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July 1st 2008
Published: August 25th 2008
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Dubrovnik and Lokrum


On the way from Korcula to Dubrovnik
Our bus ride from Korcula to Dubrovnik was, well, unbelievable. I would have stopped on every turn for a good week, the landscape was absolutely gorgeous and the water a color of blue I can not describe. We came into Dubrovnik across a huge bridge and then made our way down the hill to the bus station near the new harbor. As we exited the bus, we were immediately greeted by many locals offering up private housing. We had not pre-arranged any place to sleep, so after surveying the crowd, no wait, after being maimed by locals, we went with a nice older lady who really fought for our attention. She was going to charge 100 Kuna (15 Euro) per person, per night, and promised a short 15 minute walk to the old city, a beautiful view, and air conditioning. We were directed to their car where her husband, who spoke no English, was waiting patiently. The couple seemed nice enough and we stopped at a bakery on the way to their house so they could pick some stuff up.

Upon first arrival, the house was very nice, clean, and we were given a key to our own room, with
We have Arrived!We have Arrived!We have Arrived!

Justus and our first glimpse of Dubrovnik's old town
air conditioning and a fabulous terrace. There were two other house guests settled in, a couple from Australia, who we later got to know and hung out with a bit. Our new host served us some cake (at 10 am) and lemonade on the terrace as we enjoyed the view and we were sold. Somewhere along the way to their house, we figured out that her husband spoke decent German and he seemed pleased to communicate with us as well. So after making our payment for the room, we were off to explore the city and enjoy my birthday! The "15 minute walk" was actually about double, but with the prospect of a bus ride back, I shrugged off the exaggerated promise of our host. It was VERY hot and humid, something I had not experienced in a long time, but the haul to the old city was definitely worth every minute. We arrived at the top corner of the city walls, and I was already amazed, a historical city with a perfectly constructed city wall still in its original condition. Really unbelievable. We made our way to one of the two entrances into the walled city and encountered the hordes of tourists that had the same idea. Justus and i both new this would be one of the more touristy destinations on our trip, but it was one that we couldn't skip.

Inside the city walls (and past the cheesy guards in full medieval garb) was a charming city with narrow side streets and intriguing stores. We immediately set off to get lost amongst the many twists and turns of the city. On our little adventure we discovered a small door at the ocean side of the city. Curious, after seeing someone come out of the open entryway, we peeked our heads out and found a fabulous cliff-side bar with a swimming area. We were tempted to stop right then and there, but decided that there was some exploring left to do before tempting ourselves into an afternoon of swimming and sun.

We made the very poor, as later discovered, decision of deciding the walk the city wall in the middle of the day. The wall is something that is a must see when visiting the city. For 50 Kuna, you can climb up to the top and circumnavigate the entire old city. There are some AMAZING views and it is an enjoyable experience, minus the heat. Being stupid, I did not apply any sunscreen, and about halfway through realized that I felt like someone had stuck a piece of glass under the sun and pointed it on me. It was a clear and beautiful day, but by halfway around the wall, we had just about had enough. It was decided to stop for a lunch break and get out of the sun, but it was too late, I had already started to turn red. We decided on a place in the center of the town to have a nice birthday lunch and cool off for a bit. I had some oysters and another version (this one with red sauce) of the seafood risotto, I believe this time with mussels. It was really amazing, one of my favorite dishes from the trip.

After some heavy, but too late, application of sunscreen and a stop at a local store to buy a pashmina to cover up my shoulders, we finagled our way back up the wall. The guy didn't want to let us back up again but after some convincing he just let us by. The rest
Old TilesOld TilesOld Tiles

The old roof tiles on many buildings were amazing
of the wall was beautiful and once again we took a look down at the seaside bar and decided it was calling our names. That was our first stop after finishing our roundabout tour of the city and we thoroughly enjoyed spending some time in the sun and the gorgeous crystal blue water. I am really starting to appreciate the boulder cliff beaches, no sand to deal with, but laying out is a little stiff. When we had enough sun, it was time to head back to our room so we could freshen up before the Germany vs Spain final Europe Cup match. We took a bus down to the bottom of the hill and reluctantly climbed the thousands of steps to the top where our hosts lived. I was not the happiest of campers, but after a shower and spending some much needed time locked in the air conditioning to cool down, I was back to a good mood.

We made our way back to town with our Australian bunkmates and had a nice chat about our combined adventures. The original plan was to hit up FRESH, the burrito place we had found in Korcula, which had promised
Justus and IJustus and IJustus and I

Enjoying our city wall hike
to open for the game right at 8. Unfortunately we went by many times and it still wasn't open, so we had to move on to a new plan. After a quick stop at the internet cafe so I could have a birthday skype call with my parents, it was off to one of the many Irish pubs (3 of them in one city block). We settled on one that had a couple of tables left and enjoyed watching the game with some other English speakers. It was a great game, Spain pulled out the win in the end and I was a little torn because that meant I had won 100 Euros in my betting match back in Germany, but I was also very sad that Germany had lost because they are my team. I know what you are thinking, but I didn't pick Spain, well I picked it out of a cup, not the same.

