages about $50,000 a year

There are reportedly 1000 windmills left in the Netherlands; the cost to maintain a windmill averages about $50,000 a year

The Netherlands is roughly 16,000 square miles; that's about midway between the sizes of Maryland and West Virginia

The Netherlands is roughly 16,000 square miles; that's about midway between the sizes of Maryland and West Virginia

The windmills were used during World War 2 when fuel for the pumping stations became too expensive or was not available

The windmills were used during World War 2 when fuel for the pumping stations became too expensive or was not available

For a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kinderdijk was disappointing in its Dutch only signage; visitors were mainly international so this didn't seem very practical

For a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kinderdijk was disappointing in its Dutch only signage; visitors were mainly international so this didn't seem very practical

Using public transportation, Kinderdijk is about an hour from Rotterdam; I took 2 water taxis there and then a bus back and the time was about equal

Using public transportation, Kinderdijk is about an hour from Rotterdam; I took 2 water taxis there and then a bus back and the time was about equal

Inside the windmill museum we saw the inner workings but not how the water level was impacted; with UNESCO status, there are restrictions on new buildings and modifying existing buildings

Inside the windmill museum we saw the inner workings but not how the water level was impacted; with UNESCO status, there are restrictions on new buildings and modifying existing buildings

Some people were actually swimming and playing in the canals; the water can't be clean though with agricultural run-off and all the discharge into the rivers upstream

Some people were actually swimming and playing in the canals; the water can't be clean though with agricultural run-off and all the discharge into the rivers upstream

Posted by RNRiggins 19:06 Comments (0)

The Hague with peace and diversity was pleasant surprise

The gorgeous 1913 Peace Palace, largely funded by Andrew Carnegie,  houses the International Court of Justice (which is the principal judicial body of the UN) and the Permanent Court of Arbitration

The gorgeous 1913 Peace Palace, largely funded by Andrew Carnegie, houses the International Court of Justice (which is the principal judicial body of the UN) and the Permanent Court of Arbitration

The Mauritshuis is the most famous art museum in The Hague; most of the works featured are Dutch Golden Age paintings

The Mauritshuis is the most famous art museum in The Hague; most of the works featured are Dutch Golden Age paintings

The Knights' Hall is the main building of the Binnenhof which is used for official royal receptions; the king holds his annual Speech from the Throne here (like our State of the Union)

The Knights' Hall is the main building of the Binnenhof which is used for official royal receptions; the king holds his annual Speech from the Throne here (like our State of the Union)

The castle-like Binnenhof complex, overlooking a giant pond, sits in the center of The Hague; visitors can walk freely through the complex with barely a glimpse of security

The castle-like Binnenhof complex, overlooking a giant pond, sits in the center of The Hague; visitors can walk freely through the complex with barely a glimpse of security

What an incredible innovation!; people were enjoying racing around on toilets modified as seated Segways (I think I'd add a toilet bowl so you'd have storage space)

What an incredible innovation!; people were enjoying racing around on toilets modified as seated Segways (I think I'd add a toilet bowl so you'd have storage space)

My take on this statue is that it shows the changing times with the marble male subject on the left while, on the right, women have a growing influence

My take on this statue is that it shows the changing times with the marble male subject on the left while, on the right, women have a growing influence

The Noordeinde Palace, completed in 1533, is one of three official palaces of the Dutch royal family; it has been used since 2013 as the working palace for King Willem-Alexander

The Noordeinde Palace, completed in 1533, is one of three official palaces of the Dutch royal family; it has been used since 2013 as the working palace for King Willem-Alexander

The national memorial on Plein 1813 recalls the formation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1813; bicyclists all use proper hand signals and have the right of way over cars and buses

The national memorial on Plein 1813 recalls the formation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1813; bicyclists all use proper hand signals and have the right of way over cars and buses

The first global conference on peace took place in The Hague at the end of the 19th century; it now houses many major European and international organizations related to peace

The first global conference on peace took place in The Hague at the end of the 19th century; it now houses many major European and international organizations related to peace

Johannes Vermeer, Girl with a Pearl Earring, 1665; called the Dutch Mona Lisa, the painting has gained notoriety recently as the subject of a popular book and movie

