Another break, another new country! After our trip to Vienna, my friend and I went on together to a new and very different destination: Croatia. I considered going in 2015 since it borders with Italy and I heard it was cheap once you get there. The price to get there always seemed too high, and I was not as brave as I am now to go alone. In the end, the two of us went for a couple of days of relaxing and sunshine before our final week working together in France.
First of all, Croatia is absolutely beautiful. When we arrived, I was a little bit speechless. It does not quite feel real. I know this word can seem patronizing, but the word that comes to mind is picturesque. Dubrovnik is a relatively small town with a lot to offer. If you like to wander and do things, there are lots of places to explore. If you want to relax on the beach, there are also plenty of options for that. That is most of what our trip entailed.
We arrived on Monday in the early evening, and took the official shuttle bus into Old Town. The airport is very small, so be sure to look into the best options to get where you need to go. The bus is really affordable, but has a specific schedule (and pickup locations!) The city is stretched over a few different areas. The Old Town is the main attraction, so trying to stay there is really excellent. If you are not the most mobile or stairs are an issue, pay close attention to where your hotel or hostel is! All of Old Town nearly is pedestrianized so you might have quite a number of stairs through the old buildings to find your bed each night. Or, pack light. It’s up to you.
Once we arrived, we wandered around the Old Town to try and get a feel for where we are. The weather was incredible. The sun was out. We left our coats and jackets behind, swapping boots for sandals to traverse the cobblestones. We found some amazing little spots to see the Mediterranean, made some friends with the local cats, and had dinner. We also found a market to buy some basic snacks, most importantly cereal for breakfast the next morning.
The next day, we wandered to the eastern gate of Old Town Dubrovnik towards the Modern Art Museum. The intention was to sit on the beach for a while and then go to the museum before lunch. We did not do that. We sat in the sun (with sunblock, of course), read our books and enjoyed the Vitamin D. By the time we moved along, we were hungry, so we found some lunch and headed to our rooms to put on swimsuits and search for somewhere to go in the sea.
We wandered to a secluded spot called Dan?e. Emphasis on secluded. We walked up and down steps and hills to find ourselves alone but for an old man running in circles. We scrambled around the rocks some before finding comfortable spots to lay in the sun and read some more. Are you sensing a trend here? You should.
For most of our second and final day in Dubrovnik, we enjoyed the sun and the beach around Dubrovnik. We laid on the rocks and the sand intermittently, reading and reapplying sunblock as needed. We also snacked as needed until more substantial meals became necessary. In the evening, we walked up to the cable car up to Sr?. You can hike up if you like, but it would certainly take time and ability that we collectively lacked. I would love to do it someday, but bring proper walking shoes for the hike up and maybe cable car down. The view from Sr? is astounding. It allows you to see how spread out Dubrovnik has become from the original Old Town. You look out to sea, seeing little kayakers and small tour boats coming in and out of the harbor. It’s a totally different perspective of the town than when you’re wandering the streets yourself.
The only thing I wish we had done that we kept forgetting about until they were closed was going up onto the Old Walls of the city center to see out over the ocean and into the town. Whenever we walked past, there would be a large tour group on their way up or down, or we’d be on our way to a meal, and it didn’t happen. But I am sure that the view from there is also incredible, and to be on top of walls from at least a thousand years ago? What an experience!
All in all, Dubrovnik was incredible. The weather was stunning. The city was so fun to explore. The ice cream options were numerous. The rocks to scramble over were equally plentiful. For me, it was a much-needed trip of relaxation, which I often undervalue when thinking about travel. I’ll try to do less of that in the future, but no promises. I do love me a good museum destination.
Jusqu’à la prochaine,