20130801-163604.jpgWe spent our last day in Zadar swimming in the ocean as it was too hot to do anything else and then took an overnight “direct” bus to Dubrovnik. We really need to stop being so naive when it comes to transportation. We arrived at 5:30am without having slept a wink. While up to this point we had been amazed at how nice Croats were, we now experienced a complete culture shock as every Croat in Dubrovnik was beyond rude, including those at the bus station. I guess tourists have this effect on people but you would think that if your only income comes from tourism, you might make a bit more effort. In Dubrovnik you’d be wrong.

We met an Australian couple who advised us to secure accomodations close to the city center since they had gone for the cheaper ones uphill and then spent a boatload of money and time on the local buses. A city bus ticket is 15kuna (about $3USD) and is good for an hour, which means you can transfer buses as long as you stay within that one hour but since they run only every 25mins or so, it’s easy to exceed your time limit at which point you’ll need to buy a new ticket. Distances in Dubrovnik are short but it is built on a hill so there’s a lot of climbing and the heat from about 10am to 7pm is unbearable: buses are a necessity.

After much searching, we found an “apartment” about 1km from the center of the old town. At €100, a room with a tiny bathroom is not cheap but thus is Dubrovnik.

Dubrovnik is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since it is one of the best preserved medieval walled cities in the world.

20130802-124949.jpgDubrovnik’s Old Town streets are paved with stone and there are no trees inside the walls, except for some potted plants and a few tiny house yards.

20130802-125145.jpgThis makes midday visiting feel like a walk thru an oven. We had to wait until nighttime to visit. The lit up city is beautiful with cafés and restaurants springing up everywhere. My Iphone pictures do not do Dubrovnik justice.

20130802-125325.jpgWe had an overpriced seafood dinner, which to be honest wasn’t too good, watching the boats come in for the night before going back to our place.

The highlight of a visit to Dubrovnik is being able to walk the entire length (6 thousand feet) of the walls that encircle it.

20130802-125922.jpgThe wall gates open from 8am to 7pm and cost 80kuna/pp (kids pay half, cc accepted). We were at the gate before they even opened the next morning.

20130802-130121.jpgIt took us an hour and a half to walk all around them and that includes several breaks in the shade.

20130802-130856.jpgIf you don’t stop, you could do it in 1hr. There are several small shops and restaurants on top where you can take a break but keep in mind that the longer you rest, the higher up in the sky the sun gets.

The walls were constructed during a period of time lasting from the 7th thru the 17th centuries and protected the citizens of the “civilized” republic of Dubrovnik against the Venetians. Walking the walls will present you with a myriad of picture opportunities both of the seaside

as well as of the Old Town.


It is a strenous climb at times

20130802-131058.jpgbut the heat is what really gets you.

By the time we got down, the only picture we managed to take was of Onofrio’s Fountain

20130802-132203.jpgwhich supplies fresh water to the city by an aqueduct system flowing from a spring located over 7 miles away. The water is of better quality than even bottled and a source of pride for the citizens of Dubrovnik. After, we couldn’t bear doing anything but swimming the day away while we waited for our afternoon bus to Kotor, Montenegro.

Dubrovnik is beautiful but maybe consider visiting in the Fall when the heat (and crowds) should have diminished.

We had met a couple (she-Turkish, he from The Netherlands; settled in Amsterdam) who had been traveling by car thru Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro and Croatia. She was super incredibly nice and that gave me secret hope that Turkey won’t be as rough as I expect it to be, we’ll see. Listening to their experiences, I grew convinced that the best way to visit these Balkan countries is by car instead of being subjected to the errant itineraries (and bad tempers) of buses. I would change my mind later though and I’ll tell you why in the next post.

She said that they had found the people in Croatia to be ok, Montenegrins to not want to be bothered by tourists and Albanians simply depressing. “They just don’t enjoy anything”, she said. With those somber words we got ready to move on.


Categories: Croatia, Europe, UNESCO site | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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