Grad school beckons me across the pond and soon, I will be nose-deep in studying all-things hydrology and water resources management. Pray for me. Till then, I thought I'd do a little traveling and extend my summer holiday with a 4-day foray into Dubrovnik.
Its beautiful views of Old Town and the Adriatic Sea from the City Wall is worth a prolonged moment to be still and to bask in. The water is a gorgeous blue, great for a swim in early September but very salty (wear goggles).
Travel tips and tidbits:
I flew EasyJet from Gatwick to Dubrovnik in about 2.5 hours. Affordable, comfortable, and enjoyable flight.
A small backpack with essentials: shorts, swimwear, undergarments, tank-top, two light tops, TOMs, travel docs and currency, novel, shades, and toiletries. Yes, that is all. My philosophy: the lighter, the better. Note to self: when flying through Gatwick, have all liquids in a ziplock bag or will inevitably have to step aside and allow extra time for security to give my bag a more thorough check.
Croatian cash. Some places - like ice cream shops scattered throughout Old Town (major brownie points) only take cash. There are ATMs all throughout, though, if you’re short.
Accommodation: if you want to go someplace warm, welcoming, and less than a 10 min. bus ride away, stay where I lodged: Apartments and Room Frane. Hostesses Frankica and Antonella
were so sweet and hospitable. I slept like a baby surrounded by a garden and a pretty terrace. Take Bus 4 for 15 kunas ($2.34, roughly 2€), the stop is a minute’s walk away from Belvedere pizzeria. Uber is available, too (35 kunas, $5.45 roughly 4.71€).
DO's & DONT's
Do take the cable car close to sunset up Srd Hill. Purchase a ticket in advance online and go to the front of the line — I waited needlessly in queue with those who had yet to purchase a ticket (which you can do there just prior to boarding the cable car). Live and learn.
Do try the Kayak and Snorkeling small group tour with Dalmatian. I booked with viator.com.
It was a fun - challenging at times - adventurous workout under windy conditions and supplies were provided. Our instructor / guide was helpful and knew how to navigate the seas and give pointers - he also had a lot of knowledge about the area and its history. Ask questions.
Don’t board a local Libertas bus (orange bus) without exact change. Driver may let you off at the next stop after refusing a higher bill and suggest that the next #4 bus might be able to provide change. But then you may stumble upon a delightful, secret garden of a path for pedestrians that leads you straight to Old Town. Grace.
Don’t start the City Wall walk at Pile Gate. Start at Ploce Gate on the other side. It's less crowded. :) Enter Old Town through the gate, and not long, to the left, there will be a small opening to pay for a ticket at the counter and embark on walking the Wall. But first, stairs. There are lots. It was more of a hike than a walk.
Don’t purchase artwork on the street if you’re looking for authentic originals. Also, the real local coral is only sold with a certificate — precious red coral or Adriatic coral is a unique species that only grows in the Mediterranean Sea and $$. Clara Stones Jewellery is the name of the shop if you’re so inclined. They are creative — so even if you’re there to browse, their collection is worth the look.
Craving a Cappuccino: Cogito Coffee
Local arts and crafts: Kawa
Quiet place to sit and reflect: Dubrovnik Cathedral
Questions about my trip? Comment below. Thanks for stopping by. :)
Pictured above is the uninhabited island of Lokrum.