Dubrovnik, Croatia is a beautiful town! It’s definitely quite busy with cruise ship passengers in the summer afternoons, but still quite worth seeing. This post continues with our visit there as part of a 3 week trip in 2015.
Overall, we’re really glad we spent a couple days in Dubrovnik, to see its highlights. For a much longer stay, one might want to consider day trips to further nearby locations – Dubrovnik old town is cute but not super huge. We effectively did this “day tripping” instead by spending the previous nights in Kotor, Mostar, and Split. If we came back to Croatia, I think we’d like to see more of the islands along the coast, like those we’d seen around Split.
Thursday, June 25, 2015
Our morning started with a drive from Kotor, Montenegro, to Dubrovnik, Croatia. On arrival, we were happy to return our rental car that we had picked up a few days earlier in Split, Croatia. The car had acquired a few dings from our misadventures on a farm road, but fortunately, we weren’t charged for them.
From the rental car center, we ended up carrying our bags down a zillion stairs, and managed to check into our apartment in the super cute old town. After settling in, we walked around the corner and got a late lunch. The fish I ordered was quite tasty. For dessert, we found a delicious bakery and picked up some pastries. Overall, we liked the Croatian food, but the food we had in Italy the previous week was a very hard act to follow.
The rest of the afternoon, we wandered the old town and soaked up the environment. The old town is not actually that large, but, like Venice, the main point is the ambiance. While wandering, I did manage to find a Dalmatian cookbook – I try to collect one from each country we visit – and spent the evening reading it.
Friday, June 26, 2015
For breakfast, we went back to our favorite bakery and picked up more amazing pastries, one of which turned out to be deliciousness filled with meat. Sometimes you end up with something unexpected, but think of it as an opportunity to try something new.
We spent the morning exploring the city walls. It’s recommended that you do this early before the crowds show up and it gets hot.
In 1272 the city created a municipal law that all buildings had to stay true to the original, thus in both the 1667 earthquake, and again in the bombing of 1991, they rebuilt with the original red/yellow roof colors. It is really interesting noting that a city of this age has almost entirely new roofs. While beautiful, it is really sad to think of the reasoning behind it (the 1990’s war).
We then took a gondola up the hill to the fortress where we got an amazing view of the city.
While we were up there, we also visited a museum that covered the Croatian War for Independence. It was both fascinating and sad to see what modern wars look like. John was particularly intrigued by all the military gear. A bit young to really understand the significance, but he was delighted none-the-less.
Afterwards, we took the gondola down to the city and got a seafood platter with mackerel, squid, shrimp, muscles, and for lunch. Good, but too many heads, bones, and shells for Jeremy’s taste.
We wandered a bit, got some ice cream cones, then went back to the apartment to rest while all the cruise ship passengers suffered through the hottest and most crowded part of the day. Ice cream cones were nowhere near as good as the ones we had in Italy, but they were small and cheap, so we ended up getting way too many of them during our time in Croatia.
After resting, we went out to wander a bit more. As it turns out, we ended up getting more bakery items for dinner and enjoyed eating them at a nearby playground, just outside the city walls.
Our evening was spent in a stroll down the beach. There was way too much broken glass and other litter, but the boys had fun hopping from rock to rock.
Saturday, June 27, 2015
In the morning, the kids finished off their box of cereal, then we went back to the bakery for more goodies. We wanted to take a boat tour and the boys saw a submarine that they were excited about, so we went with it without thinking very hard. Big mistake! We ended up seeing a few tiny fish and a bunch of trash. Jeremy felt sea sick, and we didn’t get to enjoy views of the city. Oh well, you win some, you lose some. Luckily the kids were easily amused and loved it. If you have the opportunity, look for something with comfortable above water seating and plan on enjoying the views, rather than the fish.
For lunch, we ended up getting sandwiches. My panini was great, but everyone else was a bit disappointed.
At this point, we caught a taxi to the airport, discovered that the lines were super inefficient, and hopped on a flight to Santorini, Greece (via Athens)! We ended up not having enough time to change our money before entering security, so we used the little we had left to buy some treats.