Day 9 Dubrovnik

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Dubrovnik is the star attraction of southern Croatia. From above it is a beautiful vista (not to mention a strangely familiar scene from Game of Thrones), on the ground it remains a well preserved citadel with walls you can walk around. However it is also pretty expensive (by the standards we were used to in Bosnia!). You have to pay to walk the walls and to go into all of the major attractions. If I'm honest while it was a good day out, and it is definitely a place that you can visit this area without going, I thought it was a bit touristy and over-priced (however I also recognise that there is probably a pretty hefty maintanence bill for preservation so perhaps it is a little unfair). I'd have felt less bad about it if this had been clear (in other words if they'd said what the money was paying for rather than leaving me thinking that someone was perhaps making a killing at tourists expense).

With that out of the way I must balance it by saying that we had a great time. On the recommendation of our Airbnb host, we drove up to the top of the cable car above the city. A few words are required on travel. My advice is do not try and drive into the city - the traffic is slow and there are very limited parking spaces. You can't go into the old city anyway as it is pedestrian only. There are plenty of buses going in and out or you can take a boat from Cavtat (which the kids did the following day when they did an excursion to Locrum). Our choice however was to drive to the top of the cable car where there is a fabulous view, the the cable car down into the city and then return later. This worked well but the drive is not for the faint hearted. It is a single lane with passing places and one side is the edge of the cliff not far away. A little car would be ideal but I was driving a 9 seater people carrier. It was a white knuckle ride for the rest of the people in the car, especially when meeting a car coming the other way. At the top there are only a few spaces (mainly used by taxi drivers) but the parking is free and relatively few people brave the drive so we had no problems finding a space. Parking was a bit tricky though as space was limited. A very kind taxi driver offered to finish the manouvre for me!

We had a lunch at the top with a great view of the city. A few photos later and we took the cable car down and then walked to the main tourist information centre (outside the main gate) and bought tickets for the city wall. Then an ice cream and a wonder around. The wall took over an hour to walk around and it was very hot! There are lots of steps so not recommended for the unfit. But the view is great. On one side you've got the expanse of the Adriatic and on the other was the beatifully preserved city.

After the hot work of the wall we made our way down to the main thoroughfare where there is a fountain/watering hole where you can fill up on water. We wondered amoung the shops and got some great photos of the narrow streets on either side before walking around to the outside of the wall and finding a place to have a dip in the sea.

I can't write much about Lokrum as we split up as a family with the kids (aged 16-19!) decided to take a boat there while the rest of us enjoyed the beach. Lokrom was a hit with the kids who enjoyed the Game of Thrones set locations as well as a good dip in the sea. However they had a good lesson in travel on the way back. They got the boat back from Dubrovnik to Cavtat but didn't realise that they had to change boats half-way and had to beg the crew to make an unscheduled stop to drop them off leaving me to make an emergency drip to collect them!