DUBROVNIK : JULY 31 - AUGUST 2
Our flight from Madrid left at 8:35 AM and landed in Dubrovnik at 11:00 AM. We took a 30-minute bus ride to Old Town because I thought we were at our stop, the bus station, but alas we were not. It gave us a good start in figuring out the city bus system though.
We took a bus going in the right direction, just not the correct line. We were supposed to take the number 8 bus, which brings us a 30 second walk from our Airbnb, however we took 1A and ended up at the bottom of maybe 300 stairs with our carry-ons and backpacks full of what is supposed to be a month’s worth of clothes, toiletries and more. All these stairs helped me appreciate the overall flat landscape at home, as well as accounted for my work out of the day.
We spent Tuesday exploring Old Town’s beautiful architecture, streets made of marble and deliciously refreshing (and drinkable) water from the various fountains placed throughout the tiny city. We enjoyed a relaxing lunch by the port and then walked to Fort Lovrijenac where scenes in Game of Thrones are filmed. Before finding our way to the fort, I asked some nice Croatian ladies where “King’s Landing” is…For those who do not watch Game of Thrones, King’s Landing is the name for the fictional city – not the actual fort. Embarrassing, but I’ll have you know Apple maps has the fort labeled as King’s Landing. After exploring the fort, we shared a pizza and I had a 4€ 100ml bottle of ginger ale – curse my addiction.
Wednesday was supposed to begin at 8:30 AM, but really started at around 10:10 AM because of snoozed alarm clocks and the number 8 bus deciding not to show for the 9:40 AM. Our original plan was to have the walk of the city walls done by 11 AM and then head to the city beach, Banje Beach, for a bit. We didn’t get to the walls until 11 AM, but did manage to survive the stairs up. All I could think about was how insane the Great Wall of China is. For those of you who are unaware what I am talking about. Old Town is enclosed by giant walls, presumably created to protect the city from enemies such as, you know, pirates. You are able to walk around the walls and enjoy the panoramic views for only 150 KN.
150 KN (kuna) is about $24. One problem with the kuna, is that it is so annoying (and for me, impossible) to mentally calculate what the conversion to euros/dollars and we end up not realizing how much everything is costing. (To be honest, I knew the ginger ale was 4€…hehe)
After walking the walls, we took a stroll to the other side of the city to get to the city beach. I read reviews beforehand about how crowded it is and how to buy chairs and an umbrella is super overpriced, but you know maybe we’d get lucky on a Wednesday early afternoon. Ha. The beach was super tiny and extremely crowded, but all we wanted was to jump in the ocean. I legitimately had to leave my skirt and shirt out to dry in the sun that’s how sweaty we were. The ocean was a bit chilly for me, but a welcomed chilly.
We ended our night near our Airbnb, which is located near the ferry port, at a waterside restaurant. Our ferry to Hvar, an island off the coast of Split, left at 7 AM the next morning and we wanted a quiet, early night as opposed to the normal crazy, late nights we have…
HVAR : AUGUST 2 - 3
We arrived to the quaint, as Derek would put it, city of Hvar. We spent our time visiting an even smaller island off of Hvar’s coast, which is part of a group of mini islands called the “Pakleni Islands”, and local beaches. The town of Hvar is small and can be covered in about 30 minutes.
Our Airbnb host told Derek and me that we can’t come to Hvar and not visit the Pakleni Islands, which is why on our first day in Hvar, Thursday, we took a boat taxi to one of the islands, Jerolim. We spent the day on a beautiful rock beach surrounded by green landscape. The water was crystal clear and the perfect temperature (for Derek – a tad chilly for me) for cooling off in the 90 plus degree heat and direct sunlight.
We explored the city in the evening and grabbed a bite to eat, which was unfortunately ruined by some sort of small red circle seasoning that was in both of our dishes that gave Derek a peppery taste and me an herby taste. Derek burped it up all night and I really think he was emotionally affected by the meal.
The next day we woke up early, which so far has been the case for every day. Another daily task so far has been climbing Mount Everest via stairs multiple times a day. While I may sound like I am complaining (because I am), I am hopeful the stairs will have some impact on my “summer body”. I am also curious to know if the stairs in combination with the heat is the reason why on Wednesday morning a cramp in my right calf woke me up and had me screaming at 7 AM or why on Thursday morning I woke up yet again to another painful cramp, except in my left calf this time.
*Tiny violin plays for the girl traveling through Europe for three weeks*
Friday morning and afternoon was spent painfully climbing over rocks to get into the ocean or slipping in our wet flip flops while climbing over rocks to get into the ocean. Speaking of the ocean, it. was. gorgeous. It was the perfect temperature and even though we couldn’t really stand anywhere we couldn’t stop going back in. We spent the day walking along the Hvar coast finding spots to sit and swim. Although the sun was horrendously hot, there was a beautiful wind and in the shade, it was the absolute idea temperature. We left Hvar around 4:00 PM and took a ferry to Split. We spent our first night in Split food shopping to pinch some pennies and save money on dinner and breakfast and lunch on Saturday.
SPLIT : AUGUST 3 -5
Saturday was our one true day and night in Split. Unbeknownst to each other, we woke up before 8 AM thanks to our recent early mornings, but forced ourselves back to sleep until about 10 AM. We took a 15 minute bus and 15 minute Uber to get to Kasjuni Beach where we were told from other Americans in Dubrovnik that there was a dog beach that never got too crowded. We couldn’t find the dogs, but we did find a nice spot away from the rocks under the trees for the day. We spent most of the day going in and out of the crystal-clear water and of course keeping ourselves entertained with about an hour of “would you rather”.
The beach was crowded, but beautiful and worth the trip. We went back to our Airbnb to pack up our things, shower and get dressed for dinner. We made our way into the main part of Split (Old Town) and admired the ancient roman architecture, people watched and enjoyed a meal in a charming alley way. Thankfully, our table was under an umbrella because it started to rain about 30 minutes into our meal and we waited until the rain was over before walking around again.
We check out of our Airbnb tomorrow morning and will walk around a bit more before heading to the airport for our flight to Budapest.