Johannes Vermeer, Girl with a Pearl Earring, 1665; called the Dutch Mona Lisa, the painting has gained notoriety recently as the subject of a popular book and movie

This golden fountain depicts retired Queen Beatrix, a reminder that the respectful Dutch parliamentarians govern with the monarch's symbolic approval

This golden fountain depicts retired Queen Beatrix, a reminder that the respectful Dutch parliamentarians govern with the monarch's symbolic approval

The Great Church was founded in the 13th century with the present church built in stages, between the 14th and 16th centuries; Royal baptisms and weddings sometimes happen here

The Great Church was founded in the 13th century with the present church built in stages, between the 14th and 16th centuries; Royal baptisms and weddings sometimes happen here

De Passage is a 120 year old glass-covered shopping arcade; the tram fare from Delft to The Hague is 3.50 euros and easier than taking the train

De Passage is a 120 year old glass-covered shopping arcade; the tram fare from Delft to The Hague is 3.50 euros and easier than taking the train

The Hague can be an easy side trip from Rotterdam, Delft or Haarlem; it seemed there was public art every 50 yards which enlivens an otherwise generic shopping district

The Hague can be an easy side trip from Rotterdam, Delft or Haarlem; it seemed there was public art every 50 yards which enlivens an otherwise generic shopping district

Carel Fabritius, The Goldfinch, 1654; this painting was made famous as the subject of the great 2013 book by Donna Tartt

Carel Fabritius, The Goldfinch, 1654; this painting was made famous as the subject of the great 2013 book by Donna Tartt

The Stadtholder's Gate, 1620, to the Binnenhof; in the early 1800s, it came close to demolition when the Netherlands was ruled by France making the Binnenhof obsolete

The Stadtholder's Gate, 1620, to the Binnenhof; in the early 1800s, it came close to demolition when the Netherlands was ruled by France making the Binnenhof obsolete

The Plein Square is a large and popular area between the Binnenhof and older area of The Hague and the modern office towers

The Plein Square is a large and popular area between the Binnenhof and older area of The Hague and the modern office towers

This museum celebrates Dutch optical illusionist Escher in the former winter palace of Queen Emma who lived here for 30 years; it remained a royal residence until 1991

This museum celebrates Dutch optical illusionist Escher in the former winter palace of Queen Emma who lived here for 30 years; it remained a royal residence until 1991

Cars were a much rarer sight than bicycles; for an outsider, the traffic patterns for bicycles were confusing although the locals seemed to know exactly what to do

Cars were a much rarer sight than bicycles; for an outsider, the traffic patterns for bicycles were confusing although the locals seemed to know exactly what to do

In the Netherlands I feel like everyone is a foot taller than the rest of Europe; how is it that the Dutch have become so tall?

In the Netherlands I feel like everyone is a foot taller than the rest of Europe; how is it that the Dutch have become so tall?

The wealthy northernmost district of The Hague is a modern beach resort which has a long sandy beach and its own esplanade, pier and lighthouse; sand sculptures from an international competition were showcased on Lange Voorhout

The wealthy northernmost district of The Hague is a modern beach resort which has a long sandy beach and its own esplanade, pier and lighthouse; sand sculptures from an international competition were showcased on Lange Voorhout

The 2004 World Peace Flame sits within a monument created of stones from 197 nations, including a portion of the Berlin Wall and a stone from Robben Island

The 2004 World Peace Flame sits within a monument created of stones from 197 nations, including a portion of the Berlin Wall and a stone from Robben Island

The Hague's City Hall and gigantic Central Library; you can easily take a scenic tram ride from Delft to The Hague in 30 minutes

The Hague's City Hall and gigantic Central Library; you can easily take a scenic tram ride from Delft to The Hague in 30 minutes

The historic buildings are scattered throughout the heart of the Hague and are, in some ways, more attractive because they tend to stand out

The historic buildings are scattered throughout the heart of the Hague and are, in some ways, more attractive because they tend to stand out

