We spoke of love in Prague & Paris. We spoke of unlimited joy in Madrid & Seville. We spoke of delicious food in Istanbul. But Dubrovnik in Croatia , is bewitching!
A lot like Prague , in that its history never left it and you still feel like living in the olden times. For me its difficult to pen down this post especially when it took some 4 months to just come out of what I call an adriatic hangover. The hundred thousand photographs I clicked here had me spellbound and dazed. There was no way I could use them in a single post.
So this post is only going to be about this city , where I spent 5 , yes 5 whole days . As always I didn't want it to be a touristy one, so I explored it at my own pace with tips from the locals. Here is my TOP 5.
1. WANDER AIMLESSLY IN OLD TOWN
If you land from Dubrovnik airport, you will likely be dropped at PILE gate beyond which no vehicles are allowed. So yes, you will have your first tryst with the stunning Old town when you drag your luggage through it - supposing you stay inside old town (Highly recommended). It is divine at sunrise hours, when the tourists don't crowd its glistening walkways and walls. Its a maze of stairs going up and down as you pass by a zillion eateries and local residences. Yes, the locals very much live here and I chose to stay in one of these inside old town. You can easily get lost in these narrow lanes surrounded by huge stone walls with the sun playing hide & seek and its fun. However , if you get lost in the night, just follow the Clock tower that you just saw at Stradun (the most famous street within old town). All the famous palaces are here , however there is nothing to see inside the palace. But you will love to be in the old city every sunrise and through the night. Stradun in the nights buzzes with local street performers and you can hear them play the best music ever and you wouldn't want to end the night. I did this for all the 4 nights and still craved for more! I will share more old town pics in an another blog which will be a style post
2. BANJE BEACH
The day you land make sure to hit the beach during sunset for the most amazing house music at BANJE BEACH CLUB that overlooks the banje beach. Pick up a glass of your favourite drink and maybe indulge in a Sunday like I did. See the adriatic sea light up in shades of gold along with the Stone walls. Such a sight to behold while the best party music blows into your ears. The next morning , be sure to come back right here around 9 to enjoy a dip in the water. The stony beach has very tiny stones which your feet can stand even without beach shoes. A swim at the beach is most relaxing especially as the depth of the water is barely 4 feet till a very long distance. This is the cleanest water you can find to swim or relax in.
3. VISIT THE MORNING MARKET
Every morning around 9am , the old town street turns into a local seller's haven. The tourists and locals alike shop here for fresh produce, special dubrovnik dry fruits, even locally made cosmetics- I bought this beauty balm from an old guy who claimed it will clear my skin of acne blemishes and Oh my God it did. I can't thank him enough. Do buy from him , if you find him there. I paid 7 Kuna (Approx 700 RS) for the balm called as Immortelle (L'Occitane makes something of this name) . You can also find cheap lavender room fresheners and related products. Its surprising to see that most sellers are very old . The young populace doesn't seem to participate here.
4. ENJOY THE VIEWS FROM DUBROVNIK WALLS
This is a no-brainer. Get your ticket for whichever time the sun favours. I would say something after 4pm or the first visit at 9am works best. Walking through the walls is a photographer's delight. You will be tired of clicking through the one hour of this trail over the old city. This is certainly a one time thing even if you stay here for 4 or more days. So make the most of that one hour you have, though it will tire you due to the sun. No food or water is allowed here so you need to refill it as you go .
5. EAT LOTS OF ICECREAM
This place is an ice-cream lover's heaven . Its cheap around 1-3 Kuna depending on the place and you get a huge scoop! Its certainly not gelato but is the best & creamiest ice cream you will ever have. My favourite flavours have been PISTA-CARAMEL-YOGURT. Oops and my mouth is watering while I write this. There are frozen yogurt shops too. Virgin Mint mojito is another favourite you will find in most ice-cream shops for 5-6 Kunas and they make it well. But have your fill of the best and cheapest icecreams within old town as food is a slightly difficult matter. Except for a yummy breakfast joint I had difficulty finding food. But I had the fresh goat cheese bruschetta every single morning and felt so good till 1pm, it was so filling. There was an Indian joint with amazing food but always booked so we had to do with takeaways or go real early.
You can also make a trip to the island of Lokrum, which is the forbidden island -the place where the Kings landing (Game of Thrones) has been shot. This island if you followed me on instagram scared me to no end. As they rightly say, the peacocks and rabbits besides other creatures have proclaimed this land and no human is allowed after sunset because he may not escape alive in the din of the crickets and tall dark trees covering the sky, besides abandoned walls in the middle. I just wanted to run away and we took the last boat out just at half sunset. I have never seen peacocks so brave and charging at humans that it seems unreal like you were Alice. I tried to swim in the waters but the slippery stony waterbed was too unwelcoming. SO yes, do go there around the same time i did- 5pm. And don't forget to read why this is a cursed island. Its for real!
Have questions, reach out in the comment box below!
TILL NEXT TIME CIAO!