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Croatia - Dubrovnik - 2010



Journey dates: 7th July – 11th July
Travelers: Shwetha Shrivatsa, Karthik Raja

The Old Town center of Dubrovnik is a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE site.

Day 1: Transit: After nearly 12 days of a “live” history lesson we set out to Dubrovnik to truly vacation. What was supposed to be a 5 hr trip from Warsaw via Vienna to Dubrovnik ended up being nearly a 12 hr trip thanks to the stupidity of Austrian Airlines. We missed our connection in Vienna because our flight from Warsaw was delayed and we were then re-routed through Zagreb. We finally arrived in Dubrovnik close to midnight. The airport was spanking new and even smelled of fresh paint. The taxi ride to our hotel, the Hilton Imperial, cost 250 Kuna around $45. As the taxi pulled into the hotel, we could see the walled fortress of old town silhouetted against the night sky and was a sight to behold. This was the vacation we wanted!

Dubrovnik is an old city on the Adriatic Sea coast in the southern most part of Croatia and is nicknamed "Pearl of the Adriatic". Formerly called Ragusa this walled old city is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 2: City Walls: We woke up relaxed after a good night’s sleep and had a very relaxed breakfast. The hotel, though expensive($220/night) was literally at the entrance to the Old town, Pile Gate, and was a 2 minute walk away. We started our tour of the walled city from the walls itself. The 2km long walls serve as an excellent vantage point to enjoy the views of the city within and also of the Adriatic Sea. After completing the wall tour at a very relaxed pace and you must because every few steps the view changes, we stopped for lunch at one of the many restaurants that dot the streets and alleys of old town. We strolled down Placa Stradun, the central street of old town crossing the Big Onofrio´s Fountain, Sponza Palace, Bell Tower, and several churches.

We saw flyers for a charity tennis match, Just Du It, between Goran Ivanisevic and John McEnroe for that evening but decided against going. Instead we decided to play the role of paparazzi and snap a few shots. Just as the match finished we got a glimpse of the two stars and Karthik was super thrilled. Then we walked to the old port and were wandering around. Suddenly Karthik started to greet somebody and I realized it was McEnroe! Shortly Goran followed and Kart and the little kids ran behind him to greet him as well. So after all this excitement we decided to take a sunset boat ride and got into the boat. Karthik spied Goran walking near the boat and signaled for him to join us. The next thing we know is Goran was on our boat and his entourage jumped in as well. Wow! This is the closest we have been to any celebrity and kept stealing glances of the tennis star lest we come across as stalkers. Kart got a picture with him as well. The boat ride was well worth the 10 Euros we paid.

We ended our day with a relaxed dinner in one of the many restaurants near the old port.

Day 3: Lokrum Island: We woke up leisurely to a bright blue cloudless sky and beautiful sunny weather, true Mediterranean style. Debating about taking a day trip to the Elafiti islands we finally decided to hike up to Srd Hill to get the postcard shots of Dubrovnik. We were misguided that this would be an easy hike and 30 minutes later we decided to head back to the entrance of the Old town and take a taxi instead. The taxi ride itself was 30-40 minutes and the hike would have been a good 3 hours. The views from the hill are stunning and is a must see. The red roofs of Old town looked magnificent against the turquoise waters and blue sky. It was a treat to the eyes. Much to our chagrin a cable car was being inaugurated the day we were leaving back, which will be a much easier option to get atop this hill. Since it was almost noon as we made our way back to Old Town we decided to go to Lokrum, a small island off the coast of Dubrovnik which is a short 20 minute boat ride away.

Lokrum island is well connected with Dubrovnik and there are ferries that leave every 30 minutes. The island is counted amongst one of Croatia's national parks and is a Nature Reserve and a Special Forest Vegetation Reserve. We got to the island and stopped at the only café to get a quick lunch. Then we walked through the pine grove and went to a small “lake” called Mrtvo More or Dead Sea. This unique salt water body is a favorite tourist spot on Lokrum and is serenity epitomized. We just didn’t realize when seconds turned into minutes and minutes into hours. Reluctantly we decided to move away and explore the rocky beaches of this beautiful island. Lying on the rocks with the waves gentling hitting me, I thought to myself, the crocs and other reptiles actually have it pretty good. What a life, just on lie on the rocks staring into the endless blue
sky against the sound of the waves.

