DISCOVER DALMATIA BLOG:
There are only a few things I like more than seeing travelers experience Dubrovnik for the first time: the surprise, the excitement, the happiness.. an amazing array of emotions plays out on their faces! Usually, after initial speechlessness comes a river of questions: how? when? why? really? REALLY? Oh my!
It’s so joyful and uplifting – I would love to give you a small taste of how it feels like… but alas no blog can do it justice! Nonetheless, here goes my best effort:
Dubrovnik is located 230 km (~140 miles) south of Split, along which there are 4 border crossings to pass: from Croatia to Bosnia, then Bosnia to Croatia and back again! In other words: a day-trip to Dubrovnik will be a helluva long day.
Not saying it’s not worth it, just sayin’ – better start the day stupid early. Here’ Jon and Lana, our American friends, gearing up in earnest. Well.. Lana is. Jon is not a fan of starting anything stupid early 🙂
Traveling to Dubrovnik by car takes about 3 hrs, with 50 mandatory stops for photos – at least! 🙂
Parking in the Old Town is super impossible, so it’s really nice to be dropped off directly at the gates of Old Town, with no worry in mind about finding that elusive parking spot. Here’s our crew at Stradun, the main promenade of Old Town, about to start our walk of the city walls.
There are 3 entrances to the city walls – by the Pile and Ploče gates and another by St Ivan’s Fort in the harbour. from Stradun near the Pila gates, at the John’s fortress and at the Saint Luka’s fortress. Once on top, all visitors must traverse it counter-clockwise. We chose the first, for multiple reasons:
(a) Immediately after getting up, we are able to see the breathtaking Stradun promenade, in all its loveliness.
This main city artery is some 300 long and it begins and ends with fountains. All house fronts face it and all of Dubrovnik’s streets flow into it.
(b) Soon after continuing our walk, we will reach the breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea
Lovrjenac is a self-standing fortress, rising on a cliff 37 metres above the sea. A famous inscription is carved on its main gate: Non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro (“Freedom must not be sold for all the gold in the world)
(c) If we get tired of the walk (which takes about 2 hrs to complete), we can bail the walk on the gates near the Saint John’s fortress and still be (kinda) happy with the gazillion pics we took.. Like this one, of the reddest, bestest, red roofs around! 🙂
Each step of the walk is another opportunity to take pics. As a bonus, our amazing tour guide will dazzle you with amazing stories and tidbits about the sights you see.
Outside the walls, there’s a lovely cafe called “Buza” ( = “A hole”), named because to reach it, one must literally duck and step through a hole in the wall. Literally 🙂
Turning the corner of the walls, we see the port. This is where the walk starts to go slightly upwards – and we’re walking for 1 hr plus at this point – so some people decide to bail from the wall here.
But then, sadly, you would miss views of the city red roof tops, like these … and these .. and THESE!
The Southern portal of Dominician Monastery is only a small part of this mighty complex of Gothic architectural design.
Turning up the corner one more time, and we are at the last tower: Minceta tower.
Minčeta tower stands at the highest point in Dubrovnik and dominates the City. The only fortress that features a crown of battlements set on a base, it also played a significant role in the City’s water supply system by forking the supply line and delivering water to the fountains at both ends of Stradun.
We’re pretty beat at this point, but we still relish the chance to climb higher, to get the last view of the Old Town!
… or not! 🙂
After many many hours of sightseeing – all of which I didn’t give away here not to spoil your fun – we’ve gone back on the road, passed both border crossings and have arrived to Ston for a yummy dinner – and my goodness, we’ve certainly earned it!!
Til next time,