Modern History

Morning after the wedding was nearly not morning at all. It had not been a big wedding so there was no cheesy disco after the reception dinner. But that didn’t stop us getting very drunk so the hangover was as per protocol. I dragged myself out of bed and up to the Villa. Some water and croissants helped clear my head along with lounging by the pool. When I was suitably clear minded and chilled, I managed some work. People drifted into the villa now and then and the little people screamed about some plastic fish or something. Maybe I hadn’t gotten up so late after all.

Lunch was called breakfast and completely ignored for the day as we walked to the cable car station. This took us briskly up the side of the mountain overlooking the old town to a fantastic lookout point. It was so fantastic and significant that in 1800-and-something Fort Imperial was built up here. Back in them days, there was no cable car so there was an optional path leading up the hill that must have been used to cart the stone. In the heat of the day, that must have been less fun than bungee jumping by your balls – it was another scorcher.

The fort was now a museum containing about 95% detailed descriptions and photos of the Bosnian – Croatian war in the 1990’s. It was written by someone who already knew the history of the conflict and thought that because they did, you must also know it. Having been born only a year before the outbreak, I couldn’t quite remember the newscasters explaining what was going on so this was a little frustrating. Resorting to Wikipedia to get the jist of the history helped as then I realised most of the conflict around Dubrovnik took place over 5 days in 1991. The  detailed descriptions of the generals and tactical maneuvers was a bit much but it would have been very useful for anyone researching the war.


The fort had been built in the 1800’s by the french. Only a small display in the corner held any historical information about who, what, when, why it was there. As the biggest structure on the hill, I would have thought this would have deserved more than a cursory plaque. Perhaps the Croatian war was still too fresh in their minds to take equal standing in history with the forts builders? Nevertheless, from the roof of the fort museum you could understand why it was built here. The view out over the Adriatic was incredible. The steep earth rose to a pin sharp ridge practically from sea level over tough scrub and rocky ground. This must have been an attackers nightmare. From up here you could easily see far out to sea and far up and down the coastline for any approaching ships.

I stayed up and read about the history and watched the news video for a while longer than the others. We dispersed back down the hill. Some people had flights to catch early next morning so needed to pack and get ready for that. The Buttons (now +1 member) arranged to meet us at a bosnian restaurant in the old town. It was a REALLY good restaurant, the food was excellent. But some of the less sophisticated members of the group made a big deal about the Bosnian “burger” not being a burger at all because it didn’t come in a bun. This frustrated me beyond belief – who wants all restaurants to serve exactly the same food – and why the hell are you asking for a burger on holiday in a foreign country anyway! You’re here to experience new things, not get the same pseudo-american fatty crap wherever you go… I had a half and half of traditional skewered meats and lamb kebab. It came with a tiny, but adequately sized, baked potato with some sort of rustic cream cheese and cold cabbage. It doesn’t sound amazing because I don’t write the Marks and Spencers food adverts, but it really was very good.

A slow walk full of food later, we were at the villa, finishing off the various bottles of opened but unfinished beers, wines and spirits. I polished of the beer in no time at all and then had to invent a new cocktail to get the wine drunk. I’m not a wine fan but about 50/50 white wine to Fanta orange is actually quite tasty – like a poor man’s bucks fizz.