I remember waking up still dark so I don’t miss its Sunrise.
I remember the Sunrise slowly rising above the Adriatic Sea with hymns of Angels in the background.
I remember profound peace and calm as the gentle sea breeze caressed my heart.
I remember long stretches of massive stone walls as our boat entered the city.
I remember the golden rays of the Sun bathing layers upon layers of red terracotta-tiled roofs and light limestone bricked houses.
Tourism came in big ships and small boats all day.
It was already busy when we arrived. Early Bird gets to enjoy the walled city for themselves an hour or less from time of opening.
A bridge connects the new world from the old.
We entered the city ready to be surprised, and surprise after surprise it did.
I remember walking its limestone streets and stairs.
I remember the texture and sensation when I ran my fingers on its limestone walls.
By noon, we’re like canned sardines inside the medieval walls. It was hot at 102 degrees Fahrenheit. I was getting dizzy and feeling claustrophobic. It was time to get out and explore the outer city.
Everything was better Summer of 2019. It was the peak of International Travel. Economy was booming. People were living their best lives possible with no idea a deadly Pandemic not seen in 100 years was coming to claim more than 6.5 million lives and ban International Travel for 19 months.
I remember my excited heart pounding as I gazed at the cinematic view of the setting for King’s Landing, Game of Thrones.
No plans, no research readings. No expectations. I trusted spontaneity and adventure to do their best. I got lost a few times and was rewarded with amazing discoveries beyond my imagination. I was Alice in Wonderland.
I remember uncontainable happiness as I looked at its endless sea from the highest point of a Fort.
Sardines, Calamari and Mollusks for Lunch.
I remember enjoying its bountiful catch from the sea bursting in delicious flavors at the pier overlooking grandiosity.
I remember its beaches, blessed with crystal clear waters that refreshes and heals. All aches, tiredness and heat discomfort…gone!
Everyone was having a great fun time at Banje Beach. Several Kids and Young Adults were diving the deeper part of the beach.
The Mediterranean Sea Water felt incredible. First few seconds, it was cold then soothingly nice all throughout our swim.
I remember a getaway paradise that welcomed everyone.
Dreamers, Lovers, Seekers, Travelers, Wanderers, the Lost, the Wounded, the Trap, the Free, the Old, the Young, the Survivors then, the Survivors now…everyone.
There are Summers too beautiful and so alive that years seem like they just happened few days ago.
Dubrovnik, Croatia, Pearl of the Adriatic Sea provides a window of opportunity to go back to a time that felt limitless, charming and irreplaceably special. A time that was. A time that could be, but not exactly.
If there is one thing I learned from my experiences in 2019 is that, never pass nor delay an opportunity because some things have no repeat option . Once they’re gone, they are gone forever.