Friday, August 30, 2013

Two Days in the Old City of Dubrovnik

With less than 2 days to explore Dubrovnik, we focused on the Old City.  Thankfully we were staying right on the edge of the walled city, less than a 5 minute walk thru pedestrian streets lined with old buildings, cobblestones and a few beaches.

We arrived around mid afternoon and despite the apartment owner's instructions, had a little trouble finding the actual apartment.  The parking lot was down a 2 way lane that barely was wide enough for one car (Michelle McCann, let me point out once again that that street in Italy could have been a valid street!!!).  On our way to the apartment, we had to drive by parts of the walled city which were stunning.

View of part of the walled city as we drove into Dubrovnik.  This is known as the Minčeta Tower which was built in 1461.

A better view

Our one car width, 2 way street to the parking lot... see Michelle???

As I mentioned before, Croatia was involved in a war with Yugoslavia back in the 90s but once the war was over, they made huge efforts to quickly repair the damage.  Dubrovnik was hit by over 2000 bombs and missiles but at least in the Old City, you would never know it.

We finally made it to our apartment and the woman who showed us the apartment gave us the impression that this would not actually be our apartment but we had to wait about 30 minutes for her husband.  Her English wasn't great (but then, I speak no Croatian so not calling fault here) but that was our understanding.  So having hungry kids, we waited around... for over an hour.  Finally we decided to go get lunch and we would deal with the luggage and "new" apartment when we got back.

View from our apartment

Aidan near our apartment

Where there are stairs, there must be jumping kids

Love the flowers

View about a 1 min walk from our apartment

One of the beaches nearby

Another view of a beach and the walled city

Lunch was at a typical touristy place right outside the walled city but with fantastic views of the water below and of the city itself.  There was nothing to write home about with the meal but we were overall off to a good start on our time in Dubrovnik.  We attempted to take the kids into the walled city, but they were pushing meltdown mode and who could blame them as they had been up since 4:15AM to catch our flight from BCN to Split and then did a 3+ hour drive to Dubrovnik.  I wanted to melt down too!

Josh and Aidan at lunch

Me and Liam at lunch

Liam took this picture of Aidan - love seeing him laugh!

Baby Liam :)

View from lunch into the square

At the end of the square was this balcony overlooking the old city and water

My one non goofy picture of them

Handsome boys

Josh said something about Game of Thrones and the building to the right??? (I don't watch it)

Kayaks below the wall

Square just outside the old city

Drawbridge and gate to enter the city

This could be my Christmas card picture... 

Entry to the walled city at Pile Gate - the main entrance.  The stone bridge was built in 1537 which originally crossed a moat but is now a garden.

Not sure why this was here, but it's a status of Dante's head - I can't find a reference of him ever living in Dubrovnik... 

We went back to the apartment and it turns out, that was our apartment.  Yeah, the husband spoke much better English than the wife and apparently it was that she wanted us to wait and he would show us all of the apartment (not sure why she couldn't do that??).

The kids were dying to go to the beach and while it's a rocky one, it was just a 2 minute walk from our apartment.  Josh and Aidan did a little snorkeling and Liam played by the shore as I watched (at 4PM there is no way I was going in at that point).

View from the hill near our apartment (where the car was parked)

Another view from near the parking lot


This is the beach we went to

Pretty view of the city from up high

Pedestrian streets near our apartment

Liam ready for a swim

Down to the beach

Rocky but refreshing

Aidan looks freezing!

Aidan and Josh snorkeling

Liam in his world

My boys

Ice cream at the end of a long day!

Sunset on our first evening.  I think this might be my favorite picture from the entire trip, taken by Josh on his phone.  Love it!!

On our second morning we got up early knowing we didn't have a completely full day ahead of us as we had to go back to the apartment around noon to talk to our dog sitter and come up with a plan regarding Jake.  So we decided that this would be a good time to walk along the walls of the city.  With a birds eye view of everything around us, it was, but beautiful.  The walls were built in the 10th century with modifications in the 13th century.  Shortly after walking the walls, we headed back to the apartment for a bit of a break and to await a call from our dog sitter.

Ready to hit the town (or each other!)

Pile Gate

Stairs leading up to the top of the walls

Velika Onofrijeva Fontana (Big Fontain of Onofrio) built in 1438


View from above the city

Kids insisted on sunglasses because it was sooooo sunny... and yes, they were too big.

Boys in their "cool" sunglasses on top of the wall overlooking the Stradun

Another view from the top

Watch tower

View to the Game of Thrones fort from the walls of the city

Overlooking the city again

Some of the wall

Josh looking at what a looonnnggg drop it is to the bottom...

Outside the walled city view - you can see some of the wall on the right which shows just how high we climbed as we went along the wall.

More sights along the wall

This is one way to keep them from fighting... 

Sweet, a cannon!

View from near the cannon

Boys and their toys

Quick snack (and "blue" grapefruit fanta for Liam)

I think this is the church of St. Blaise

Cool, huge anchors

My boys


Clock tower at the end of the Stradun

Irish Pub in Old Town - There's one in every Town

We were back around noon for the dog sitter but didn't get to talk to the vet until closer to 2 with starving (and sad) kids.  This is also when we ended up saying our goodbyes to Jake and the vet put him down.  We were all beyond heartbroken (and still are) at the tragedy of it all.  :(  By now, you've seen the post I put up about him.

Knowing we had limited time in Dubrovnik and as a way to get our minds off our dear Jake, we went back to the Old City to walk around the Stradun which is the main street and see what else we might have missed.  In search for a sandy beach, we headed to the other side of the walled city.  The beach ended up being a little further than the kids wanted to walk so once again we hit the one near us.  Then it was back to the apartment until dinnertime in the old city - we had intended to go to a restaurant the owner of our apartment recommended, but somehow even though the seats were next to each other, we ended up eating somewhere else.  In the end, it was a great meal served by two women who were making everything from scratch in their little kitchen.  A great way to end our short time in Dubrovnik.

Church of St. Blaise

Ploče side of the walled city

Stradun at night

Pile gate at night

Game of Thrones at night ;)

Up next??  If we thought our road trip to Dubrovnik took a long time, wait til you see what it took for us to get to our next destination... Rab Island, in the north!


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