We made it back to Dubrovnik on the last boat back and headed to our hotel to freshen up for dinner. We had made reservations at Nishta, a hip, vegetarian restaurant. The delicious dinner was the icing on the cake and Dubrovnik climbed up to the very top on my list of favorite places.

Day 4: Banje Beach: We woke up leisurely to another island morning a little sad as this was the last day in Dubrovnik and our last day of vacation. Again we debated about making a trip to Lopud island and decided to completely relax and do nothing. So armed with beach towels we headed to Banje beach the most famous sandy beach in Dubrovnik with a beautiful view of Old town. We entered via East West Beach Club and rented beach chairs and an umbrella. To make the most of the 20 Euros and prime beach spot we literally spent the entire day sunbathing. It brought back memories of our Greece trip. Sun, sand, pebbles, sea, waves and a blue sky, the pleasure of it all!

As we returned to Dubrovnik Old Town, we realized that it was the innaugural day of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, one of the largest in the region. We got to see plays, which we didn't understand, and musical performances. Again we made reservations at Nishta and as we ate, the sky was filled with fireworks to start the festival and end our romantic vacation.

Tips:
1. The fountain water is drinkable.
2. Croatian wine is very strong but very amazing.
3. You have not tasted olives if you have not tasted them in Croatia.


Old Town (Grad) Dubrovnik, Lokrum Island and the Adriatic Sea
Old Town (Grad) Dubrovnik, Lokrum Island and the Adriatic Sea
Walled city of Dubrovnik from Mount Srd
Walled city of Dubrovnik from Mount Srd
Old Town, Dubrovnik with the walls surrounding it
Old Town, Dubrovnik with the walls surrounding it
Lokrum Island, Adriatic Sea
Lokrum Island, Adriatic Sea
Lapad and the new cable car to Mount Srd
Lapad and the new cable car to Mount Srd
Croatia, coastline
Croatia, coastline
Golden Sun Casino, Dubrovnik
Golden Sun Casino, Dubrovnik
Croatia, Dalmatia coast
Croatia, Dalmatia coast
Mount Srd, Dubrovnik
Mount Srd, Dubrovnik
Central Harbor, Dubrovnik city port
Central Harbor, Dubrovnik city port
Dubrovnik Old town with Lokrum
Dubrovnik Old town with Lokrum
Rooftops of Dubrovnik Old Town
Rooftops of Dubrovnik Old Town
Grad, Dubrovnik from the Adriatic
Grad, Dubrovnik from the Adriatic
Dubrovnik Old Town from the road to the airport
Dubrovnik Old Town from the road to the airport
Lokrum Island, Adriatic Sea
Lokrum Island, Adriatic Sea
Opening the view on Lokrum Island
Opening the view on Lokrum Island
Lokrum Island at dusk
Lokrum Island at dusk
St. Lawrence fortress (Lovrijenac) protecting Dubrovnik
St. Lawrence fortress (Lovrijenac) protecting Dubrovnik
Bay of Kotor, Dubrovnik
Bay of Kotor, Dubrovnik
Bay of Kotor, swimming, Dubrovnik
Bay of Kotor, swimming, Dubrovnik
Cliffs on the outside walls, Dubrovnik Old Town
Cliffs on the outside walls, Dubrovnik Old Town
Leap of faith, cliff diving, walls of Dubrovnik
Leap of faith, cliff diving, walls of Dubrovnik
Porat, Dubrovnik Old Town
Porat, Dubrovnik Old Town
Mrkan Island, Adriatic Sea
Mrkan Island, Adriatic Sea
Cavtat, Croatia
Cavtat, Croatia
Mljet Island in the distance, Adriatic Sea, Sunset
Mljet Island in the distance, Adriatic Sea, Sunset
Walls of Dubrovnik Old Town
