Dubrovnik (Not Kings Landing)

Literary-based travel to Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Let’s be realistic here.  When contemplating locations, Dubrovnik was on the list solely because it doubles as Kings Landing.

We left Paris and flew to Dubrovnik via Zagreb on a Wednesday.  There was a brief (but terrifying) moment when we thought we wouldn’t make our 30-minute connection because the flight attendants lost the key to the airplane door (I’m not even kidding) and we couldn’t get off.  However, 50% of the people flying Zagreb to Dubrovnik were stranded on the same plane as us, so our connecting flight was held and we made our connection just fine.

We arrived in Dubrovnik and, after exchanging our Euros to Kuna, took the airport shuttle to the walls of Old Town.  We were met at the bus stop by our AirBnB host, Nikolina (who was, by far, the best AirBnB host I’ve had the joy of experiencing!) who proceeded to give us a quick walking tour through Old Town on the way to where we’d be staying.

What’s delightful (quaint? charming?) about Old Town Dubrovnik is that the entire city is car-free and can be walked from one side to the other in (a rather leisurely) 5 minutes.  It’s terribly small.  Everything is made of stone and everything is ancient.  There are also large stone walls surrounding the city that protected it (and its port) from Venetians during times of turmoil.  I could already tell that this would be a very different trip from anything I’d done in Europe so far.

Large Onofrio’s Fountain just inside Pile (pronounced Pee-lah) Gate.  Also pictured, the stairs that one climbs to get up to the walkable city walls.
Large clocktower presiding over the gate to the old port.

When we woke up on Thursday, we decided we wanted to take it a bit easy.  We slept in (heavenly!) and meandered the city a smidge (found the “Shame!” steps and had a bit of a photo shoot…) before making the trek up the city walls by mid-afternoon.

Shame. (Note the shirt. 😉 )

What’s great about the city walls is that they provide an optimal vantage point of the entire cityscape.  I highly recommend it if you ever get the chance.  I spent a large portion of the walk around the walls attempting to figure out where Tyrion would have been standing during the Battle of Blackwater.

The beginning of our walk. I later found out that this little lagoon here is Blackwater Bay. And the tower in the background? That’s the Red Keep (albeit without the CGI…)!!
More Blackwater Bay/Red Keep. Also….the waaaater!
Omg, the water was stunning. I think half the pictures I took in Dubrovnik were of the water.
Red Keep
Game of Thrones reference pic: “Let’s add some towers heeeere and heeeere…”
Identical rooftops and Lokrum off the coast.
Overlooking the sea.  Halfway through our walk it started to drizzle a bit.  But only a bit, so we kept going.  We also met a delightful older couple walking the wall (and continued to run into them for the remainder of our trip.)
Outside the port (looking through a window in the rock) and, once again, holy shit! The water!
Port of Old Town Dubrovnik.

Whilst up on the walls, I did stop to have another bit of a photo shoot.  I was just having waaay too much fun.  Sue me.

After our journey along the wall, we stopped in an oils shop on the way home.  We bought some wine, white-truffle olive oil, and some bread for a late lunch/snack.

The rain cleared in the late afternoon.

Before dinner, we wanted to go down to the West Harbor (so lovingly coined Blackwater Bay) to see the water close-up.

The three of us, lost, trying to find our way down to the water. It was hard, yo!
I made it!
And of course, Zita wanted to touch it.
I can’t even explain this. Lol
The water was super clear…
Oh hi again!

Zita and Charlotte decided that Thursday night was seafood night (iiiiiick!) so we walked across town to Moby Dick (which had been recommended) and I had a lovely mushroom and chicken risotto while they demolished a platter of nasty-looking seafood that they swore was delicious.

By evening, we had decided that we had seen enough of the city (like I said….reeeeally small city).  We decided to leave Dubrovnik the following day to try something new.  We signed up for a day-trip to Montenegro (which will be in another blog post).

Knowing that I’d be completely useless the following day if I stayed out, I went back to our AirBnB and got in bed.  Zita and Charlotte decided that they wanted to go out and have a wild and crazy evening in Dubrovnik.  They returned at about midnight.  I know there was drinking…I heard there was a boat involved.  I don’t even know.  I didn’t ask too many questions.  😉

Montenegro Day – More details to follow!

Hitler cat – spotted after dinner…
Gorgeous sunset taken from the bus on the way back to Dubrovnik.

Our last day in Croatia, we woke up at our own pace and left to catch a Game of Thrones walking tour.  All it took was walking out of our door to realize how spoiled and acclimated we had become to our small city.  All of a sudden, it was swarming with tourists!  Oh dear…

Saturday.  Not only was it Saturday, but there were one or two cruise ships docked nearby, so we had several hundred people swarming the shore on day-excursions.  Ughhhh!  Fiiiiine.  We will share our quiet city with you guys.

Our Game of Thrones walking tour took us to the “Red Keep” on the other side of West Harbor.  Though, just to be a killjoy…you must understand.  80% of the Red Keep is CGI.  So we went to the base of the Red Keep which is, in the show, located in a completely different place in King’s Landing.  (Go figure…)

For filming purposes, this building, Lovrijenac, was used as the location for Joffrey’s Name Day.

Also, it was GORGEOUS outside.

Pretty weather!
Overlooking King’s Landing.
The hotel that inspired the Grand Budapest Hotel.

At the end of our tour, we decided we wanted to round off our trip to Croatia by visiting Lokrum Island, right off of the mainland.  We got on a boat and journeyed there.

I’m on a boat!
OMG, there were wild peacocks all over the island. They honk like ducks! It’s creepy!
Gooooorgeous water again!
Outpost ruins overlooking Old Town Dubrovnik.

But my favorite find on Lokrum was inside an old monastery.  There was a free Game of Thrones “exhibit” which had an Iron Throne.  And the monastery was empty!

Photo shoot time…again!

On our way back, I snapped my final picture of Croatia.

Dubrovnik by sea.

If you get the chance, I highly recommend Dubrovnik.  I also highly recommend a day-tour outside the city so that you aren’t limited to just Old Town.

Author: alisonlcohn

Graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Communications Advertising. Traveled a bit. Taught for two years. Administered aptitude tests for a while. Worked as a Training Associate for Guardian Mortgage and a Quiz Master for Geeks Who Drink. Obtained my Master's in Film, Television and Screen Media in London, England. Now working as a small-group travel coordinator. Nice to meet you!

3 thoughts on “Dubrovnik (Not Kings Landing)”

  1. You definitely have a lot of water in almost all your post and yet Dubrovnik has many beautiful views concerning water indeed as it is a city by the sea. The views from this old city are indeed breathtaking and worth visiting. I do hope I can visit this place someday since I am also a GOT fan. I would love to sit on the iron throne too!

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