Never been wishing to step my feet on this beautiful country before. Not until I heard the hype of soaking up the sun during summer, cruising the island, and exploring many alluring National Park in this land. Not to forget the filming location of the serial movie, Game of Thrones, in the old town Dubrovnik. Who doesn’t know the infamous King’s Landing?
Funny to remember that we are in a bit rush the day when we flew to the Croatia. Packed with the thesis weekly meeting with le’ mentor in the morning, went back home to exchanged the laptop bag with 7 kg backpack, dealing with the delayed burger king, interrupted with the disable person in a passport control’s queue, and running with all the energy we had to go the gate which was so far away (another dealing with the low-cost carrier), then we had finally done it. We had thought that the flight would just fly away without us. Lucky we had arrived at the gate just IN TIME 🙂
This was the first time I traveled in Europe with partners. Apart from traveled with the ex-boyfriend (read:husband) last year, field trip, field work, or another school trip whatsoever, this was the first time we arranged the trip together and going together, even only for the half trip. So, I won’t be alone getting around Croatia, pretty excited no?
How to Get There?
There are frequent flights from Schipol Amsterdam to Dubrovnik 3 times a week. Last September, I bought the Transavia ticket which the deal was so good for the third week of October. I bought a one-way ticket for only €42. It considered as cheap since the distance between Amsterdam and Dubrovnik is quite far. The flight took 2.15 hours.
Dubrovnik is located at the most southern side of the Croatia, borders with Montenegro at the most south. It looks so beautiful from up there, formed by so many islands, surrounded by the clear sea, many cruises are sailing, pretty house facade along the cliffs. I can hardly wait to start this journey.
Arrived at Dubrovnik Airport, the passport control took a few time. He didn’t ask anything, just typing, checking here and there on their computer. Don’t know what is he looking for, then I got my passport stamped 5 minutes later, I supposed. The first thing to do is go to the money changer. I have a bad experience with Euronet automatic teller machine, never withdraw your money from Euronet ATM unless you want the lowest exchange rate. The exchange rate on that day was about 7 up to 7.5 HRK (or kuna) per euro.
The second thing to do is get in the lines to buy a bus ticket to Old Town Dubrovnik. As like many other airports in the world, the city center was just far away from their airport. Even the airport location to the old town Dubrovnik has the same distance to the neighbor country, Montenegro. It took an half hour to go there. The bus provider named Atlas. The ticket price is 40 HRK. No need to wait any longer, the bus’ schedule departure time is frequently. You shall get off at the pile gate, exactly in front of King’s Landing gate.
Right after arrived at the Pile Gate, we were looking the way to our hostel. Unlike many other Europe city, Croatia is one of the cheapest country I’ve ever visited. The hostel rate is 10-20 euro/ night. Mostly for €13/night you can sleep nicely in a recommended hostel. Based on the google map, our hostel was just 1 km away from the pile gate. But it seemed so far for us due to the city contour. We had walking uphill and downhill to go there.
I didn’t notice that this hostel has a curfew from 10 pm to 8 am. No wonder our room was completely dark after we’re coming back from dinner at 10 pm. The people in the common room stayed quiet, not even talking to each other. What’s the odd of this hostel, I thought. I’ve just realized it in the morning, I saw the curfew time on the wall in the common room area. Then o-o, new experience then. Good thing and bad thing at the same time. It is good for people who need to rest peacefully, but not good to me who was just back from dinner and want to take a shower and can’t see anything in the room to prepare the night routine. Ah ya, another new experience to sleep in the mixed dorm. Luckily the percentage of women in that room is much more than the men.
About the hostel, I’ve not ranked it well. It was just enough and ordinary. The price says it all. The receptionist is not 24 hours. Need to be mentioned, he is not friendly enough. The toilette is clean but only two toilettes available for women with only one equipped with the closet. There is a kitchen to only serve the food. The cleanliness of the room was just acceptable.
Talking about dinner. Curious about our fancy dinner? It is ya slow cooked breast chicken with mashed potato and cheese and the dessert is pannacotta (not remember it by heart, was it raspberry?)
The trip itself was started at the second day. We’re checking out in the morning and took the bus to the Pile Gate. The bus ticket is able to buy from the driver but it will cost extra 3 kuna. It will be cheaper if it bought from the counter, only 12 kuna per trip. However, the counter can’t be found at each bus stop.
If you need luggage storage during your excursion to old town, there is one luggage storage across the sky bar. They charged us 140 kuna for 3 backpacks for around 7 hours
1. The Ancient City Wall
Walking along the Dubrovnik ancient city wall that surrounds the Old Town is a unique and wonderful experience and a must-do when visiting Dubrovnik. The walls are 1,940 metres long and you can walk all the way around them (it usually takes about 2 hours). However, you can get down half way. During this walk you will explore Dubrovnik from a completely new angle.
It costs you 120 kuna for the adult’s normal price. However, the student price is only a quarter of it, 30 kuna it is! It is also included visiting Fort Lovrijenac (which we haven’t enough time to explore it 🙁 ).
This ancient city wall tour is kind of walking tour surround the city. It is literally you are walking behind the wall. However, the view was amazing. We can see the ocean at one side and the old town on the other side. The weather is soooo nice that day, so we have big smile even though the sun is shining so bright (and I forgot to take a sunscreen and bring a sunglasses!)
2. The Old Town Dubrovnik
The old town is what is lies behind the wall. This where the people was live before and be under protection by the wall. The old town becomes the most attractive place in Dubrovnik. Many historical places, churches, restaurants, and other touristic places. It also reminds me of some scene in Game of Throne which I will put the comparison in picture later.
This is the gate of old town Dubrovnik. At the moment you entered the gate, the scene of King Joffrey been thrown of cow shit by his people. Well, I can’t believe I have been there (fortunately not being thrown by something).
Above is the scene where the Joffrey’s sister being sent to (somewhere I forgot). The ship was sailed near the Fort Lovrijenac.
We took a picture with the background of jetty where Sansa Stark was instigated by Lord Baelish.
Here is the place for Cersei Lannister for her infamous Walk of Shame scene.
3. Fort Lovrijenac
We were running out of time, so it was just the picture of Fort Lovrijenac from afar.
At the end, it sums up my trip. I should end up this long post. See you! 🙂
1. If you are going to the north, for instance, from airport to old town Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik-Split, Dubrovnik-Zadar, Dubrovnik-Plitvice, Dubrovnik-Zagreb, choose the left seat on the bus (on the line with the driver seat). If you are going north, the sea is on your left side and on the right side was just a high cliff, and the other way around.
2. Don’t forget to show your student ID card when purchasing the City Wall ticket.