Walls of Dubrovnik Old Town
Tall ship, Dubrovnik
Tall ship, Dubrovnik
Pick a ship, Dubrovnik
Pick a ship, Dubrovnik
Pick a boat, Dubrovnik
Pick a boat, Dubrovnik
Ferrying passengers to Dubrovnik
Ferrying passengers to Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik from Minceta Tower
Dubrovnik from Minceta Tower
Clock Tower, Luza Square, Dubrovnik
Clock Tower, Luza Square, Dubrovnik
City Harbor, Dubrovnik Old Town
City Harbor, Dubrovnik Old Town
St. Saviour Church on Stradun, Dubrovnik
St. Saviour Church on Stradun, Dubrovnik
Stradun Street and Dubrovnik Old Town
Stradun Street and Dubrovnik Old Town
Dubrovnik in Black and White
Dubrovnik in Black and White
Protecting Dubrovnik, Pile Gate
Protecting Dubrovnik, Pile Gate
Protecting Dubrovnik, City Harbor
Protecting Dubrovnik, City Harbor
Protecting Dubrovnik, City Harbor
Protecting Dubrovnik, City Harbor
Walls of Dubrovnik Old Town with a palm tree
Walls of Dubrovnik Old Town with a palm tree
Walls of Dubrovnik Old Town, at places 6m wide
Walls of Dubrovnik Old Town, at places 6m wide
Katedrala 1713 Riznica, Dubrovnik
Katedrala 1713 Riznica, Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik City Harbor from the Walls
Dubrovnik City Harbor from the Walls
Walls of Dubrovnik Old Town with Minceta Tower
Walls of Dubrovnik Old Town with Minceta Tower
Crvka Sv, Ignacija, Dubrovnik, 1792
Crvka Sv, Ignacija, Dubrovnik, 1792
St. John Fortress prevented enemy ships from accessing the City Harbour, Dubrovnik
St. John Fortress prevented enemy ships from accessing the City Harbour, Dubrovnik
Banje beach, Dubrovnik
Banje beach, Dubrovnik
Banje beach, Dubrovnik
Banje beach, Dubrovnik
Beach at Lokrum Island
Beach at Lokrum Island
Basketball court in Dubrovnik Old Town
Basketball court in Dubrovnik Old Town
Dubrovnik Old Town
Dubrovnik Old Town
Dubrovnik Old Town
Dubrovnik Old Town
Buildings on Stradun, Dubrovnik
Buildings on Stradun, Dubrovnik
Knight Roland, Symbol of a free city, Dubrovnik
Knight Roland, Symbol of a free city, Dubrovnik
Crvka Sv. Vlaha, St. Blaise Church, Dubrovnik
Crvka Sv. Vlaha, St. Blaise Church, Dubrovnik
Svetog Dominika, Entrance to the Walled city through Ploce Gate, Dubrovnik
Svetog Dominika, Entrance to the Walled city through Ploce Gate, Dubrovnik
St. Savior's Church, Dubrovnik
St. Savior's Church, Dubrovnik
Door, Rector Palace, Dubrovnik
Door, Rector Palace, Dubrovnik
Window painting, Dubrovnik
Window painting, Dubrovnik
Ozujsko, Coratian beer
Ozujsko, Coratian beer
Dubrovnik alleys
Dubrovnik alleys
Football and boyfriend, Dubrovnik
Football and boyfriend, Dubrovnik
Minceta Tower, Dubrovnik
Minceta Tower, Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik, framed
Dubrovnik, framed
Rooftops of Dubrovnik framed
Rooftops of Dubrovnik framed
Banje beach and East West club, Dubrovnik
Banje beach and East West club, Dubrovnik
Fransiscan Monastery, Dubrovnik and the Adriatic
Fransiscan Monastery, Dubrovnik and the Adriatic
Dubrovnik, framed through the walls
Dubrovnik, framed through the walls
Stradun Street and Dubrovnik Old Town
Stradun Street and Dubrovnik Old Town
Restaurants in Dubrovnik
Restaurants in Dubrovnik
St. Savior's Church, Dubrovnik
St. Savior's Church, Dubrovnik
Interior, St. Saviour's Church, Dubrovnik
Interior, St. Saviour's Church, Dubrovnik
Door, Dubrovnik
Door, Dubrovnik
