Dubrovnik and Split

Dubrovnik

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Dubrovnik_Beach

It might be mandatory to read this entry while listening to the Game of Thrones theme song. Why you might ask…well, because Ken and I visited Kings Landing (aka Dubrovnik). Unfortunately (or fortunately) we missed filming by a week, but being as that was never the impetus behind our visit to the “Pearl of the Adriatic,” we weren’t too disappointed.

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We began our journey with a 5 hour bus trip down the Croatian coastline from Split to Dubrovnik. To say it was picturesque would be an understatement. With rolling storm clouds, rocky cliffs and many a small town with terra cotta roofs and white exteriors, we got to see some amazing countryside. Although it was only 200km to get to Dubrovnik, the road twisted around sharp turns as we drove along the step rocky cliffs. Fortunately, the driver drove slowly. Our journey also drove through western Bosnia/Herzegovina for 30 minutes as it lies between Split to Dubrovnik…a strange reminder of the territory war that ravaged this part of the world not too many years ago.

By the time we arrived in Dubrovnik, I had my typical vacation head-cold and it was quite late in the evening. Luckily our hosts were awaiting our arrival with grappa and chocolate wafers – which was a wonderful welcome to a beautiful city. We stayed in a small B&B  (without the breakfast), but our hosts at Hotel Aura were incredibly helpful and generous.

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They helped us book a full-day boat trip around the islands of Dubrovnik and helped us coordinate eating some pretty authentic meals at local restaurants. We ate octopus in many forms throughout our stay, lamb and cevapcici (a small turd-shaped meatball, that is actually quite good despite looking like little poops). But Croatia is also known for their pizza and Italian inspired dishes, having been a part of Italy in the past.

Historical old-town Dubrovnik is an incredible walled-in city and a world heritage site. The walls themselves are the oldest part of the city, having been built and rebuilt from the 12th through the 17th centuries. Despite it’s beauty, the city itself was absolutely packed with tourists. It was incredibly overwhelming, and frankly a little off-putting and at times I felt that I was in Disneyland, surrounded on all sides by tourist shops, camera happy tourists and waiters grabbing at you to go to their restaurants. We heard that this was not even as bad as it was in June and July, peak season, when there were guards at the gates to the city to protect people from being trampled! To escape the throngs, we decided to walk the city walls which allowed us some incredible views.

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To change it up a bit, we decided to take a small boat tour of some of the surrounding islands. We had fresh caught fish on the boat for lunch and got to share the deck with only two other couples. It was a beautiful quiet day with amazing weather. We even got to swim in Croatia’s famous crystal clear waters.

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While Dubrovnik was very pretty, Split was the surprise gem of our trip. We stayed at a centrally located airbnb, that was literally only 15 minutes to the public beach and Split’s historic downtown – a city built inside an ancient Roman palace. Diocletian’s palace was built around 300 AD and the downtown lives within it’s walls. The actual streets that we walked on everyday are the original limestone streets from 300 AD! Pretty cool. A free walking tour taught us all about the history of the city and how it came to pass that this is the only Roman city in Europe to not be purely for visiting, but it is actually being occupied daily by locals.

Split

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After we did the touristy walks of ancient, medieval and Renaissance Split, we decided it was time to just relax on the beach. We could have done more boat tours, or been cool like Beyonce and visited Croatia’s many islands. But Ken and I were pretty content laying on the hot stone beach, getting some sun, some zzzs and watching some old Croatian ladies yelling at each other in the water!

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Now here we are again in rainy Hamburg, with Fall definitely upon us – long sleeves, hot baths and soup time. But we have four baggies of lavender (a weed in Croatia…rosemary and lavender are everywhere), a half kilo of dried figs, a little red in our cheeks and my cold is finally gone!

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Split_us



3 Comments

  1. Carol wrote:

    Its sounds wonderful!

  2. cindy wrote:

    i second that!

  3. Lana wrote:

    Haha, love the part about the cevapcici. They do look like turds ^^ It reminded me of something funny my dad did when I was a kid. He made cevapcici for us and accidentally dropped one on the floor. Then he figured, oh what the heck, and just dropped the rest too and added some sauce, making them look even more turd-like XD So for me, cevapcici has always been = turds on the floor!