Duty makes us do things but love makes us do them beautifully. Sometimes it is hard to see the wood for the trees. You just get so used to something that you simply take it for granted. No matter how stunningly beautiful something is after a hundred views you’ve probably forgotten why you were so impressed in the first place. It’s true, familiarity breeds content. We are all living in one of the most breathtaking places in the world, but do we take it for granted? Surely it is, or at least should be, an honour to be living in such a city.
I know when I speak to foreign guests that one of the first things they will say is “I feel so lucky to be here”. One of the reasons I grab any opportunity to show the city to “Dubrovnik Virgins” is to see the look in their eyes as they emerge on the Stradun. That wow factor that the Old City has will never die. So why do you love Dubrovnik? What is it about the city that captivates you? I decided to ask some of the foreign community in the city for their feelings.
Life’s easy if you consider things from another point of view. Firstly a man who has been living here just as long as I have, Dean of ACMT, Don Hudspeth “I love Dubrovnik because the beauty of the city never fades. Every time I take a guest from abroad for a walk on Stradun, or up on the city walls, I find myself commenting that this city is truly beautiful and that I continue to have the same feeling I had from my first visit in 1987. I have this same feeling every time I am driving back from the airport following a trip and first see the city from the highway.”
Secondly a member of the Dubrovnik Foreign Circle, Carol Ann Kelsey “I love Dubrovnik because it is all about possibilities….and dreams coming true. Dubrovnik is in my heart and is the most wonderful city in the world…a city with history, beauty, culture of every kind, living to scale in a modern world but without skyscrapers and cars, everyday appreciation of the outdoors, the blessing of living on the Adriatic. And the best part is those of us lucky enough to live in such a unique and beautiful place can walk down the Stradun and feel all the beauty, history, possibilities and dreams dancing on our shoulders…everyday!”
Finally a regular visitor to the city, in fact he has been almost sixty times Dietmar Gamerith ““I love Dubrovnik so much; the city and the area are in my heart and soul. It is my second home”.
Three different people, from three different countries, doing three different jobs but all united in a common love. Listening to their comments for me is like hitting the refresh button on you computer, of all the places in the world to live I made a good choice. I’ve evolved into a local patriot and take any and all opportunities to promote Dubrovnik.
The last person I asked for a quote could also be described as a fan of Dubrovnik. Hollywood celebrity and regular visitor to Dubrovnik, Woody Harrelson, – “I first came to Dubrovnik in 1996 and was blown away by the beauty of this ancient town hugging the sea, the kindness of the people and tallness of the women! I always have fun there but dearly miss it when I’m away too long.” Certainly a great advert. With all this praise, and once again using computer language, we certainly have the hardware to be one of the jewels in the tourist world.
So if you are here as a visitor, or should I say as a guest of the city, take your time to fall in love, in love with the stone heart of Dubrovnik. It’s a love that will stay with you forever, just as the stone walls.