The Republic of Croatia is a new country, only 27 years old going through a four year war of independence from 1991-1995. You can still see the scars of the war today. Croatia has a population of 4.28 million people, with over 92% of the population being Roman Catholic in faith. Croatia also has a really great soccer team who were runners up at the 2018 World Cup of Soccer.
The Old Walled City of Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik is one of the most popular tourism destinations on the Mediterranean. It suffered a lot of damage from shelling during the war at the hands of Serbian and Montenegrin soldiers during the war. Most of Dubrovnik has now been restored and is now so popular that it has had to restrict arrival and departure times of cruise ships to spread out the number of tourists throughout the week. Dubrovnik is now in the same situation as Venice, Italy. Popularity can be a curse, as some of the residents of both Dubrovnik and Venice have told us on our travels!
Scenes From the War Between Croatia and Serbia/Montenegro
The major attraction in Dubrovnik is the old walled City. The walls extend two kilometres around the city and are 4-6 metres high, and 13 to 20 feet wide in places. So you can walk around the walls of the OldCity of Dubrovnik and see some spectacular views of the hills and vast expanse of ocean! It has become even more popular now because of the TV show Game of Thrones. The fictional Kings Landing was filmed in Dubrovnik! The old city walls were constructed during the 12th-17th centuries, and were never breached by a hostile army during this period.
As Dubrovnik Looks Today!
After our encounter with the steps and hills of Mokosica the night before, we enjoyed a great nights sleep and were ready to meet the day! Friday morning, we enjoyed a nice late breakfast on the patio, a perfect day at 23 C with a slight breeze off the ocean. Tea and coffee tasted even better when you start your day off this way! We also managed to catch a few rays of sunshine and took a dip in the beautiful pool overlooking the bay and with a couple of cold ones, we were set up for sure for some sightseeing!
Some of the Old Streets and Alleyways of Dubrovnik
As agreed, Daniela’s driver showed up around 2:00 PM to take us over to Dubrovnik which was about a 20 minute drive with the traffic heading to the old city. His name was Ibiza or John in English, he told us. A very nice guy in his thirties and an expert driver who knew his way around Dubrovnik. He and Daniela go way back. They were refugees in Venice during the War of Independence. He had lots of interesting stories to tell us of the conflict and how it had affected all those who survived the conflict in Dubrovnik and Mokosica and surrounding communities! His car was a late model Mercedes, and he makes his living driving us tourists around. He lived just down the hill from Daniela’s apartments!
Most DR. Franje Tudmana Bridge
Our route over to Dubrovnik took us over the spectacular Most DR. Franje Tudmana Bridge. It is a cable stayed bridge with the back of the bridge supported by cables attached to a tower at either end of the bridge. This bridge was opened in 2002 and was clearly visible from our apartment patio.
The scenery was exceptional on the way over with spectacular views of Gruz Bay, and the Port of Gruz where the cruise ships dock. Ferries run from Gruz Port up the coast to various ports in Croatia. We had booked an apartment for a few days in Split the following week.
Looking Out to Dubrovnik From the Walled City!
Ibiza dropped us off just outside the walls of the Old City. There are parking lots outside the walls which are totally congested with buses and cabs dropping off and picking up patrons. It seemed to us that we had chosen a good solution, drop off and pick up later at a specified time and spot, much less traffic!
Just Outside the Walled City of Dubrovnik at the Town Square!
We immediately began to explore the Old City of Dubrovnik and its walls. It was a very hot day which made our exploring a bit challenging. Thank God there were a few sidewalk benches, bars and restaurants to enjoy a cold beer or a snack. There were lots of people around, particularly people from Japan.
Having a Brew out of the hot sun inside the Walled city of Dubrovnik
The OldCity is very beautiful and the views from the walls of Dubrovnik Harbour are spectacular. We spent the entire afternoon exploring the Old City, and we enjoyed it very much. There were several hidden cathedrals, and museums, and lots of souvenir shops as well. One note of advice though is that if you need a pee break in Dubrovnik, you have to pay for it if you don’t eat or drink in a restaurant or bar. You have to have the exact change as well which is a little disconcerting if you really have to go. I did see on young gentleman trying to jump the cue only to find the door locked. He had to wait until someone came out so he could rush in. I find this a little bizarre as people have to pee and what if you can’t find a bush. Im pretty sure you could be arrested!
Some of the Magnificent Churches and the Main Street inside the Walled City
Stradun or Placa is the main street of Dubrovnik and it runs 300 meters through the Old City. It is a limestone paved pedestrian street with lots of bars and restaurants. We were impressed with the Old City. Hubby could relate to the Old City better than me as he is fan of The Game of Thrones. He could see Westeros Buildings and scenes from the TV show. We walked all around the OldCity and found shelter from the searing heat in any shady spot we could find. However, I must say that even on the water’s edge of Dubrovnik, the heat was pretty intense, even at late afternoon! But no matter we explored to our hearts content.
MK taking in the sights inside Dubrovnik
We had agreed that Ibiza would pick us up at the precise spot he had dropped us off at 8:00 PM. So we had time for a leisurely dinner after our tour of the walled Old City.
Roaming the Streets of Dubrovnik! Lots of Cats Living in and around the Old Churches
We walked by Dubravka Restaurant and Cafe which is located directly at the West entrance to the Old City. The views of the old fortress and the ocean were spectacular. There were lots of outside tables right on the water and overlooking the fortress walls. So dinner was a no brainer for us. The first thing Hubby asked for was a large draft glass of Ozujsko, a popular beer in Croatia, which is brewed by Molson/Coors Brewing Company! Since I could get a slurp of Hubby’s beer I ordered a Croatian Chardonnay which was very nice.
Having Dinner at Dubravka Restaurant and Cafe
This restaurant is described as a Mediterranean cuisine style restaurant, with pizza, cold starters and salads, risottos and pasta, soups, fish and meat specialities, with lots of side dishes and desserts! I ordered the Lamb Filet in Chanterelle Mushroom Sauce, while Hubby ordered a Spaghetti Bolognese. It was all very good and at 400 Kunas, tax and tip included, not too bad. However it was cash only! No credit cards which is something we encountered quite a bit in Croatia. So be mindful if you travel here to check if they take credit cards because you will be surely stuck washing dishes if you don’t have the cash!
The Outer Perimeter Where the Locals Swim and Dive off the Rocks on the Wall!
After a great dinner, we hooked up with Ibiza at the agreed spot. On our journey back to our apartment in Mokosica we chatted with Ibiza about some suggestions for our next few days. We told him about our upcoming wedding anniversary on the 13th and he agreed to get back to us for something special to do. He dropped us off and it was such a really nice evening again we enjoyed on our patio overlooking the night lit bay! It was wonderful to have a night cap in such a beautiful setting! Another great day in Croatia indeed!