First impressions of Dubrovnik

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!

hiking the canyon to the guesthouse

hiking the canyon to the guesthouse

True to the reviews on TripAdvisor, the view from Guesthouse Libertas was stunning, as you can see.

view from Guesthouse Libertas

The view from Guesthouse Libertas Brighter roofs are new after shelling damage from 1991 war

St Blaise, Dubrovnik patron saint, in Libertas' hallway

St Blaise, Dubrovnik patron saint, in Libertas’ hallway

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.

bus stop and ticket kiosk

bus stop and ticket kiosk

Back to the old town, I huddled under an awning with the locals to wait out another brief downpour, then

harbor restau and city walls

harbor restau and city walls

ducked into a shop for some snacks to take back to the room.

boats at the new harbor

boats at the new harbor

sea view apartment towers

sea view apartment towers

Dubrovnik walls at night

Dubrovnik walls at night

Minčeta Tower

Minčeta Tower

Dubrovnik main street - Stradun - in the old town

Dubrovnik Old Town’s main street, Stradun

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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.

This entry was posted in All Suzanne's travels, Balkan Europe travel, Croatia travel, General magpie travel and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to First impressions of Dubrovnik

  1. The Old City of Dubrovnik is a magnet for guests and during the height of the season it gets overloaded with tourists. There are approximately 850 people living in the walled old city and in the summer months there can be upwards of 8,000 visitors. You simply won’t get the “Dubrovnik Experience” when you can’t move around freely. My advice is to come in either September or May.

    • suzykewct says:

      I visited in mid September and the crowds were mostly manageable. There was one cruise ship’s worth of people in the Stari Grad following on the heels of the walking tour I took I prefer to do my traveling in spring or fall, precisely because the crowds are smaller. Also, the weather is not extreme and prices can be lower. I prefer to stay in B&Bs or small hotels – it makes for a better experience. My first night in Dubrovnik, I stayed in a house on Pera Budmani which gave me a much better feel for Dubrovnik than the 2 nights at the resort on the edge of town after I joined the package tour.

      Thanks for your comments.

  2. linyangchen says:

    A really charming place and nice piece about it – my travel bug is awakening!

  3. evancoyne says:

    Those are some great pictures of the city at night!

  4. lanceleuven says:

    Nice. I’ve heard some very good things about Croatia. The city walls look great. Is it possible to enter any of those turrets? If so, I bet there’s a spectacular view!

    • suzykewct says:

      I think some of the towers were climbable but I didn’t get to walk the walls. There was enough time to do so, but instead I chose to take the gondola to the top of Mt Srđ where there was not only a stunning view of the entire city but also a comprehensive museum laying out the story of the war in 1991. I’m still working on that story, but hope to post it soon.

  5. Dubrovniklady says:

    Total count on those steps, from top to bottom, is 176. I lived at the very top and counted them often. Always took the bus home, stop is near the top.

    • suzykewct says:

      Thanks for the tip. I’ll have to remember the bus for next time. Dubrovnik is one of the loveliest places I’ve ever been and Croatia in general is on my list of places to revisit.

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