Tag: Game of Thrones

3 days in Dubrovnik

As I gear up for my next holiday (3 nights in Athens and 7 nights in Santorini, starting Saturday, whoop!) I realised I haven’t blogged about my last trip, to Dubrovnik. It’s not like I haven’t had time or anything, the trip was 2 months ago and I’ve been off work for 5 weeks now <<sore point>>. But I didn’t so I’m going to correct that fact and tell you about it now.

I’m not sure when and why going to Dubrovnik became one of my travel priorities, but it was definitely already right up there back in April 2016 when I wrote a list of places I wanted to visit. The architecture, city walls and coastal location made it a really appealing city break; small enough to get around in a few days but enough to do and see to fill the time and feel the city. Of course, later we started watching Game of Thrones, some of which is filmed in Dubrovnik, and my interest was piqued.

We stayed outside of the city walls, in the Ploce area of the city, which means we woke up to the iconic city view of Dubrovnik from our terrace each morning.

Dubrovnik city view from our apartments

This, to me, was more important than being right in the city centre, because it meant we could choose accommodation with outside space (more of a rarity in the city), enjoy a sea view, get dropped off and picked up right outside our accommodation (no taxis or private vehicles are allowed inside the city walls so you could face quite a walk with your luggage) and it was cheaper too.

Looking right from our terrace was a view of Lokrum island.

Lokrum Island view from our apartment

I’d recommend the Ploce are for the above reasons BUT do be aware that it is very steep with hundreds of steps; think about it – to get those iconic city views you need to be quite high up. Walking down is tough enough, but walking back up in the heat of the day (in fact, at any time of day!) is a killer.

Steps from Ploce to Old Town

I’d read before we went that Uber taxis are plentiful and cheap so, after doing the walk once, we used a cab every time. Most phone providers allow you to use your phone plan including data in Croatia, so just download the app and let them take the strain. It usually cost about £3 for a one way journey, which was nothing between the three of us, and in a short break it doesn’t really add up too much. Plus, steps. Seriously. Without the cab I’d have spent a lot more time in the apartment, with broken hamstrings.

Speaking of the apartment, I found it on Booking.com which has a good range of accommodation of all types. Ours was a 2 bedroom apartment with a lounge, kitchen diner, bathroom, and a huge terrace with those city views.

Suzy Apartments terrace

Suzy apartments covered terrace

It made the trip feel a bit more like a holiday than just a city break, because it meant we could eat breakfast outside in the morning, or sit and relax in the afternoon and evening sun after a day of sightseeing. From what I saw during my research, much of the accommodation in Dubrovnik is in private independently owned apartments which are quite dated in style. Don’t be surprised to find a blue bathroom suite or 80s décor. The larger, more cosmopolitan hotels are further away from the Old Town. Inside the City Walls expect to have to carry or wheel your suitcase over bumpy cobbles, and potentially up many narrow stairs if you’re staying on one of the steep side streets.

So, the city itself. As I said, the main part of Dubrovnik is inside the City Walls, accessible from Ploce Gate on one side and Pile Gate on the other. Ploce Gate was, in our experience, the lesser used of the two entrances and a more dramatic (therefore enjoyable) experience.

City Walls and Ploce gate

Ploce Gate Dubrovnik

You have views of the sea, and the old harbour, and Lokrum Island, plus of course the steep walls surrounding the city and back towards Ploce.

Dubrovnik harbour view from Ploce Gate

View through Ploce Gate wall

Dubrovnik Old Harbour looking back to Ploce

Pile Gate is the one used by most cruise ship arrivals (of which there are many in high summer) and is so busy there’s an operational one way walking system for in and out. Don’t be confused about entering the City Walls (to get into the city centre, which is free), and visiting the City Walls (which is a walk around the summit of the walls and is chargeable).

The Old Town is fairly compact and it’s easy to get your bearings and to get around. The main street (Stradun) runs from the Ploce Gate side to the Pile Gate side, and the smaller streets mainly form a grid system, with narrow passageways crammed with eateries which occasionally open up into larger squares. It’s incredibly clean with beautiful architecture.

Dubrovnik Centre

Dubrovnik church

For a different view of the city, take to the sea! The ferry to Lokrum Island (more on that another time) will give you a different perspective on the port, but it’s also worth going on a speedboat trip which takes you to the other side of the city walls along the coastline.

Speedboat City Walls from the sea

Speedboat trip City Walls from the sea

Speedboat trip Dubrovnik City Walls

It then heads out to and and all the way round Lokrum (the Lokrum ferry only goes to the port, so you won’t see the “back” of the island, including the stunning cave below with crystal clear water) before sailing back along the Adriatic coastline.

Speedboat trip looking back at the City Walls

Speedboat trip heading towards Lokrum Island

Lokrum Island inland cave

Adriatic Coast

Speedboat trip Adriatic Coast

We paid 40 euros total for a private 45 minute trip for 3 people (it was 30 euros total to share with other people, and we don’t really like other people so it was a no brainer!) There are lots of boat trips available from the Old Town harbour. You’ll see from the pics you can also do sea kayaking over to Lokrum, but no thank you!

