The Old City of Dubrovnik
The first time I discovered the city of Dubrovnik in a magazine back home, there
was no doubt to add it on my bucket list. This was a long time before it became as
popular as it is today and Game of Thrones shooting the scenes in this amazing
city. Walking over the bridge, through the Pile gate and towards Stradun, the
limestone-paved pedestrian street, was something I dreamed about so many times
in the last 10 years. Dreaming and visualize this moment when I’ll have the
opportunity to walk in this old city made me develop huge expectations and I have
to be honest… I was really scared that Dubrovnik would not live up to the
I camped about 70km from Dubrovnik and had the idea to arrive at lunchtime that
I will have some time to walk the streets before sunset. As the kilometers ticked by
I became more and more exited. This had an impact on my cycling speed and I
was peddling like a demon on a cloudy and very windy day. The head wind was
strong, but did not stop my from crushing the kilometers to get to Dubrovnik. The
views were incredible and had to stop for quick breaks to take photos and just
savor this moments as Croatia was slowly coming to an end.
The last 15km’s felt like one big hill. 10km’s to go and I had the first glimpse of
Dubrovnik in the far… but the road was still zig zagging to just tease and built my
excitement. With 5km to go the hills got steeper and steeper. More amazing
views and was forced to take more photos. The climb continued and I finally
reached the top, as I started to free down the hill. Just after U turned my video
camera on, I saw the Walls of Dubrovnik for two seconds before I entered a tunnel
toward the Old City… and then the moment I’ve been waiting for….
In all its glory… The Walls of Dubrovnik was right in front of me and at that very
moment I was grasping to get some air into my body. All the pictures, images,
Game of Thrones and visions I had created throughout the years was smashed!!!!
My fantasy city with the big walls was 10 times better than I could ever imagine!
Man, this was one special moment and definitely one of my highlights on this
adventure and probably one of the best in my life.
Getting to my hostel was another huge challenge. Being situated in the old town
meant that you had to climb an crazy amount of steep steps to get to the hostel. I
settled in for an hour then hit the streets to get a few nice pictures with the perfect
So the long wait was over… I climbed down the stairs, through the narrow passages and turned left into Stradun and walked down this beautiful, old limestone- paved street. Dubrovnik Cathedral, St. Saviour Church, the small narrow streets, Etnografski Muzej and finally walled out of the Old City through the huge Walls towards Lovrijenac. I was just in time for the sunset and sat down on the small rocky beach next to the Walls of Dubrovnik overlooking the Lovrijenac. The next hour and a half I was in a different world, imagining myself back 1500 years. I was the only one on this beach and the only sounds I could hear was the small waves braking over the rocks as it was becoming high tide. Looking to my left was the huge Walls and to my right the Lovrijenac. No traffic, no tourists, no children screaming, no music… just me, the waves, the beach, huge Walls, Luvrijenac and the sunset.
Just before 19:00 I headed back to the hostel, now it was time to meet some other travelers as I don’t normally spend much time in hostels. My visit in Dubrovnik reminded me just how much I enjoyed my Asia backpacking trip last year. Meeting people from all over the world, sharing stories and just build new friendships. I love speaking to all these people about their country and and learn new things from them. Making notes for when I finally get there and hopefully meet up with them over there. It’s crazy how many new people you can meet in a few days when traveling and form strong relationship in a very short amount of time.
In the past few days I met people from Australia, Mexico, England, Argentina, US, Canada, South Korea, Japan, China, Germany and more Croatians. Meeting new people, listening to their life stories and learning new things is something that feeds my soul. Other travelers really inspire me and because of a few I met in Dubrovnik, I have set new personal goals for the next two, three and five years!
On my forth day in Dubrovnik, after a few rainy days, the weather cleared up and
myself, Pattie and Tom decided to climb up Mount Srdj. You can take the cable
car, which cost about 40 Kunas, but we decided to do the walk, which give us more
views over the beautiful city of Dubrovnik. This walk was not as though as some
people said it was and was much more worth it to go up slowly. You can stop, rest
and take as much photos of the city and the nature around you.
The views from the top was amazing! The three of us just sat there, taking in the
crazy views, listening to music and had some awesome talks. After an hour and a
half we decided to head down because it looked like the rain was heading our way,
but more important… we were hungry! This walk was probably another highlight
on my trip. Awesome day with great people.
I extended my stay in Dubrovnik twice because I really had such a good time. I had
a great time whether it was walking through the beautiful city, chilling at the hostel,
walking up Mount Srdj or enjoying a few cold beers with people from all over the
world. Now its time to move on towards Montenegro. Into my last month of Europe!! My
estimated arrival time in Istanbul is the 26th of April 🙂
Ok… this estimated time of arrival was when I wrote the blog about a week ago and in the meantime cracked my frame and is still waiting for a new one… well… lets keep the estimated time of arrival 26 April! Exiting times!