Next I headed off to do a whirlwind tour of Dubrovnik.
Don’t Keep All Your Eggs in One Money Pouch
After a long, sweaty, four hour ride to the Dubrovnik bus station, I maneuvered my way through the always-confusing and exasperating local bus system to arrive at my hostel…upon which I realized I had lost my money pouch. Lesson boys and girls – don’t leave all your money in one pouch!
I was sure I was doomed – my night would be spent calling credit card companies and inventing ways to come up with cash. I immediately knew where I had left it – I put down my money purse on the gum rack outside the bus station to buy a ticket from the local tobacco/candy stand at the corner. Thought I felt it was a lost cause, I asked the hostel owner to call the bus station, who then sent a lady across the street to talk with the stand owner.
I was so lucky the woman at the newspaper stand had a good heart – she had handed it into the port police.
I had to take a sweaty bus ride back to the port, and then walk to station down the street, and found a nearby port authority police man. There was an awkward moment when I had to walk with the port police-authority guy to the newspaper stand, where he talked with the worker who had handed in my purse. They talked for far too long, which led me to believe they must be talking about me. Listening people talk about you in a foreign language is very strange and exasperating.
Eventually I ended up back at the hostel with my money intact (thank you Saint Cro-Cro (Christopher) and/or Anthy (Anthony) for your assumed help).
Dinner in Dubrovnik
As I checked into my room, I was immediately invited to dinner with two of the girls in my room (Australians of course- from my beloved Melbourne!). We met up with another Aussie guy Andy, and together we visited Dubrovnik old town by night and had a nice dinner of sea bass.
The next morning I woke up early to do my ultra-fast tour of Dubrovnik. I grabbed a walking tour at 10am (after a morning gelato of course) to hear about the main sites of Dubrovnik. The tour was quite mediocre – our tour guide was quite high-handed and fairly rude, complaining about our asking too many questions (there were only 3 of us) and complaining of tourists in his beloved hometown. I couldn’t understand everything because of his thick accent either. Take that sir!
Dubrovnik has basically served as a Norway of Eastern Europe, with a motto of “be kind to everyone but sincere to no one”, making Dubrovnik sound like a manipulative teenage girl trying to pole vault up the social ladder. The giant wall encompassing the city was never used for military battle, until the 1990s-ish when that confusing and fairly recent war happened in Croatia, which I still don’t totally get. Sorry, just being honest here. I’ve tried to read about it, but still don’t understand, and when people explain it to me I accidentally glaze over and don’t hear anything they say. Really need to stop that bad habit.
Signs and flags throughout the city read “Libertas” proclaiming Dubrovnik’s long standing values of freedom/as-long-as-we’re-cool-screw-everyone-else. I’m just teasing Dubrovnik. You’re cool. We good.
Dubrovnik aka King’s Landing
After the tour I scaled the city walls and walked about, getting gorgeous views of the city and the Adriatic sea lapping against Dubrovnik’s port.
Dubrovnik is a real beauty from atop the city walls, letting you look down on the sea of red-roofed houses, churches, and glistening white-stone streets. Being waist-deep in the 4th Game of Thrones book, I was thrilled to hear that Dubrovnik is where they filmed scenes for The Red Keep in the 2nd season of Game of Thrones television show. It’s no surprise Dubrovnik was chosen – it seems the perfect location to dream of valiant knights, turn-cloak lords, and kings of old. Sometimes gazing down from the walls, I found myself calling the scene below “Kings Landing” and “The Red Keep” rather than the city’s true name.
I could only stay at Dubrovnik one night, since I had to catch a bus down King’s Road to The Trident (aka Korcula), but my time there was pleasant, and I can only hope the legendary city stays out of those filthy Lannister paws. One can dream.