Dubrovnik is one of those cities that you can spend one day in or you can spend 20 days and still never tire of it. Rome has always been my favourite European city but it will now have to share this title with Dubrovnik as after only one day there I was in love.
We didn’t quite have the hot temperatures I expected on the Croatian coastline but on our first full day in the city we woke up to a sunny clear day in Dubrovnik and was eager to go explore. The city wall skyline is a sight I don’t think I’d ever tire of as it is a truly beautiful sight at any time of the day. In the late afternoon, before sunset, when the sun resembles the yellow yolk of an egg it basks the city in a warm pink haze, like it has had a vintage filter applied to it. Beautiful.
Our first full day in Dubrovnik after the escapades the day before (see my blog post about our Croatian Misadventure) promised to be a fairly relaxed one exploring the inner city and finding some gorgeous food!
Following a simple breakfast, and a visit to a Croatian bakery where we sampled an amazing Nutella filo pastry we entered the city via the Buza gate. This brought us out at the top of a huge flight of stairs. If you don’t like stairs then Dubrovnik is not for you as there are so many of them everywhere. By the time we had set off after a late breakfast/early lunch it was already the afternoon so we left the wall until another day, happy to just wander through the many alleyways.
We happened across the Game of Thrones shop situated on one of the staircases leading up from the Stadrun where you can have your photo taken on the Iron Throne itself, well a copy at least. This is at a price as you need to purchase something in-store, the cheapest item being a fridge magnet for 40 kuna (when we were there it was approximately 9 Kuna to the pound so this was approximately £4.44).
We continued to wander around aimlessly really, taken numerous photographs of all of the architecture as we saw the sights. All the buildings off the Stadrun are all beautiful examples of Dubrovnik archectiture; the Church of St Blaise, The Church of St Ignatius of Loloya, the ancient city walls, Minceta Fortress, Fort Lovrijenac, Pile Gate, Onophrian fountain and the Rector’s palace to name but a few. Randomly in the centre of the main square was a remnant from the previous week’s Easter festivities with three giant chicks, a giant Easter bunny and a basket of giant eggs!
We visited the Church of St Ignatius of Loloya, on the Poljana Rudera Boskovica. Inside the church was a beautiful ceiling mural, almost like the one in the Sistine Chapel and also in a side chapel appeared the Virgin Mary in a natural rock ghetto. She was adorned with flowers and had strategic lights shining on her face. There is a dramatic stone staircase leading to the square which was used to film Cersei’s walk of shame in Game of Thrones.
Although ill prepared for the fading sun in just my jeans and a fleece we decided to take advantage of the glorious day and take the cable car up Mount Srd. It costs 80 Kuna (approximately £9) for a single journey and 130 Kuna for a return (approximately £13.50). We did have aspirations to walk it but realised walking back in the dark was a bad idea.
The cable car was a very short ride with no more than 25 to 30 people in the cab at one time and leaves every 15 minutes. Being at the front of the queue was handy as we got first dibs on the best spot in the car and the best views of the city as we made our way up. It takes less than 4 minutes to travel the 778 metre distance to the top where there is a shop and restaurant. There are two viewing platforms at the cable car entrance but you can also take a short walk outside to a clearer viewing platform and less people likely to ruin your perfect photo moment. Taking the journey later in the day meant we could catch the sunset across Dubrovnik and the gorgeous coastline (slightly ruined by a group of annoying tourists who seemed to be making it their mission to be as loud as possible and ruin every single photo I took by accidentally photobombing me – but as you can see I managed to take just a few!).
That evening we had one of the best meals of the whole trip, although ironically it was Bosnian food and not Croatian food! I had wanted to leave space for dessert but just couldn’t fit it in. Luckily with a full day trip planned for the subsequent day to Bosnia and the world heritage site of Mostar I was super excited about more Bosnian food – but that’s for another blog!