Those who seek paradise on Earth should come to Dubrovnik
– George Bernard Shaw
Dubrovnik – the stunning, beautiful medieval city in southern Croatia known for its famous walls, still intact many centuries after they were built, was the highlight of our trip. You see, I didn’t think I’d like Dubrovnik. I had heard that it was very touristy, crowded and expensive from several people who had been there, and so I had never set foot here before, despite my many vacations in the country, both as a child and an adult. But this time, we were flying to and from Dubrovnik on our way to Montenegro, so I suggested we’d stay in Dubrovnik for a few days, to cross it off our list and see what all the fuss was about (because I’d heard many good things as well). When you drive down the coast from Montenegro, you get a beautiful view of Dubrovnik and it certainly doesn’t get any worse once you enter it – although the traffic queues were a nightmare.
After finding the apartment we were renting, a place located within walking distance to the old town, up on the hills with an amazing view of the city, we headed downtown for a quick bite to eat, a dose of WiFi and to walk the infamous walls of Dubrovnik. We bought our tickets and headed up the very first steps to an awe-inspiring view of Fort Lovrjenac to the right and the old city to the left. If you’ve ever seen HBO’s popular TV show Game of Thrones, you might recognize Fort Lovrjenac as it plays a very prominant role as King’s Landing in the series.
Walking around on the walls, I started imaging what it looked like back in its heyday – who walked here back then? What did they do? What clothes did they wear? What did they eat? My mind started wandering off and my imagination went wild, but was interrupted once we’d climbed up to the top and had the most striking view of the Adriatic sea and the island of Lokrum. I can definitely see why this location was chosen to be in GoT, and why it is a part of UNESCO.
The whole walk took around 1.5-2 hours for us, as we stopped along the way to take in the surroundings, watch the sun go down and take some pictures. Thankfully, we had brought good shoes and bought some water at one of the small shops on the wall, so it wasn’t really the physical challenge we thought it would be, although the scorching sun sure made us sweat along the way. We were really glad that this was the first thing we did, as it allowed us to experience the city from above and see how truly splendid and charming it is. We were tired after a long day, so we found a cafe with good people-watching, drank some wine and beer and headed home to get ready for the evening.