Dubrovnik

32 hours in Dubrovnik

Peter and I recently returned from a week in Croatia. It was beautiful. The color of the Adriatic Sea was unlike any color I have seen in my life. The water ranges from hues of light green to a very deep blue that is almost unbelievable to the eyes.

Croatia is located on the east side of the Adriatic Sea, basically across the sea from Italy. The mainland is divided into two halves, similar to the state of Michigan. The country of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the cause of the divide. Offshore, Croatia is comprised of over 1,000 islands. 

Itinerary

  • Fly into Dubrovnik
  • Stay two nights in Dubrovnik
  • Take an early morning bus from Dubrovnik to Split (4.5 hour journey)
  • Hang out in Split for as little time as possible
  • Board a catamaran (1 hour journey) or ferry (2 hour journey) to the island of Hvar
  • Stay three nights in Hvar Town
  • Take a morning catamaran or ferry back to Split
  • Hang out in Split for as little time as possible
  • Fly back to London from Split

Our trip did not start out great.

We missed our connecting flight in Frankfurt due to a delayed departure out of Heathrow. We were rebooked for a flight later in the day, however, this meant that we would arrive in Dubrovnik seven hours later than originally planned. This was a real bummer because we had limited time in Dubrovnik to begin with.

Our new arrival time was 11pm. 

Since our travel day to Dubrovnik was not long enough for us, we decided to torture ourselves further by taking the airport bus to Dubrovnik versus a taxi. After a very long bus ride and a short walk to our Airbnb, we finally arrived at the apartment around midnight.

It was a long and exhausting travel day.

As we were getting settled in our apartment, Peter realized he left his laptop bag on the airport bus. He immediately called the airport, the bus company, and any other resource he thought could help him track down his bag. 

His phone calls went unanswered – it was after midnight – so we tabled the investigation and strolled around the Old Town which was still bustling with people.

What immediately caught my attention was the clothing that women were wearing. Everyone was dressed up – as in wearing high-heeled shoes, tight dresses, very short dresses, and with full faces of make-up. This was the very opposite of my “style” on a good day. 

Dubrovnik is the most “dressy” city I have visited in Europe. It was common to see tall women in five-inch heels, walking down the slick cobblestone as if they’d been wearing heels since they were toddlers. Honestly, I could not stop staring at these women, waiting for one of them to misstep but it NEVER happened.

Cable car

Our Airbnb was located in the heart of Old Town (also referred to as the Old City), inside the Old City walls. Walls that you can walk on top of! More on that in a bit. 

The best view of Dubrovnik is from Srd Hill. A cable car, located a few steps outside of the Old City walls, will whisk you to the top of the hill in a matter of minutes.

From Srd Hill, the Old City walls are visible to the naked eye. The walls on the land side range from 13-20 feet (4-6 meters) thick and at some locations, the walls are 80 ft/ 24 m high. 

A section of the Old City walls from on top of the walls (not from Srd Hill)

After our adventure to the top of the hill, we returned to the apartment and discussed our laptop bag game plan. We decided that Peter would go on a mission to find his bag while I explored the Old Town. 

Old City walls

It was still relatively early in the day when I decided to explore the Old Town. I’d noticed people walking on top of the Old City walls and thought that would be something I would enjoy. I failed to take into account the extreme heat that had already fallen upon the day. 

The entrance fee for the Old City walls was shockingly high, something like $30 USD, however, I came to learn that it was worth it. The vantage point from on top of the walls was very cool. Like this view of a hidden “beach” bar that we never would have discovered had I not walked on top of the walls. 

We drank a couple of cold Coronas at that bar later that day. It was a nice respite from the hot Old Town where the heat of the day gets trapped in the Old Town by the mammoth Old City walls. 

I spent a sweltering two hours on top of the Old City walls. As I walked the walls, my view changed from the Adriatic Sea to the mountains and back again. One of the most striking features about Dubrovnik were the terra cotta tiled roofs.

After my time on the walls, I returned to the Airbnb to cool down and while there, received an email from Peter. He wrote that he had returned to Dubrovnik and was at the pub below our Airbnb. I descended the stairs and found him sitting at a table with a weissbier and laptop bag. His mission had been a success. 

It was late afternoon by the time I met Peter at the pub. We finished our celebratory beers, dropped Peter’s bag off in the apartment, and walked the short distance to the beach bar. We closed out the day with dinner in the Old Town and an early bedtime.

Our time in Dubrovnik was too short.

Ideally, another day would have been great but it wasn’t in the cards for us because we were scheduled to depart Dubrovnik for Split the following morning. 

As we walked down the main road to the taxi rank at 7am, we observed an interesting mix of people. There were people stumbling home from the all-night dance clubs. There were photographers, ready to snap photos of the beautiful city before tourists flooded the streets. And then there were people like us who were departing Dubrovnik for places unknown. 

It was all a little bizarre and surreal.

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