The first city I visited last year on my Croatia/Slovenia sojourn was Dubrovnik. I was able to a day there on my own getting acquainted with the city before the package tour started.
The bus from the airport stops at Pile (“peel-uh”) Gate on the west side of the old town. The B&B I was staying in for my first night in Croatia was close by but required a long slog uphill, a feature that maps don’t show. The trek up to the guesthouse was daunting and pretty strenuous. Granite slab steps in groups of 5 or 6. I stopped counting after 150. There are about 30 steps in the photo. Foof!
True to the reviews on TripAdvisor, the view from Guesthouse Libertas was stunning, as you can see.
The path starts in a short alley across the street from Tourist Information, then a left turn onto a sloped street called Između vrta to the beginning of Pera Budmani, the street where the guesthouse is located. Turn right and start climbing. If you do stay here, be aware that there is another steep but essentially stairless way to get there. Walk up the hill with the old city walls on your right, then turn left onto Zagrebačka. Walk along that road until you get to Pera Budmani and turn left. This is really going the long way ’round the barn, but it’s also the route a taxi would take. There are still a dozen steps or so to the guesthouse, but at least they’re all downhill.
Walking down the hill to the old town is obviously easier and you can enjoy the sights without being out of breath.
There was a short but fierce downpour not long after I checked in but, after it stopped, I went down to the old town and found out how to get a bus up to the new cruise and ferry port to sign up – successfully – for a bus tour to Mostar in Bosnia for the next day.
Back to the old town, I huddled under an awning with the locals to wait out another brief downpour, then
ducked into a shop for some snacks to take back to the room.
The ‘big’ tour of Croatia and Slovenia would include an extensive walking tour of the old town, so I just took some photos of the walls and the main street at night, after spending some time in a cyber-cafe. I’d had difficulty using my new tablet, so tried my luck here.
AOL thought I was a hacker when I tried to sign on from Croatia. Yahoo was less cranky, so I got to do some work but I went through all kinds of shenanigans getting my AOL access sorted with a new password, thanks to my stateside brother. It took several days, what with spotty wi-fi and all. Helpful hint: make sure you are absolutely certain of your email security answers. Who knew I’d need them?
The Stradun can be seen on its own TV channel, at least at night – the only time I was watching. Just a fixed CCTV camera mounted on top of the old wall but the place was busy even at midnight. Interesting.
More to come on Dubrovnik, Croatia and other destinations from my most recent European expedition.