The Hague has a population of 530,000 with the Rotterdam-The Hague metro area having 2.7 million; The Hague sure didn't seem that populated and felt much less sparsely populated than Rotterdam

The Hague has a population of 530,000 with the Rotterdam-The Hague metro area having 2.7 million; The Hague sure didn't seem that populated and felt much less sparsely populated than Rotterdam

Rick Steves is not a big fan of The Hague except for the Royal Picture Gallery; the city can be enjoyable to see if the weather is nice since it is largely pedestrianized

Rick Steves is not a big fan of The Hague except for the Royal Picture Gallery; the city can be enjoyable to see if the weather is nice since it is largely pedestrianized

The 2 story, symmetrical Mauritshuis was built in 1641 next to the Binnenhof; it became an art museum in 1822 and was opened to the public

The 2 story, symmetrical Mauritshuis was built in 1641 next to the Binnenhof; it became an art museum in 1822 and was opened to the public

The Binnenhof is a complex of buildings that houses the office of the Prime Minister and both houses of Parliament; built primarily in the 13th century, it is the oldest house of parliament still in use in the world

The Binnenhof is a complex of buildings that houses the office of the Prime Minister and both houses of Parliament; built primarily in the 13th century, it is the oldest house of parliament still in use in the world

I visited on a very hot day where ice cream and shade were incredibly popular; for more than 400 years, The Hague has served as the living and working residence of the House of Orange

I visited on a very hot day where ice cream and shade were incredibly popular; for more than 400 years, The Hague has served as the living and working residence of the House of Orange

A statue of William the Silent was installed on this square in 1848; Het Plein was constructed in 1632 and inspired by the Place des Vosges in Paris

A statue of William the Silent was installed on this square in 1848; Het Plein was constructed in 1632 and inspired by the Place des Vosges in Paris

Posted by RNRiggins 12:53 Comments (0)

Roccapina-one of the most beautiful beaches in Corsica

I need to remember to dry off the lens after I've been swimming; it was a hot day and the water felt so good

I need to remember to dry off the lens after I've been swimming; it was a hot day and the water felt so good

The best views of Roccapina are from high above so I'm borrowing this photo from google images; the dark patches are areas of Neptune grass

The best views of Roccapina are from high above so I'm borrowing this photo from google images; the dark patches are areas of Neptune grass

My automatic rental car costs more than twice what a manual would have cost; there's really no public transportation system around the island

My automatic rental car costs more than twice what a manual would have cost; there's really no public transportation system around the island

This Genoese tower lies amid of field of abstract granite formations; Roccapina has shown up on best beaches in the world lists

This Genoese tower lies amid of field of abstract granite formations; Roccapina has shown up on best beaches in the world lists

The turquoise waters and fine sand make this beach stand out on Corsica; the water stays shallow far into the bay so there were tons of little kids enjoying a day at the beach

The turquoise waters and fine sand make this beach stand out on Corsica; the water stays shallow far into the bay so there were tons of little kids enjoying a day at the beach

It would be nice to take a boat around the island since many gorgeous beaches are not accessible by car; it's just too bad the snorkeling is so dull

It would be nice to take a boat around the island since many gorgeous beaches are not accessible by car; it's just too bad the snorkeling is so dull

The water was clearer than many swimming pools; Corsica hotels are quite expensive even before the peak season in August

The water was clearer than many swimming pools; Corsica hotels are quite expensive even before the peak season in August

I enjoyed a nice long swim out to rocks at the entrance to the bay; I found a granite bed for a siesta before swimming back

I enjoyed a nice long swim out to rocks at the entrance to the bay; I found a granite bed for a siesta before swimming back

Roccapina is set in a protected nature reserve so there are no facilities and not even a place to buy a drink; the beach is down a severely rutted 2.5 km dirt road

Roccapina is set in a protected nature reserve so there are no facilities and not even a place to buy a drink; the beach is down a severely rutted 2.5 km dirt road

One of the most stunning beaches I've seen in Corsica; it's on the southwest corner of the island about 30 minutes from Bonifacio

One of the most stunning beaches I've seen in Corsica; it's on the southwest corner of the island about 30 minutes from Bonifacio

The day before I stopped at Portigliolo Beach near Propriano; the water was crystal clear and, since it was windy, there were windsurfers out

The day before I stopped at Portigliolo Beach near Propriano; the water was crystal clear and, since it was windy, there were windsurfers out

Posted by RNRiggins 00:25 Comments (0)

Magnificent Dubrovnik remains an all-time favorite!

