Visit Croatia without leaving home: First stop Dubrovnik
OK. So I’m actually sitting at my desk at home. The tiny-tots next door are giggling and having one ripper of a time on their back deck. Two of our kids are working from home due to CoVoid-19 lock down. We’re in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. It’s April 02, 2020.
It’s not all that bad really. For the first time in a long time I can actually say that my house is really, really clean! My partner Monty is reading books that he’s promised to read for months. While he’s heavily ensconced in fictional fantasy land, I’ve decided to turn back the hands of time, back to October last year and relive our truly blissful cruise along the Croatian coast. So tomorrow we board the boat. For me, and all of you who plan to journey with me, it is Friday 11 October, 2019.
This is the final leg of our overseas adventure. We’ve already been to Mykonos, Santorini, Athens, and Istanbul before arriving in Croatia. This cruise is very much on our agenda: relax, take in the pristine environment, breathe in the fresher-than-fresh, clean air and swim in the crystal clear Adriatic Sea. Swim…well maybe. We’ve been told it may be too cold, but we’ll wait and see.
Monty and I decided it was prudent to arrive one day early to settle into Croatia-mode. We take a bus from the airport. About 30 – 40 minutes drive. It’s not long before Dubrovnik’s Old Town comes into view through our bus window. It’s nothing short of spellbinding.
We arrive at the bus’s local drop off point (just outside Old Town) and drag our bags along the pavement. We follow the Airbnb’s instructions to the letter. Take the main street, wind your way along cobblestone walkways and down uneven steps.. and there we are. We arrive right outside our delightful Dubrovnik Airbnb. It’s an absolute find! Dubrovnik Finest Apartments. Can’t say they’re apartments but we’re super happy. Our accommodation is on ground level; a cosy room with the necessary amenities. It’s furnished in contemporary IKEA-style. It ticks all the right boxes for us.
Sidenote: As always, when searching for accommodation, we hop onto Google maps and check out the best tourist spots. We then look for a place that is close to the main attractions that we’re interested in. Rule of thumb, whenever possible, we stay in or as close to the old city of the town. But, alas, I digress…
Our cruise starts tomorrow departing from Dubrovnik. The city’s Old Town is where many scenes in the TV series Game of Thrones were filmed. Whether or not you were addicted to GoT, this place is breathtakingly wondrous. And, thanks to Google Maps, we found an Airbnb which is literally just outside Old Town’s walls, near its main entrance, the Pile Gate.
Turns out, the Airbnb’s location is so perfect, we’re literally a quick walk to THE MOST FABULOUS restaurant nestled into a small cove. Our Airbnb host recommends we have dinner there later this evening. We just might!
Rather than unpacking and changing clothes, we say hi to our new host, park our bags and head off to the cable station. It’s an easy walk from Buža gate, a northern entrance to Old Town. We take the cable car to Srd Hill for a sweeping panoramic view of Old Town and the Adriatic. From the cable car viewing platform we walk to Panorama restaurant which is, according to Conde Naste travel magazine, the most magical and unusual location in the Dubrovnik area. According to the magazine, it’s amongst the top most ‘amazingly located venues on the entire Adriatic coast’, and is the second best on-the-edge restaurant in the world. (I wasn’t told which is the best?)
We are too early for lunch at Panorama but we are able to indulge in a beverage before heading back to Old Town to “walk the wall”. Unsure if our complimentary Old Town tour tomorrow includes the wall we decide to walk the wall ourselves today.
Entry to Old Town is via Pile Gate. The wall is spectacular. So much so, I’ll write a little story on our ‘wall walk’ in a separate post. We wander around aimlessly for a while until we discover tickets we can buy our tickets at the wall’s main entry which is to your left once you have entered Old Town. It’s opposite Onofrio Fountain, just inside Pile Gate.
Needless to say we’re totally stuffed by the end of the walk. And, yours truly, stupidly wore a jumper without a t-shirt underneath. Idiot move I concur but Monty and I had left Istanbul in the VERY EARLY hours of the morning and it was cold. My change of clothes are still in the suitcase back at the bnb. So what’s a girl to do? Buy a t-shirt of course!
Buying a plain t-shirt, it turns out, isn’t an easy exercise when you’re in Dubrovnik’s Old Town. Plenty of t-shirts with ‘GoT’ or ‘Croatia’ plastered across the chest area, but they’re not my cup of tea. I finally strike gold. Pouring with sweat and feeling very uncomfortable, I walk into one shop and declare “what’s the cheapest t-shirt you have?” Their reply “only these sorry”. To my amazement, they’re perfect. Rummaging through an assortment of t-shirts I discover a tasteful blue and white striped design sans tacky words plastered across the chest. Yes. Absolutely perfect.
Thankfully Monty has the necessities sorted while I’m desperately searching for a t-shirt to change into. Bless him, he has ordered tall glasses of vino, pizza and much-needed salad. No wonder we’re still married after 34 years. He just gets me!
We’re feeling much satiated from a hearty feast. Sitting in the cool shade were feeling pretty damned chuffed. We’ve done the cable car and walked the wall…time we head back to our bnb, have a shower and think about dinner…