The 4 ½ hour bus ride follows the coastline and has breathtaking views. We also crossed the border into Bosnia Herzegovina, where I got my passport stamped, got out and took a picture of the sunset, and used the restroom at a rest stop. I decided this definitely counted as a country visit. Check!
I arrived at my hostel in Dubrovnik around 9:30pm, after getting lost a little bit (and I don’t EVER get lost… ), so I didn’t set out to explore the city until the next day.
Probably the biggest thing in Dubrovnik to do is to walk the city walls surrounding the old town. These walls were originally built between the 12th-17th centuries (now that is OLD) and protected the city from land and sea invasions. Now, you can buy a ticket to walk the path that goes along the top of the walls (with lots and lots of stairs) and this gives you beautiful views of the sea and of the old town.
The Croatian War of Independence was fought against the former Yugoslavia from 1991-1995, and it is very evident what an impact it had on Dubrovnik. Standing atop the city walls, you can see that the buildings in the old town all have either orange or brown roofs. All of the orange are what have been rebuilt due to damage from the war; the brown roofs survived. There is still visible destruction and rubble within the old town, as well.
It was a really hot day and after several hours of walking the walls and sightseeing in old town, I was pretty wiped and didn’t do much else. But I did follow an intriguing sign advertising cold drinks with the best view, and sure enough that’s exactly what they lead me to! It was a great way to end the afternoon at Cafe Buza.
The next day was my last full day there, and I wanted to do something on the water for a little relief from the heat, so I signed up for a sea kayaking tour. It was a great decision, one I would recommend to anyone visiting Dubrovnik. On the 3 hour guided tour, you get a great view of the city and walls from the water, hear some history of Dubrovnik and get a little work out in! We kayaked from the mainland to the closest island, Lokrum, all the way around the island and into a cave on the opposite side, then from the island to a beach on the main land where we had a lunch break, then we kayaked back to our starting point in the city, for a total of 7 km. We of course had several breaks, but overall I think it would be doable for just about anyone. Our tour guide was also a very attractive former professional soccer player for Bosnia’s 1st league, so that just added to the fun 😉
For my last afternoon in Dubrovnik, I found a beach near my hostel and enjoyed one last day of warm sunshine on the water before beginning what would be my 25 hour commute back to Germany the next morning (2 buses and 2 trains…don’t ask. It was just as miserable as it sounds). But even after enduring that, every second of my week in Croatia was worth it. Take me back to the Adriatic, please!!!