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New Europe

Day Twenty-one: Dubrovnik to Durrës

Dubrovnik 
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Time to leave Dubrovnik to the cruise-ships.
Michael Palin - New EuropeOur boat may be called 'Adriatic Paradise' but Captain Neven (I never find out his surname), admits that there are problems. One is that he's never been to Albania before.

'Perhaps only fifty Croatians ever have gone there.'

The other is that he doesn't want to go and can't really understand why anyone else would.

Having established that, he's friendly enough and points out various interesting features along the way. As we leave the harbour we pass an elegant suspension bridge supported by a fan of grey steel cables. There had, apparently, been much political controversy over the naming of the bridge. The left wanted to call it the Dubrovnik Bridge, the right wanted to call it, after their nationalist President, the Franjo Tudman Bridge. After long and bitter argument a compromise was reached and it is now called the Dubrovnik Bridge of Franjo Tudman. Captain Neven, wild of hair and round of stomach, chuckles loudly as he tells me this.

We have a fine last view of the ramparts of old Dubrovnik on one side and on the other the offshore island of Lokrum. The Hapsburg Archduke Maximilian decided to turn the monastery on the island into a summer residence for himself and his wife. The locals knew that no good would come of this and they were right. Maximilian later accepted the title of Emperor of Mexico, where he was shot by firing squad in 1867. His wife went mad. Crown Prince Rudolf ignored local superstition and chose the island for his honeymoon. A few years later he committed suicide after shooting dead his mistress.

But it does have a nudist beach.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: New Europe
  • Chapter: Day Twenty-one: Dubrovnik to Durrës
  • Country/sea: Croatia
  • Place: Dubrovnik
  • Book page no: 52

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  • Day 2 
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