When I hold this photo in my hands, the sea surface becomes liquid, flowing under viable rays of late August sun. Is it the memories resurfacing? Whatever the secret of sea coming to life so vividly, it’s the reason this whole scenery is so “ideal” in summer, especially in the last two weeks of August when people are still flocking to Dubrovnik, although the usual run of things would rather have them back in their offices and classrooms as early as possible. The decline of summer inspires a want to prolong it; in Dubrovnik’s case, this means that any change of estival habits is out of question. Old ladies with little dogs still drink their coffee and sit ashore, gazing into the distance. Cruise liners keep offloading tourists and guiding them through the Old Town slowly so that nobody gets lost. Restaurants remain so packed that you wait 10 minutes before you’re served. But in defiance of their effort, everybody knows that the end of the season is imminent, that the next summer is 9 months away, and so people’s quotidian rituals become infused with a dash of melancholy.
Late August was when I was in Dubrovnik the first time. There’s something in the city’s coming to terms with its spiralling towards a long period of mundanity that makes me doubt I’ll ever want to see Dubrovnik in June or July.