Hello from Dubrovnik, Croatia or King’s Landing in Game of Thrones

IMG_6498I’m sure every major city has their version of NYC’s Times Square where all the tourists are hoarded and the rest of the city of left to the residents. In Dubrovnik, it’s the Old City of Dubrovnik, a Medieval walled city, where there’s literally a wall going around the city to keep all the tourists in one place.

Tourism has exploded in Dubrovnik in the last few years thanks to the popularity of Game of Thrones; Dubrovnik has been the site of King’s Landing ever since Season 2. Dubrovnik capitalized upon this by offering numerous Game of Thrones walking tours (which I suspect are more popular than the traditional historical tours). They’re quite pricey, but luckily in the age of the internet, you can scour for information and do your own for free. I don’t watch GOT, but I was curious enough to google a few things and take photos.

IMG_6494 For example, here is where Daenerys entered the House of the Undying after dragons are stolen. I also saw where Cersei did her Walk of Shame and  some other sites. Enough to make me happy to say that I saw where Game of Thrones was filmed. Pity my sisters weren’t here with me because they love GOT and they would have totally geeked out over this.

Since we’re only staying one full day in Dubrovnik (we arrived yesterday afternoon and will leave tomorrow morning), the one-day Dubrovnik Card was perfect for us. With the card, we got free entry into 8 different things, including the city walls, and a free 24-hour bus pass for 150 kunas. If you purchase it online, you get 10% off. Because of my father’s fatigue, we only did the City Walls and the two bus rides, but this covered the cost of the pass.

IMG_6422Dubrovnik is built on a steep hillside, so there are a ton of stairs. In fact, long staircases that connect two parallel streets have street names and are officially streets themselves. The AirBnB apartment that we’re staying in is on one such stairway. When we arrived, I was a little bewildered by where the GPS navigator had sent me and I asked a friendly looking girl for some help. She apologetically said that no one knows the names of streets here, but that she would use Google maps to help me. After a few minutes of searching, she figured out where I needed to go. She directed me to the correct set of stairs and I went down to find the cheerful elderly owner of the apartment out in the courtyard waiting for me to appear.

The apartment we’re in is nice. We have an incredible view of the harbor. Everything in the apartment has been renovated and updated to be AirBnB’ed out. I’m loving the fast WiFi after having slow internet for the past week.

IMG_6496When foreigners think of Dubrovnik, they’re probably thinking of Old Town (Old City of Dubrovnik). There’s far more to Dubrovnik than the famed medieval wall city, but it is beautiful even if it is run-overed with tourists. The best thing to do in Dubrovnik is to walk around the city walls. It costs 120 kunas if you don’t have the Dubrovnik card (now you see why we got it). The wall is about 1.2 miles long and circles the entire old city. There are fortresses, towers, and amazing views. We leisurely walked around and it took about 2 hours with slow walking, lots of photo taking, and plenty of rest breaks, and drinks. It was the best thing we did all day.

IMG_6511After lunch, we took a cable car up to the hill (120 kunas) for a breathtaking view of Dubrovnik. My dad was very keen on taking the cable car up to the top. He spotted it yesterday and asked that we go. Although it was warm and humid in the afternoon, he didn’t complain about walking because we were going to ride on the cable car. My mom and I joked the entire time how my dad is like a little kid. You tell him that if he’s good, we’ll take him for a cable car ride, so he behaves.

The views on top of the hill were glorious. We all oohed and ahhed. It’s no wonder that Dubrovnik was chosen as one of the sites for the fantastical world of GOT.

Now we’re back resting in the apartment. It’s been an amazing trip so far. I have so much to write about, but I wanted to write a few more thoughts down while I have the chance. Tomorrow we’re taking off for Split. I can’t believe that at the end of the week, this whole trip will be over.

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