I really enjoyed sharing one of my favorite cities with Marilyn and Dorothy!; it was hot and crowded but the ladies got a good idea of the uniqueness of Dubrovnik

I really enjoyed sharing one of my favorite cities with Marilyn and Dorothy!; it was hot and crowded but the ladies got a good idea of the uniqueness of Dubrovnik

The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and now a popular destination for fans of Game of Thrones; apparently some scenes in the show were shot here although we haven't seen it

The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and now a popular destination for fans of Game of Thrones; apparently some scenes in the show were shot here although we haven't seen it

The boat ride to Lokrum offers some of the best views of Dubrovnik; Croatia still uses the kuna rather than the euro but prices are no cheaper than in Western Europe

The boat ride to Lokrum offers some of the best views of Dubrovnik; Croatia still uses the kuna rather than the euro but prices are no cheaper than in Western Europe

Dubrovnik is Croatia's single best destination and is called The Pearl of the Adriatic; the traffic-free old town is great for exploring, especially at night when most of the tourists have left

Dubrovnik is Croatia's single best destination and is called The Pearl of the Adriatic; the traffic-free old town is great for exploring, especially at night when most of the tourists have left

To visit Dubrovnik you have to be prepared for steps, lots of them; Rick Steve's says Dubrovnik is a living fairy tale that shouldn't be missed

To visit Dubrovnik you have to be prepared for steps, lots of them; Rick Steve's says Dubrovnik is a living fairy tale that shouldn't be missed

I think the view from the top of the cable car is one of the most beautiful anywhere in the world; the walls of Dubrovnik withstood the 1667 earthquake with little damage

I think the view from the top of the cable car is one of the most beautiful anywhere in the world; the walls of Dubrovnik withstood the 1667 earthquake with little damage

Dorothy and Marilyn had visited Dubrovnik the week prior on a different cruise and opted to visit the nearby town of Cavtat which they really liked

Dorothy and Marilyn had visited Dubrovnik the week prior on a different cruise and opted to visit the nearby town of Cavtat which they really liked

On October 1, 1991 Dubrovnik (Croatia had declared independence in June) was attacked by the army from Yugoslavia; the fighting would last 8 months with 100  killed and the city badly damaged

On October 1, 1991 Dubrovnik (Croatia had declared independence in June) was attacked by the army from Yugoslavia; the fighting would last 8 months with 100+ killed and the city badly damaged

The Dead Sea on Lokrum Island is connected to the Adriatic by an underground channel; I've seen kids jumping off the high side but there were none this time

The Dead Sea on Lokrum Island is connected to the Adriatic by an underground channel; I've seen kids jumping off the high side but there were none this time

The beaches on Lokrum have no sand, just rocks; the water was super clear with lots of small fish and no jellies

The beaches on Lokrum have no sand, just rocks; the water was super clear with lots of small fish and no jellies

The city walls of Dubrovnik are one of the most famous fortification systems in Europe and the city's trademark; they were initially constructed in the 8th century with final sections completed in the 13th century

The city walls of Dubrovnik are one of the most famous fortification systems in Europe and the city's trademark; they were initially constructed in the 8th century with final sections completed in the 13th century

I had never seen these bearded fireworms before;  they act like centipedes in the water but if touched inject a painful neurotoxin producing intense irritation and a burning sensation around the area of contact

I had never seen these bearded fireworms before; they act like centipedes in the water but if touched inject a painful neurotoxin producing intense irritation and a burning sensation around the area of contact

The Baroque 18th century Saint Blaise's Church is dedicated to the city's patron saint; the Gothic Orlando's Column is to the right and was erected in 1418

The Baroque 18th century Saint Blaise's Church is dedicated to the city's patron saint; the Gothic Orlando's Column is to the right and was erected in 1418

