You know nothing, Jon Snow…
For those of you who watch Game of Thrones, I’m sure you are itching to visit the stunning city of Dubrovnik already, so I don’t need to try and convert you. For those of you who haven’t yet watched the most thrilling and recently quite horrifying GoT series… well… you just have to go here.
I feel quite lucky to have seen so much of the world. My parents took us on trips constantly and it just rubbed off on me and I have continued the tradition. It means my eyes have glimpsed beautiful scenery many times, however the UNESCO city of Dubrovnik was only the second place that made me gasp. The first was Halong Bay in Vietnam – I remember sitting on the top deck of the boat thinking how absolutely amazing planet earth was and looking around me in wonder at the rock formations.
In April 2015, I had another one of those moments. Walking into the City of Dubrovnik was already like a dream. It’s also known as the Pearl of the Adriatic and the oldest Republic in the world was built between 8-16th century and it is one of the best preserved medieval cities in the world. But when we ascended to the top of the wall, we were met with a view of the whole city and the sea, well I have to say it literally took my breath away. You absolutely MUST go onto the Walls. It’s a bit steep and narrow and just so you know, you can only go anti-clockwise, so once you’re up there, you have to go all the way around the 2km walk. Every time we went around a corner, we had to stop and film another shot. I presumed once you were at the top the views would be stunning in a few places, but my camera was clicking like crazy at every turn. Let me show you some photos:
You can wander inside the City Walls for hours, just peeking into one little side street and then another. People live here and you can see them drying their washing in the sunshine. There is a small market and then a few boutique-style over-priced tourist traps along the way too. I would recommend entering by the Pile Gate, walking down the main street and veering to the right when you hit the port. It’s stunning just to get a little lost.
We had lunch at Kamenice – oysters and mussels as recommended by our driver and they were delicious, but my favourite thing to eat in Croatia was the black risotto rice – I ordered it at every place we went!
If you look closely at the photos you will see some are in the bright sunshine and others are much darker. The weather was actually crazy. I got burnt even though I put on Factor 30 sunscreen. It was also so cold, that I had to put on my winter jacket. Then it rained… it felt like we experienced all four seasons and a lot of strong wind just on our walk on the City Walls. Bring layers is all I can suggest!
We had planned to go on the cable car to get our shot from above the city, but the winds were so strong that it had been closed down for the day. Instead we drove up the winding roads to the Museum of Croatian War of Independence. The views were spectacular and the museum is actually part of the monument Fort Imperial. In 1991, Croatia declared its Independence and this led to war, with around one-third of Croatian land under control of the Serbs. The museum tells the story of the war and the importance of the Fort Imperial and its strategic role, as well as graphic images and video of the area. If you go to the roof you can still see the remnants of the era – bullet holes in the wall and parts of the roof collapsing. The war was not long ago and the people remember and talk about it. Well-worth a quick visit.
And for those Game of Thrones fans – there are tours you can take to see all the famous spots. I’d love to go back again and take my time, as we had less than a day to film here and I really want to take Jason there. I’m pretty chuffed I got to stand in the same place as my favourite character Tyrion!