Dubrovnik is just as beautiful by night. Everything is lit up and reflections twinkle in the water. The white marble floor of the main street (Stradun) glistens; there’s almost an other worldy glow about the city.

Nighttime in Dubrovnik Old Town

Stradun at night time

Dubrovnik old town harbour by night

Dubrovnik by night

Dubrovnik city walls by night

Stradun by night

In my next Dubrovnik post I’ll talk about visiting the city walls (hint, there were a lot more steps!) and the cable car to Mount Srd.

Have you been to Dubrovnik? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

5 things I discovered last week

Life’s an education, as the saying goes (unless I just made that up?) and last week was no exception! I made new discoveries, refound old discoveries and created a new and tasty drink!

  • Aidan Gillan who plays Littlefinger in Game of Thrones was also in Queer as Folk (I used to love that show…)
  • Cherry lambrini adds a whole new dimension to Pimms (don’t judge me, this was the result of a Good Housekeeping article although they suggested cherry juice rather than alcoholic cherry wine, but still)
  • My stripy jeans still fit me, and are perfectly acceptable work attire (benefits of a casual office)
  • The Bob Marley song “Don’t Worry” is actually called 3 Little Birds (this one blew my mind a little)

Bob Marley 3 Little Birds quote

  • The Money Pit still makes me laugh like a drain, especially this scene – Tom Hanks does comedy so brilliantly!

Tom Hanks The Money Pit

What did you discover or rediscover recently?

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

Late to the party – Game of Thrones

When we were in the process of buying our new place (at which point does it stop being new, and just be “our place” I wonder?) it became apparent that our existing TV provider, Virgin, didn’t supply our new home. No matter, the husband was quite happy with switching over to Sky after feeling disgruntled with Virgin broadband for a while anyway.

So, on the day we moved in, I arranged for a Sky engineer to come round and hook us up, lest the husband should be without TV for even a day and have a childlike collywobble (I’m only half joking).

Unfortunately said engineer was unable to fit a Sky dish and give us access to all that lovely TV content, because there’s a ruddy great – nay, monstrous – tree smack bang in the middle of where the Sky signal comes from. The tree is growing on the railway bank which runs not far from our house, and is therefore not easy to get rid of.

The husband didn’t take things well. At all. The childlike collywobble I thought I’d avoided by being organised came somewhat to the fore. Phrases like “this fucking place” were uttered by him, my soothing noises fell on deaf ears and placatory comments from me like “I’m sure we’ll find an alternative” were met with a deathly stare.

Luckily, the husband is not one to be beaten by obstacles (aka he’s a stubborn bugger, remember the vigour with which he approached the BBQ ban at our old place?) and so he set to urgent work in looking at a way to bring joyous entertainment into our home. After all, that was way more important than unpacking boxes and other moving day dullness, no?

The upshot was that we ended up with Now TV. Which, as I understand, is like Sky “lite” but runs through the internet instead of a satellite signal, meaning the broadband package I’d signed up for wasn’t nearly sufficient, and we chewed through our data allowance within 3 days. It also means we have yet another remote control that I don’t really know how to use and that I can be blamed for when it disappears down the side of the sofa. But, on the plus side, we have the Sky TV that the husband so desperately wanted!

So, in an incredibly late to the party turn, we’ve started watching Game of Thrones.

Game of Thrones

A show which I never thought I had any interest in at all, until we started watching it and I got totally sucked in! We’ve currently made it to half way through season 3, so no spoilers please! I spend a lot of time saying “who’s that?” and “I don’t understand” – it’s by far one of the most complex programs I have ever watched, with so many main characters and locations, but I have the general grasp of things and it starts to make more sense as time goes on. Outside of the complexity and the storyline, the visual side of the show is incredible, with fabulous costumes, sets and backdrops. I love tales of mediaeval times and they’re depicted incredibly graphically within the show, at times almost too graphically, and there are definitely moments which make me hide behind my hands. Character development is so well done; I’ve already gone from hating some characters to feeling sorry for them in later seasons, and I can’t wait to see how things develop further.

On the plus side, because I’ve never been interested in it and haven’t had Sky before, I don’t really know what’s to come in seasons 4 to 6, so it genuinely is a surprise to me. The only storyline I am aware of, because it was discussed in the office, was the life or death of Jon Snow, but even knowing the outcome, I’m still intrigued by the storyline around it.

With season 7 being just around the corner (first episode on 17th July) I don’t think we’ll quite be up to speed ready to watch them in real time, so it will be an ongoing struggle to avoid trailers, spoilers and conversations in the office from my colleagues who have been watching it for many years. And, on the odd occasion we think we recognise someone in the show, we have to avoid Googling anything because it will be sure to throw up results which may reveal what’s to come before we’ve watched it.

Are you a Game of Thrones fan? Have you watched all the seasons? Let me know! (and no spoilers!)

Thanks, as always, for reading. x