The highlight of a stay in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
What is it about age? Already I feel all of my (almost) 33 years in my bones: nights out equal aching joints and puffy eyes the next morning, and heightened “wisdom” renders me overly gun-shy– unable to make decisions on even the smallest things without a lot of deliberation and hand-wringing. With age has also come germaphobia, an increasing level of inflexibility, and a resistance to change. (Gosh, I don’t sound that fun, do I?)
With regards to travel, age has also reared its ugly head: I’m no longer able to rough it in hostels (goodbye, 18-bed mixed dorm I slept in in Prague!) and I have a growing distaste for large crowds.
The latter is why Dubrovnik, Croatia was not my favourite place. A major stop on the Mediterranean cruise summer circuit, Dubrovnik could be re-christened “Overrun Tourist City” from June through to August. Dubrovnik’s Old Town, its main attraction, becomes a maddeningly packed maze of tiny streets where shops and restaurants peddle over-priced wares and food, and where shuffling through narrow laneways shoulder-to-shoulder with other tourists is an expectation rather than an eventuality.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit. After all, it’s gorgeous– see my pics above! And really, despite all my natter, all you need to do to get (some) peace and quiet is to go… up.
Walking the Walls
Dubrovnik’s ancient defensive walls encircle the city like giant hug. Constructed mostly in the Middle Ages and stretching over 6,000 feet, the sheets of stone once acted as a fortification system in times of war. Now? Restored to pristine condition, the walls are a great place for pretty photos and for bird’s eye views of both the red-roofed old town and the cerulean waters of the Mediterranean. Not bad, huh?
To be honest, there’s not much to say about the walls beyond the above. They’re open pretty much every day from from 9am to 6pm (check here for exact times as they change depending on the season). Cost is a steep 100 Croatian Kuna (about $15 USD), but the Instagrammable views make it an experience worth forking out your hard earned cash for. Moreover, getting here is pretty straight forward as there are three entrances: on Stradun by the Pile gate, by Fort St. Johns, and by Fort St. Luke, Od sv. Dominika street. And just because I’m feeling generous, a tip for you: Dubrovnik in the summer is a dream, but the intense sun and the risk of sunburn (or worse!) are not. The walk is uncovered so make sure you bring sunscreen and/or a hat!
Have you done a wall walk before?