After a good night's sleep, the Energizer Bunny, I mean Justus was ready to go climb a mountain, literally. My energy level wasn't quite at a match that day, so we decided to split for the morning and meet up at 1
Me Me Me

Enjoy the view from the top, starting to get sunburned
pm in the old town. I loved the idea of taking my time, sleeping a little and having a casually stroll to the bus and a ride into town. Little did I know. First mistake, I went all the way down the hill without realizing that the street down there was only one way, therefore, no opposite bus back into town. Second Mistake, deciding to just start wandering up the street without a map instead of hiking back up the hill and going the way I should have. Third Mistake, listening to a family of lost Americans that told me there was "NOTHING" down at the bottom of the hill and getting me to turn around and waste 30 minutes in the heat hiking around when I was in reality only a 5 min walk away from the old town.

SO, I arrived in the old town, very sweaty, with some new friends from somewhere on the east coast, who I immediately abandoned to their cruise related tourist activities. It was much later than I had originally anticipated. The walk took me an hour and a half instead of a half hour, which didn't make me too thrilled, but
Dubrovnik and LokrumDubrovnik and LokrumDubrovnik and Lokrum

Dubrovnik with Lokrum Island in the distance
I decided to chipper up the attitude and salvage my morning. I found a nice quiet pizza place on a side street that had air conditioning and gave me unlimited ice for my Liter of bubbly water. I ordered a Tomato-Mozzarella Salad and sat back to observe some other customers. And then in walked some more of the Carnival Cruise Line American tourists. Lots of them, with kids. I had a fabulous time observing the loud American syndrome and loving the fact that they had no idea that I spoke English. Overall it was an entertaining experience and afterwards I was re-hydrated and felt refreshed.

I met Justus in the city square and we made the quick decision to hop over to Lokrum, an island right off the coast of Dubrovnik. The ferry cost 40 Kuna round trip and lasted only about 15 minutes. Lokrum is host to an old monestary, an old fort up on its highest point, and a nature preserve that has lots and lots of peacocks. We found some chairs in the shade (note, i was very sunburned by this point) and I footed the 30 Kuna to sit in them. I enjoyed some fresh

Enjoying oysters for my bday
peaches I had bought in the market and read my book while taking random peeks at the beautiful scene in front of me. We had found a rocky beach where you could swim in the fabulous water and then climb around the rocks. There were ladders in the water which made it easy to get in and out. After I had enough of the rest in the shade, I met Justus out on the rocks and we played around jumping off of them and taking pictures. The water felt fabulous. Before heading out to explore the rest of the island, Justus took a plunge in the "Red Sea" which was a small lake on the island that was salt water. I managed to get some pictures of the peacocks in the mean time, and then we headed off to explore the monestary and climb up to the fort. We had a pristine view from the top of the fort, which looked like it held a lot of weaponry, wasn't quite sure on the history of this particular island.

We made it back in time to catch the last ferry, and then headed straight to Fresh to enjoy a Mexican Wrap and some two for one beers. The place had lots of magazines and travel books sitting around to read and seemed like a great place to hang out. We took a beer to go and made a short trip to the internet cafe before heading up to the apartment.

We managed to convince our hosts to give us a ride back to the bus station the next morning and bought tickets for our trip down to Kotor, Montenegro. It might be good to know that there are actually reserved seats on the once a day bus and ours filled up pretty fast.

Overall, it was a fabulous couple of days in Dubrovnik and the perfect place to spend my birthday. I will definitely be returning to this amazing city on the tip of Croatia. I feel that the country itself has so much to offer and I hope that its pristine nature isn't ruined by the tourism that will be much too soon to come.

Additional photos below
Photos: 19, Displayed: 19


Edge of the WallEdge of the Wall
Edge of the Wall

Beautiful views from the edge of the wall
No NudistsNo Nudists
No Nudists

Our cliff-side bar telling us that Nudists are not allowed...darn

At the monestary on Lokrum Island.
Rocky BeachRocky Beach
Rocky Beach

On Lokrum Island
Cool StaircaseCool Staircase
Cool Staircase

At the fort on Lokrum Island

From the Island

Dusk in the city

The church in the center square of town at night
Comfortable CatComfortable Cat
Comfortable Cat

This cat found a cozy place to sleep

25th August 2008

P! I, of course, love the vertical shot of the wall with the blue ocean, but think I may frame this kitty shot for my room! R
4th September 2008

Hi Paige, We're heading to Croatia next week so I enjoyed looking at your pictures and hearing your stories. Do you have any "can't miss" places that we should hit in Croatia? We'll be spending a week driving north of Split and then we head to Dubrovnik for a week of kayaking around the islands. Hope you are well. Marlene

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