Dobro Dan (Good Day) from Dubrovnik and “Footsteps Through the Adriatic” summer program. It has been a busy week for our group of students as they discover more about Croatia and continue to gain more insight and knowledge about sustainable business practices, environmental science, local culture and, most importantly, about themselves!
On Thursday we took a short boat ride to the island of Lokrum where we explored an old monastery and walked up to an old castle/fort which was built by Austrian Royalty, back when it was fashionable for everyone to have their own castle. It is mostly a ruin these days but affords a great view of Dubrovnik from the top.
Then the students had a couple of hours to swim in the Adriatic, explore the shoreline, and just chill out before the boat trip back to Dubrovnik.
This afternoon (Friday) we all walked from the RIT campus down to the Old City to visit an upscale restaurant, Domino owned by the family of our own Kevin Walker, RIT Professor of Finance. In the relatively slow period between lunch and dinner service, we were able to sit with Kevin and his family to talk about successfully running a small business in Croatia. The students were interested to know about how food was delivered through the extremely narrow streets of the walled city, how the war of 1991 and rebuilding of the city affected tourism, and how the restaurant supports local farmers and suppliers in a sustainable manner. We had a tour of their small but extremely efficient kitchen that cranks out high quality and delicious food at an astonishing rate during the height of tourist season. For some perspective on how critical tourism is to the local economy, there are over 400 cruise ship dockings per year in Dubrovnik and every ship brings thousands of tourists, from all over the world, to the historical part of the city on a daily basis. Competition is fierce but Kevin’s family has proven that consistency and quality, along with great word of mouth advertising, will keep ‘em coming back.