In All Its Splendor

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When we took the cable car to the top of Mt. Srd a week ago, someone from the museum said, “And there was Old Town Dubrovnik, laid out in all its splendor.” We couldn’t stay away from this view for too long, but this time, we hiked to the top! Far more rewarding than taking the cable car to the top.

Being at the top is like being disconnected from the world, but not isolated. It’s quiet and breathtaking, but you can see everything in the city: people walking down Stradun, crowds squeezing through the narrow walkways on top of the city. It’s so small from the top, but so defined, you can see the details of the buildings and so many St. Blaise statues (the Protector of Dubrovnik. He’s always holding the city in his left palm).

The path is actually very difficult to find, and though we asked almost every local we knew, we were still completely lost. We wandered over 3 highways and up 3 staircases before we found it! We sat for an hour or so at the top, talking, laughing, and enjoying the silence.

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Sea kayaking was also an unbelievable view. I’ve found that the best views around here can only be seen if you’re willing to sweat for them. Even everyday things… I can’t say it enough, these stairs are kicking my butt, and I can’t decide if I love that or hate it. In any case, Lokrum Island looks really small, until you try to kayak from Banje Beach, all the way around Lokrum, to the caves on the coast and back to the beach. We were so sore afterward, but it was entirely worth it. This city has ruined me for views, because I really don’t know how you could beat it.

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Yesterday, our group took a trip to the Elafiti Islands. We spend half an hour on the islands of Koločep and Šipan, which were both beautiful. We found a few great cliffs at the first, and a few old churches at the second. The last(and my favorite) island was Lopud. We spent a couple hours at this one, and started our time with gelato! This little shop had peanut gelato, which is the closest thing I’ve had to peanut butter since I’ve been here, and I really miss peanut butter! We spent the rest of the afternoon on a sandy beach (a rare find in Dubrovnik!), taking underwater pictures, trying to catch fish, and throwing sand at each other. It was a simple and happy day. We also found the second nude beach in 3 days!

One of my biggest adjustments has been having all this free time. Between classes and involvement at URI, I am always busy and scheduled out. But the class schedule is so different here that we have had an abundance of spare time, so the experience is really what we make it. That was a lot to take on while we were just getting comfortable with being here, but I think we’ve had a lot of great experiences from doing all the things we talk about doing. Between hiking, kayaking, and many other adventures in town, I’d say we’re making the most of it all. I’ve been lucky to get to know some amazing people in the process, and get some words of wisdom from old Croatian people (they love dishing out wisdom at random!). When we were walking to class the other morning, this little old woman popped up from the other side of the wall and asked where we were from and what we were doing here. We told her about study abroad and how much we loved the city. She didn’t speak a whole lot of English, but she said to us: “You are young and beautiful. And you have not all the time, so enjoy it.” Great philosophy to live by!

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Anyway, all my best to my big brother ^^^ wish I was home, but hurry up and get to Europe so we can go to Ireland! Mom and Dad, you too! Love you all!

Czech me out, I’m leaving for Prague today! Dumplings for days!

With Love from Croatia,

Caitie Runyon

Caitie Runyon is a student at the University of Rhode Island and an official API Student Blogger. Caitie is studying abroad with API in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

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