Sunday, January 04, 2015

Holiday in Old Town Dubrovnik

Everyone that Chrissy and I have talked to that has traveled to Croatia has given it glowing reviews.work trip we knew that we would only be able to catch a small portion of the country so we independently prioritized our top locations in Croatia and both came out with Dubrovnik on top.
With only 5 days tacked on to the end of our

Dubrovnik, "The Pearl of the Adriatic" and it's Old Town is a UNESCO Protected walled medieval city area and has long been associated as a tourism destination. In recent years it has drawn extra attention due to it being a primary filming location for King's Landing in the HBO show Game of Thrones.

A couple of weeks before heading out I did some research online for accommodations and found no hotel options in the walled Old Town of Dubrovnik. Using TripAdvisor and Expedia I ended up finding a highly rated apartment right in the middle of Old Town: Apartment Peppino.

Arriving from London early in the morning we boarded a shuttle to the Old Town gates and began searching for our apartment. At this point we knew it was off of the main road (Placa-Stradun) and then somewhere to our left.

Placa Stradun from the walls
Quite quickly we actually found the road we were looking for and we begun the 100 stairs (Chrissy counted) climb to our room.  The climb wasn't too bad except that we were lugging our bags that were weighted down with Chrissy's work clothes and documents. After catching our breath half way up, we eventually arrived and were amicably greeted at the apartment door by our host Tonka, who gave us some tips for our stay before leaving us to get settled in.

It was time to explore Old Town.

Wandering the Internal Streets

Many of the tourist guides and reviews I have seen of the Old Town describe the streets as maze-like but I found it extremely easy to navigate. For such an old city it is surprisingly grid like with Placa Stradun running as an anchor in which you will invariably hit or have in view with any two repeated right- right or left-left turns at subsequent intersections. Simple!

Bouyed by this directional confidence we spent a lot of time wandering through the marble 'paved' streets. We marveled at the beautiful buildings and how the sun and light played off the marble roads and buildings to give us a new breathtaking sight in the same spot throughout different times of the day.


Dubrovnik Cathedral - Day

Dubrovnik Cathedral - Night

Columns of Rector's Palace




Jesuit Church

Grotto in Jesuit Church


The Harbor and Outer Walls

The views are equally impressive outside the walls of Old Town as within.  The dichotomy of the stone against the shimmering Adriatic and the beauty of the harbor really has to be seen to be truly appreciated.











Walking the Walls

No trip to Dubrovnik can be considered complete without viewing the city and the sea beyond from it's walls. The day we chose to walk the walls it was about 26 degrees and pretty warm up on the walls. I can't even imagine the heat from the direct sun when its mid summer time. Once again, Chrissy and I greatly enjoyed the benefits of traveling in shoulder season.











Other Highlights

Fresh sea food and feeding fish heads to the many stray cats in the area.



Splashes of lush green amid buildings

The views through the wall

Stumbling into a Diner en Blanc

Notes

  • Old Town Dubrovnik reminded me very much of visiting Venice. Both are cities renowned for a certain characteristic (canals/walls) and are essentially tourism centered economies based on this defining feature. 
  • We stopped many times to cool down and refill our water bottles at Onofrio's Fountain. Pro-tip for travelers the water is clean and refreshing. Either fill up your usual water bottle or buy a plastic bottle of water and refill it again and again.
  • Apartment Peppino was fantastic and our host Tonka was great for accommodating us early based on the time of our flight in. Highly recommended.
  • So much great food (Pizzeria & Spaghetteria Storia) and some that was highly disappointing. It was nearly impossible what was a good restaurant before trying it. We quickly learned to just go with TripAdvisor reviews rather than our instincts.

Next Post - Dubrovnik City and 3 Island Tour
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