Dubrovnik is a poet’s inspiration. It is the legend that makes authors want to make it their ‘Kings Landing’. The vibe of the place is hard to describe. This is my frugal attempt.
If you are travelling to Dubrovnik by car, then before you return the car to the rental shop, spin through the wavy mountain that makes for Dubrovnik’s backrest to reach Mount Srd. If you didn’t drive here, then a cable car can bring you here as well. This place is a wind tunnel, so don’t forget your jacket/shawl as you descend. We were lucky enough to reach here during sunset, which added more to the already crimson tint of its surroundings.
As Mount Srd was essentially built as a fortress atop the hill, to keep an eye on the enemies at a distance, a big Cross stands atop, guessingly, to boost the morale and faith of the onlookers.
The bird eye’s view of Dubrovnik from Mount Srd is spectacular and on a good day, they say, you can look, all the way to Bosnia and Herzegovina. We relished this view from Café Panorama, over some cheese and wine.
Unless you are coming from the port side, you will always land in Dubrovnik on foot from this gate. Just like a scene from medieval times, the gate is marked by a wooden ramp held by iron chains (Oh! So GOT Style!!! ). A white map is adorned on the wall, which shows where each of the bombs had dropped in the Old town during the siege.
As you march into the city walls, you will reach the pulse of the city, the main promenade, which is a shopping delight by the day and a street inviting to party by the evening.
The Placa is also home to the Church of St. Savior (commissioned to thank the Lord after Dubrovnik was saved from an earthquake in 1520), the bell tower, herds of gelato shops, cafes and souvenir shops.
The City Walls:
A stroll across the scenic city wall, climbing atop the orange and crimson tiled rooftops on one side and the expansive sea on the other- it is surely a ‘walk to remember’!
The entry to the wall shuts at around 19:30 PM (differs from season to season) and therefore go an hour and a half earlier to enjoy the views, as the shutterbug in you will not be able to resist taking millions of pictures of the gorgeous skyline.
You will pass local resident’s backyards, checking the status of their drying clothes and of course their cats. Churches and a Bell Tower crown its nape.
As you circle 360 degrees on its wall, you will descend towards the Old port, where you will see the steady stream of cruise ships and the local razzmatazz.
360 degree Kayaking:
Kayaking in the sea alongside the Dubrovnik walls towards the Lokrum Islands, the beaches to snorkel, the luxurious mansions, and the caves where the brave leap into the depth from a tall hillock, makes for a memorable experience. The price for a 5-hour experience or so, was about 250-300 kunas per person. We did the morning tour as the water was less choppy and the wind less brutal. Just be ready to brave the sun (Oh c’mon, I am an Indian!!). The tour guide on his kayak ensures your safety and also gives you a good insight into the city and its history.
For the Game of Thrones fanatics:
To my utter dismay, I didn’t do the GOT Tour across Dubrovnik, but I am sure it must be pretty awesome! The locals often boast of having acted in some part or the other of the show, making for a good selling point for their cafes and restaurants. Some even proudly display photos for proof. However, (as serves me right for missing the tour) I climbed down the steps to the ‘Cersie’ walk of shame’.
Now to my favorite part of writing this blog entry, the food options in Dubrovnik are plenty- many commercial but some true to its roots. My favorite options were:
Taj Mahal: No, this was not an Indian restaurant, no they weren’t inspired by the mascot of love and no they didn’t have life size scales of the monument. This is a Bosnian restaurant, decorated like aladdin’s little cave with Turkish décor! We ordered the amazing Genghis Khan platter and rolled veal and turkey in mushroom sauce dough! The wait in anticipation, thanks to the chargrilled flavors oozing straight from the grill, were more than quenched and I can’t recommend this place more! The jack potato stuffed with kaymak cream cheese was really good too! We flushed the meat down with Gjirk wine, a local speciality, which blended well with the flavours. Tufshije’, their version of the baked apple pie with walnuts, chocolate and honey was alright (or maybe I was just too full!). Book the place atleast a day in advance as it is quite the show-stopper in Dubrovnik.
Spaghetteria Toni: This is a no frill restaurant, which offers great pastas, salads and dessert. The servers were very sweet and agreed to serve us food, despite us arriving at the restaurant way after last orders.
Azur: This is a lovely Asian restaurant tucked high inside the city walls, which offers great fusion Asian food.
Rocket Burger: Again a no-frill, very bistroesq, this burger place had some interesting burger options and toppings, flushed with fresh and local beer.
Buza: You will notice this bustling lounge perched on the city walls. Buza has smashing views and everywhere you look, stinks of beauty! ‘Buza’ literally means a hole in the wall, but it could also drill a hole in your pocket with the expensive fare it offers. It has the perfect Frank Sinatra setting and one could have very little to complain about this place.
The night is ever young in Dubrovnik and a fun place to bring in the jamboree is at the Revelin Club. People will hand over passes to this club to you at the Placa, take it, it allows you free entry before 12. Don’t pay anything in exchange for it! We also went to a club next to the Revelin club, the name of which, for the life of me, I cannot remember! There are also tons of wine bars in Durbrovnik to monkey around town.
The mystic Old Town, the towering views from the wall, a dip in the sea, the breezy ambience and the delectable food made Dubrovnik, one of my best Croatian experiences.