Sunday, October 15, 2017

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik, Croatia

12 - 13 Sept 2017

Our Balkan journey continues from Kotor, Montenegro to Dubrovnik, Croatia. We took the 4pm bus from Kotor (EUR 20 per person, additional EUR 1 per bag stowed in the lower bus compartment ). Our bus arrived a bit late at 4.30pm. The bus ride along the 100 km coastline gave us an endless view of the Adriatic sea.

view of Adriatic sea along the way from Kotor to Dubrovnik

We finally arrived Dubrovnik at 7.30pm. From the bus station, we climbed up a flight of stairs until the top to reach our aptly named studio apartment - Golden Stairs (EUR 59 per apartment per night). Dubrovnik is the most expensive city in our Balkan trip this time in terms of accomodation, entrance fee and food, probably inflated by the popularity of the Games of Thrones series, which was partly shot at the Old Town, Pile Gate and Fort Lovrjenac. We gave a call to our host, and within 5 minutes he showed up and gave us the keys to the apartment. We didn't go out tonight, just having dinner of Brahim's and noodles that we brought from Malaysia.

climbing up the stairs to our apartment

The Adriatic sea view from our apartment at night. The bus station is down there

bathroom with washing machine, so we washed our clothes here

our studio apartment - bed

that's the kitchen behind, sorry I forgot to take the proper picture of the studio

The next morning, we called our host again as we hadn't paid for the apartment yet. Our host just left us after giving the keys. Mohamed our host, a Bosnian, came in about 10 minutes. We paid him by cash and asked if we could leave our bags at the apartment until around our departure time at 4pm to  Mostar. Since there was no guests for today, Mohamed told us to hold on to the keys as he would be away for work, then just leave the key inside the studio when we leave (the doors will be locked once you close it). Nice! Then he offered to drop us at Pile Gate with his car as it would be another 30 minutes before the bus no. 3 to the Old town comes. What a kind gesture of our host. That's the advantage of booking an independent property, rather than a hotel chain. You get these extra hospitality by the host themselves. I'll definitely consider this again for our future travels.

view from our studio apartment in the day

with our host, Mohamed

We arrived at Pile Gate around 9.30am when it was already scorching hot. Don't forget to put on your sunscreen! There is no entrance fee into the Old Town actually, you only have to pay if you want to go up the walls around the Old Town or go to Fort Lovrjenac, next to the walls of Pile Gate. The entrance fee to the walls / fort is 150 kuna (about 21 EUR). Actually, you don't need to enter the walls or fort to take pictures. You can do it for free if you are tight on budget. We bumped into a backpacker from Malaysia, later in Mostar, who told us that she skipped Dubrovnik because it was too expensive. So actually you can still do it for free, just take the pictures from the outside, and do a daytrip, then continue your journey to Mostar. There are lockers at the bus station where you can leave your bags and there are buses to take you to the old town from the bus station.

locker charges at the bus station. click the image to zoom
ticket to City Walls and Fort Lovrjenac

The Old Town, Fort Lovrjenac and Pile Gate are part of the Unesco World Heritage site of Old City of Dubrovnik, Croatia. The walls surrounding the Old Town were a form of fortification, built from the 12th to 17th centuries. It was like doing a circumambulation, walking up the walls, going around the Old Town. At the Old Town below are shops, restaurants, cafes and hotels, which would be more expensive, than from the area outside of the Old Town. The view of the red tiled roofs from above the walls were spectacular. It would be even better to get a view of the fortification from atop Srd Hill by cable car, or you can even hike up there for free (better to do it early in the morning to avoid the hot sun). We did not do this though as we didn't have enough time.

inside the old town

a narrow street in the old town

Sv Vlaho church in Old Town

Sponza Palace in Old Town

City Walls of Dubrovnik

view of the fort from the City Walls

view of City Walls and the Adriatic sea from Fort Lovrjenac

another view of the City Walls

view of the Old Town from the City Walls

view of the Old Town and Adriatic sea from above the City Walls

view of the red tiled roofs from up the City Walls

Inside Fort Lovrjenac

Srd Hill and the surrounding from the City Walls

a tower of the City Walls

City Walls and Srd Hill

stalls in the Old Town. this one selling lavender products

We then took the 1.30pm bus no. 3 from Pile Gate to Nuncijata to go back to our apartment. The bus ride took about 30 minutes and costs 12 kuna per person. We refreshed and had lunch at our studio apartment before going down to the bus station (it is downstairs from our studio) to catch the 4pm bus to Mostar.

After waiting for a very long time, our bus finally arrived at almost 5.30pm! I suspect there was no 4pm bus at all, and we were combined with the scheduled 5.15pm bus, and it was a double decker bus after all! The bus ticket from Dubrovnik to Mostar cost 125.3 kuna (EUR 18) per person which we bought the day before when we arrived at Dubrovnik. The cost of backpack stowed in the lower compartment is EUR 1 (or 7 kuna) per bag.

Goodbye Dubrovnik. Hello Mostar!

leaving Drubovnik

sunset on the Adriatic sea otw Mostar



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