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"I hate Dubrovnik," my friend Amila hissed. "We go there every year. To us Bosnians, it's boring. All the tourists. Too expensive. I hate it."

Perhaps. But to this American, no place is more epic, more sweeping, than Dubrovnik. The Old City is enwrapped in high stone walls – the longest, most complete medieval battlements in the world. Within, tile-roofed buildings pile together, leaving a complex network of alleyways and squares. Every corner yields a stone staircase, a hidden cafe or a flower-strewn balcony.

The new city clings to harrowing cliffs and overlooks an opal sea. Mountains surround the bays, and everywhere I looked, I saw breathtaking vistas. Could anyone possibly bore of this?

At night, I followed a sign to the Café Buza. The sign read, "The Most Beautiful View." For once, advertising rang true: located outside the city wall, through a secret passage, Buza is a tiny cabana based on a rocky outcropping just above the water. I sipped white wine from a plastic cup (there's no running water, nixing actual glasses) and gazed at the rosy sky. The sun set, cruise ships crossed the horizon, and Sinatra crooned from speakers.

Amila may be numb to Dubrovnik's charms, but I have yet to find anything more perfect.

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holmanwl Dec. 18, 2009 @ 8:43 p.m.

Any cafe with a secret passage is my type of place!


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