Bell Tower, 1506, bell forged by Ivan Krstitelj Rabljanin, Dubrovnik
Bell Tower, 1506, bell forged by Ivan Krstitelj Rabljanin, Dubrovnik
Church, Dubrovnik
Church, Dubrovnik
Dominikanski Samostan, Dominican Monastery, Dubrovnik
Dominikanski Samostan, Dominican Monastery, Dubrovnik
Dominikanski Samostan, Dominican Monastery, Dubrovnik
Dominikanski Samostan, Dominican Monastery, Dubrovnik
Dominikanski Samostan, Dominican Monastery, Dubrovnik
Dominikanski Samostan, Dominican Monastery, Dubrovnik
Dominikanski Samostan, Dominican Monastery, Dubrovnik
Dominikanski Samostan, Dominican Monastery, Dubrovnik
Dominikanski Samostan, Dominican Monastery, Dubrovnik
Dominikanski Samostan, Dominican Monastery, Dubrovnik
Dominikanski Samostan, Dominican Monastery, Dubrovnik
Dominikanski Samostan, Dominican Monastery, Dubrovnik
Crvka Sv, Ignacija, Dubrovnik, 1792
Crvka Sv, Ignacija, Dubrovnik, 1792
Crvka Sv, Ignacija, Dubrovnik, 1792
Crvka Sv, Ignacija, Dubrovnik, 1792
Crvka Sv, Ignacija, Dubrovnik, 1792
Crvka Sv, Ignacija, Dubrovnik, 1792
Serbian Orthodox Church, Dubrovnik
Serbian Orthodox Church, Dubrovnik
Franjevacka Crvka, Fransiscan Monastery, Dubrovnik
Franjevacka Crvka, Fransiscan Monastery, Dubrovnik
Franjevacka Crvka, Fransiscan Monastery, Dubrovnik
Franjevacka Crvka, Fransiscan Monastery, Dubrovnik
Night, Street lamps are lit, Dubrovnik
Night, Street lamps are lit, Dubrovnik
St. Blaise Church, Dubrovnik
St. Blaise Church, Dubrovnik
Walls of Dubrovnik at dusk
Walls of Dubrovnik at dusk
Dubrovnik City Harbor at night
Dubrovnik City Harbor at night
Dubrovnik City Harbor at night
Dubrovnik City Harbor at night
Stradun street, Dubrovnik Old Town
Stradun street, Dubrovnik Old Town
Walls of Dubrovnik at night
Walls of Dubrovnik at night
Clock Tower, Luza Square, Dubrovnik
Clock Tower, Luza Square, Dubrovnik
Nishta, Vegeterian restaurant, Dubrovnik
Nishta, Vegeterian restaurant, Dubrovnik
Gargogyle to prove your strength, Dubrovnik
Gargogyle to prove your strength, Dubrovnik
Fireworks, Dubrovnik Summer Festival begins
Fireworks, Dubrovnik Summer Festival begins
Dubrovnik Summer Festival, crowds
Dubrovnik Summer Festival, crowds
Dubrovnik Summer Festival, crowds
Dubrovnik Summer Festival, crowds
Dubrovnik Summer Festival, crowds at Pile Gate
Dubrovnik Summer Festival, crowds at Pile Gate
Dubrovnik statue at Pile Gate
Dubrovnik statue at Pile Gate
Dubrovnik cats
Dubrovnik cats
Dubrovnik cats
Dubrovnik cats
Baby peacock, Lokrum Island
Baby peacock, Lokrum Island
Peacock, Lokrum Island
Peacock, Lokrum Island
Wedding in Old Town, Dubrovnik
Wedding in Old Town, Dubrovnik
Just Married, Rector's Palace, Dubrovnik
Just Married, Rector's Palace, Dubrovnik
Let's Du it, John McEnroe, Dubrovnik
Let's Du it, John McEnroe, Dubrovnik
Goran Ivanisevic, Dubrovnik
Goran Ivanisevic, Dubrovnik
Fresh Grapes, Dubrovnik
Fresh Grapes, Dubrovnik
Anchor, Dubrovnik
Anchor, Dubrovnik
Mariachi band outside Mimoza, Dubrovnik
Mariachi band outside Mimoza, Dubrovnik
Croatia flag
Croatia flag
Panorama, Dubrovnik City Harbor, St. John Fortress built by Paskoje Miličević
Panorama, Dubrovnik City Harbor, St. John Fortress built by Paskoje Miličević
Panorama, Dubrovnik Old Town rooftops from Minceta Tower
Panorama, Dubrovnik Old Town rooftops from Minceta Tower
Panorama, Dubrovnik and Lokrum Island
Panorama, Dubrovnik and Lokrum Island