Dubrovnik, Croatia

Game of Thrones Territory ..


9/1/20233 min read

Of course I will have to do a full review of all the wonderful places I have visited on my trip, but it's going to take a lot to knock Dubrovnik out of my top 3.

Even the trip here on the bus was a pleasure - helped by the fact the bus was a luxury double-decker with reclining seats and very few other passengers.

As we approached the city of only 40,000 permanent residents, I was definitely getting Coromandel / Bay of Islands (NZ) vibes - with views for miles out to sea and islands dotted everywhere. Against an azure blue sky, it all looked incredible.

As you enter Dubrovnik, you cross a short but impressively engineered bridge, and drop down to the harbour below. You'll see everything from cruise-ships that would be better described as floating cities, down to tiny dinghies. It would be a very safe bet to say that everyone who lives here either owns a sea vessel, or has a mate with one. There was a line of taxis ready to catch the newest influx of tourists - and within 10 minutes of arriving, I was at Apartments Eldin, Dubrovnik – Updated 2023 Prices (booking.com) . Another great find.. close walking distance to the harbour, well-equipped with everything I needed (including a washing machine, which I've discovered is always a great bonus, as it saves on laundry fees and having to take my stuff out to get done!)

The taxi driver who dropped me off, proudly told me he was born and bred here (and looked almost retirement age). He claimed to know almost everyone else in town, and seemed equally pleased to assure me that with a relatively small population, made up of so many like him who had always lived here, there was virtually no crime, no drugs, and that it was a very safe place to live and visit. I can attest it was certainly one of the cleanest places I've been. Very green and beautiful, with none of the graffitti seen in places like Athens.

After sitting down the day before I arrived here, and compiling a more detailed itinerary for the remainder of my trip - the next few places I visit will be short and sweet, each with only 2 nights, meaning I get one full day in between and then have to make the most of the time either side of the 2 nights. I was immediately disappointed that would be the case here, as I knew instantly that I would like to stay longer - and I would have included one of the many island hopping cruises on offer - but I've done so much already, and with still more to come, I am just grateful to have visited here, and will resolve to put it on my list of places I'd like to return to one day, with company. There is a massive upgrade underway to the whole area in the marina that is opposite the side of the port where we entered, and it would be nice to come back and visit when it is complete, as it is home to a stretch of beautiful waterfront hotels and a string of restaurants that looked like they would be well worth a try.

Night #1 there was no question I needed to walk the 25 minutes UP-hill to the 'Old City' - to explore the majestic castle, and of course the infamous filming location for Games of Thrones. Well it was easy to see why this location was chosen!. It's hard to imagine anything more dramatic or convincing for the series, than Dubrovniks' Old City. I broke my own rule of eating local flavours, as I passed an Asian-fusion restaurant that was away from the crowds in the central dining courtyard, and the food looked amazing. So an early dinner of Chicken Karaage was the order of the day, followed by a stroll around the castle and all the other imposing historical buildings in the town, then back to the top of the hill for another stunning sunset.

Hill-walks kicked my butt around this town! Basically everything angles upwards (in a very steep direction) - from the town basin - and after a full morning on Day 2 of hills and steps, my glutes needed a rest and I decided some r & r at Bellevue Beach was in order. Pics below will show the walk there was interesting, and after an afternoon lying in the sun and floating in the salty waters of the Adriatic Sea, the glutes got another solid workout on the way back up the hill to the street.

Between the sun and the big hill-walks here, I expect to sleep well again tonight - ahead of my flight to not just another city, but another country tomorrow.

Dreamy Dubrovnik...