On a recent Thursday afternoon Mark and I took a short, direct flight from Paris to Dubrovnik, Croatia. We had heard such great things about this beach town and were happy to find a summer weekend to go see what all the fuss was about. Turns out it was about incredible views, a beautiful coastline, and a palpable sense of history.
Dubrovnik does not offer an array of hotel choices. Many people stay in rooms rented out by apartment owners. Because we booked this trip at the last minute, our choices of accommodation were limited. We were very pleased with the Dubrovnik Palace, which is located in Lapad, about a ten minute bus ride from the Dubrovnik Old Town, where most of the sights are located. We never had to wait for the bus, which stopped right in front of the hotel, and we enjoyed being away from the crowds. Also, they gave us a handsome upgrade, which was a nice surprise.
One day we enjoyed the lounge chairs on the rocks by the water. Mark went for a dip, but I watched from shore because I could tell there wasn’t a swim-up bar out there.
The Old Town became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991, and was definitely one of the prettiest I have ever visited. I loved how the streets were polished by thousands of years of feet.
The most popular attraction in Dubrovnik is the walk around the city walls, which span a mile and a quarter. The views of the sea and the red roofs of the town were incredible. However, I would not recommend walking the walls if it is raining, or even if it not raining but might rain while you are up there (like us). The stone quickly became very slippery, making the final quarter-mile or so a bit nerve-wracking. Also, don’t be one of those people who wore flip-flops or platform shoes, adding another three degrees of difficulty to an already challenging activity.
Unfortunately, the cruise ships have discovered Dubrovnik, and the narrow streets of the Old Town are flooded with cruisers until late afternoon. We followed the advice of our concierge (and Rick Steves) and tried to avoid going there until after the ships had left. Without the crowds, we loved walking the streets of Dubrovnik and Lapad.
On our last morning we rode the cable car to the top of Mount Srd, just behind the Old Town, where Napoleon built a fortress to keep a watchful eye on his new subjects. The view was staggering.
We were thrilled to have the opportunity to visit such an interesting and beautiful city.
We were hoping to add Scandinavia to our trove of memories, but our trip to Stockholm and Copenhagen is looking like it won’t happen tomorrow. Thanks a lot, striking French air traffic controllers. We are just a few of the many travelers who will be frustrated in the next few days as this, not coincidentally, is the weekend many French people go on holiday. We are frantically looking for a train destination within France, but of course it’s difficult to find available accommodations at this late time. To make us even more grumpy about staying home, the heat wave continues in Paris, with the high forecasted to be 100 degrees two days this week.
C’est la vie in France, mes amis.