The large Onofrio Fountain, designed in 1438, delivers water from 16 carved stone heads; Dubrovnik thrived because it had a secure source of fresh water 12km away

The large Onofrio Fountain, designed in 1438, delivers water from 16 carved stone heads; Dubrovnik thrived because it had a secure source of fresh water 12km away

This modern bridge opened in 2002 for traffic coming from the north into Dubrovnik; Marilyn and Dorothy's ship docked right under it as it abuts the new cruise port

This modern bridge opened in 2002 for traffic coming from the north into Dubrovnik; Marilyn and Dorothy's ship docked right under it as it abuts the new cruise port

The peacocks on Lokrum are thriving; they seemed to be all over the island and we even saw them in the trees and flying between the trees

The peacocks on Lokrum are thriving; they seemed to be all over the island and we even saw them in the trees and flying between the trees

Fort Minceta is located at the highest point of the walls; the walls are up to 25 meters high and 4-6 meters thick

Fort Minceta is located at the highest point of the walls; the walls are up to 25 meters high and 4-6 meters thick

The town belfry stands 31m high and anchors one end of the Stradun; the City Guard, built in the 15th century, stands next to the belfry

The town belfry stands 31m high and anchors one end of the Stradun; the City Guard, built in the 15th century, stands next to the belfry

Dubrovnik has a harmonious feel due to excellent urban planning and a disdain for changing; it has looked this way since before Columbus discovered America

Dubrovnik has a harmonious feel due to excellent urban planning and a disdain for changing; it has looked this way since before Columbus discovered America

Fort Lovrijenac, built on a 37 meter high rock, is the key defensive spot for the city on the west side; seeing it is included with the city walls tickets but we ran out of time

Fort Lovrijenac, built on a 37 meter high rock, is the key defensive spot for the city on the west side; seeing it is included with the city walls tickets but we ran out of time

There are remains of a three-naved 12th century Romanesque-Gothic basilica in the former Benedictine monastery on Lokrum Island

There are remains of a three-naved 12th century Romanesque-Gothic basilica in the former Benedictine monastery on Lokrum Island

The Franciscan Monastery cloister features 60 Romanesque-Gothic double pillars; the Franciscans opened a pharmacy here in 1317 that is still serving customers today making it one of Europe's oldest

The Franciscan Monastery cloister features 60 Romanesque-Gothic double pillars; the Franciscans opened a pharmacy here in 1317 that is still serving customers today making it one of Europe's oldest

Walking the city walls is the number one thing to do in Dubrovnik; I can't believe it costs almost $25 now but, especially in the morning, the walls are clogged with tourists (the heat and steps were taking a toll on Marilyn)

Walking the city walls is the number one thing to do in Dubrovnik; I can't believe it costs almost $25 now but, especially in the morning, the walls are clogged with tourists (the heat and steps were taking a toll on Marilyn)

Marilyn and Dorothy enjoyed a cello concert at Rector's Palace where the cellist synchronized her performance with visuals showing Croatia's beauty (Plitvice is shown behind her)

Marilyn and Dorothy enjoyed a cello concert at Rector's Palace where the cellist synchronized her performance with visuals showing Croatia's beauty (Plitvice is shown behind her)

George Bernard Shaw proclaimed that those who seek paradise on earth should seek it in Dubrovnik; the Dubrovnik Summer Festival lasts 45 days with events, concerts and plays

George Bernard Shaw proclaimed that those who seek paradise on earth should seek it in Dubrovnik; the Dubrovnik Summer Festival lasts 45 days with events, concerts and plays

There really wasn't much interesting underwater around Lokrum; Lee and I used to swim around the island but there are many more boats, jet skis and kayakers than there used to be

There really wasn't much interesting underwater around Lokrum; Lee and I used to swim around the island but there are many more boats, jet skis and kayakers than there used to be

The Stradun is the main street in the old town and is lined with gorgeous Baroque buildings; the street was designed after many buildings collapsed in the 1667 earthquake

The Stradun is the main street in the old town and is lined with gorgeous Baroque buildings; the street was designed after many buildings collapsed in the 1667 earthquake

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