Dubrovnik. While many of you might know the city as Kings Landing from Game of Thrones – it has so much more to offer than just the set of a TV show. From the slippery limestone streets, hole-in-the-castle-wall cafes to the large population of cats – it is enchanting in its own right. We ticked off two bucket list items here – see the city and stay at a 5 star resort.
We took the bus from Split to Dubrovnik. Arriving in the terminal, we arranged a private transfer to the Radisson Blu Resort. I was a little bit shell shocked as we unloaded by the fountain in front of the resort and jumped into a golf cart to take us to our apartment. The apartment was stunning – the balcony had views out over the resort grounds and the sea.
Dropping off our things, we made a bee line for the closest pool and grabbed the cocktail of the day to celebrate.
The resort was its own community – it has everything you need. A (little bit pricey) supermarket, stores, a bar, 6 different restaurants (the best was La Pasta for obvious reasons), 3 pools, a spa and a gym. We didn’t even find the spa til the second last day – that’s how big the resort was. Boat trips and shuttles run every few hours to Dubrovnik so you can explore the city as well. Funnily enough – if you purchase the bus ticket there from town there appears to no control over who can enter and use the pools, the restaurants or the beach so not a bad spot if you want to escape the city for a day.
The next week went by in a haze of sleeping in, working out in the on site gym (such a novelty after not having one for so long!), heading to the beach or the pool and having cocktails and then on to the restaurants. It even has a private entrance into the sea and the water is crystal clear. The view from the terrace is breathtaking, I caught myself just staring for a while.
Our first foray into Dubrovnik was to meet some friends on a cruise though Croatia. Taking the shuttle in, we were dropped at the Ploce gate – and greeted by stunning views over the packed port and the castle. We sat and grabbed a local beer at the cafe by the gate and enjoyed the view before heading into town for dinner. It started to pour and we ran for cover only to slip and slide on the limestone avenue which has been worn smooth over many years. Dinner was delicious – although I had some trouble dissecting my shrimp scampi.
After checking out of the resort we had our second foray into the city – we staying at the My Way Hostel for the night before taking the ferry to Bari, Italy. We walked the 30 minutes into town for the afternoon to do the walking tour, learn more of the history of the city and see the main sights. Bring a water bottle with you – in Summer the city bakes and there are potable water fountains all over the city. Finishing the tour, we went exploring the city on our own and ended up at the entrance to the city walls. Though it costs 100 kuna to walk around the city walls – it is well worth it for the unparalleled views of the terracotta tiled roofs and also neighbouring fortress and island of Lokrum.
Ready to call it a day, we spotted a tiny hole in the castle wall and decided to investigate. Heading through, the hole opened up into a terrace on the cliffside with a spectacular view of Lokrum island. Resting my feet and getting an iced coffee as the sea breeze cooled me down, I was in total bliss.
Heading back to the hostel, we grabbed a bite and crashed. Or tried to. The amount of people in the room there was bound to be a snorer and I had forgotten my ear plugs. To top off a night of no sleep – the cereal spilt all through the draw when I grabbed it for breakfast, and someone had thought it a good idea to put the milk in the freezer so it was frozen solid. Talk about coming back to reality after our 5 star experience.
We packed our bags and walked down the hill to the ferry terminal – excited to see Italy. Hard to believe we have been traveling for 3 months straight.
Next Stop: The Amalfi Coast