Diaries from Croatia – Dubrovnik Part 1

Arriving at Split Airport, we checked in and awaited our flight. We decided to fly to Dubrovnik as was only a 40 minute internal flight so less time travelling than a bus (and only marginally more expensive). We approached the plane and couldn’t believe our eyes, the size of a private jet complete with propellers – we were going to be flying in style! With only 9 people on board, and no door between us and the pilots – it was definitely an experience. Normally a nervous flyer, I was completely distracted watching the pilots in action and before I knew it – we had landed in our final destination of Dubrovnik!

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We met our driver whom we had booked through the B&B and we drove to the apartment. The journey was spectacular, through winding mountain roads overlooking Dubrovnik Old Town. We had chosen the area of Lapad to stay in, which was only a short bus journey from Dubrovnik’s Old Town. We had struck gold with our apartment, with amazing views across Lapad and the mountains, and though our apartment was up hundreds of steps – it was worth it for the sights!

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Lapad is a large peninsula and is named after rocks due to its distinguished shape and rocky seashore. It is very picturesque with steps down towards rocks where you can easily have your own private area by the sea. We fell for one particular spot which we returned to nightly.

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DAY 1.

We woke early and got the number 6 bus to Old Town and headed straight through Pile Gate towards the ticket office to purchase tickets to walk the City Walls. I would highly recommend getting there early, we managed to avoid the hordes of tourists and groups that arrived later that morning. It felt like we almost had the Walls to ourselves and took our time taking in the views. It felt like we really had stepped into the set of Kings Landing. Terracotta rooftops, medieval walls and streets adorned with plants – Dubrovnik Old Town is truly breathtaking.

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As we approached the end of the City Walls, you come to Minceta Tower which is used as the location for the ‘House of the Undying’ in Game of Thrones. We saw a basketball court from this viewpoint, which was juxtaposed beautifully against the medieval walls.

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From the heights of the Walls, we spotted a beautiful looking courtyard so we went in search of this when we descended back down into Old Town. It turned out to be the Franciscan Church and Monastery that also houses one of the oldest Pharmacies in Europe. We were kindly given half price tickets as the first customers of the day! The Monastery was a delight to look around, with a beautiful garden shaded by palm trees, rose bushes and fruit trees.

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Similar to Split, Old Town is a labyrinth of picturesque streets though a lot more steps! Dubrovnik was certainly keeping us fit! We enjoyed just going with the flow and getting lost and discovering GOT locations as we went, such as St. Dominic Street used in most of the market scenes, Ethnographic Museum Rupe used as Baelish’s brothel, Jesuit Staircase used in the ‘Walk of Shame’ scene, and Flea bottom (which was unrecognisable without the Flea Bottom peasants outside ramshackled buildings!).

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At the top of the Jesuit Staircase, there was a pleasant man selling traditional Croatian lace table cloths so I chose one for our house. We love collecting items to decorate our home to remind us of our travels and bring back memories.

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We then headed back out of Pile Gate which was now getting very busy and headed outside the walls to continue our little GOT tour to the location of ‘Blackwater Bay’. We sat and had some ice cream by the water whilst geekily discussing all things Game of Thrones.

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We then ascended up steps to Fort Lovrijenac. An error on our part was that we didn’t realise the tickets to explore the Walls also included the Fort so we didn’t go inside but got to enjoy the view.

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We headed back into Old Town to the port to catch a boat to Lokrum Island , used as the location of the City of Quarth. The tour continues!

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