Today we went on a trip to a tiny village called Ston. Five people and one tiny car. But so it seems that the smaller the car, the more people can fit in it… So we set off, cosily seated in the tiny Seicento.
Ston is a tiny town inhabited by approx. 550 people. Out of tourist season and with the rest of the population attending the morning Mass it looked like a ghost town. The main attraction are the stone walls – which were built in 1333 to protect the peninsula during times when Ston was part of the Republic of Dubrovnik. The walls were originally 7 km long, nowadays it’s only 5,5 km. The Ston walls are the longest stone walls in Europe.
After few laps around the town centre, we eventually managed to find the main entrance to the walls. Some parts of the city walls were closed due to conservation works, so we decided to walk to Mali Ston. The lady at the ticket office told us it takes 40 minutes to get to Mali Ston. You might say that 40-minute walk is nothing. It might’ve been 40 minutes but to me, it felt like 4 hours. We walked up a very steep hill with a very steep stairs which seemed to go on and on and on forever. My expectations were so different from the reality. What I hoped to be a nice and easy walk on a flat surface, turned into a proper hike. After congratulating myself for putting on my running shoes instead of Converse trainers, I found some deeply hidden motivation and walked and walked and walked. The view from the city walls was really rewarding, maybe even more rewarding than the snacks we ate in the town of Mali Ston. Although I wasn’t that enthusiastic about the hiking thing from the beginning, I’m extremely proud of my friends and myself for doing this. I know I will probably hardly stand tomorrow but it was definitely worth it.
Mali Ston is a village that has approx. 180 inhabitants and it’s a magical place. Very peaceful and quiet. The only sounds we could hear were the soft murmur of the sea in Mali Ston Bay and Croatian music playing from one of the empty restaurants. It was so calming I could sit there all day.
This area is famous for growing mussels and oysters and for salt production that have roots in the Roman times. Thanks to low numbers of people living here and their respect for nature, Mali Ston Bay is a unique environment where humans figured out a way of living in balance with nature.
The next stop on our trip was Trsteno. The main goal was to visit Arboretum and the biggest trees in Europe. Although the Arboretum itself was beautiful, we couldn’t find the trees that we wished to see in the first place. After photographing every plant there was to be seen, we decided to go to the beach and then back to Dubrovnik. We left the car on the main road and set off for the beach. It took us a few moments to realise what was unusual about the place where we parked the car. It was parked directly next to the biggest Plane tree I have ever seen – and what the scientists think could be one of the oldest and biggest trees in Europe. We were really pleased that we spotted the tree in the end (although how hard can it be to miss the biggest tree in Europe when you’re standing right next to it?).