Let me just preface this by saying that I loved the Dalmatian Coast.
Visiting a new place is similar to dating. You’re both trying to figure out if you like each other, if you fit together.
Dubrovnik was the equivalent of dating an international super model. Despite her beauty, I couldn’t get to know her. I couldn’t tell if she just had no personality or if she was fabulously & characteristically mysterious. She slipped out of my fingers before I had enough time to figure it out. The experience was entirely maddening.
Old town Dubrovnik was one of the most beautiful places that I have ever seen . . . yet I couldn’t wait to get out of there.
She had the most beautiful clear waters of the Adriatic that caressed her shores, yet they were swathed with cruise ships.
Architecture had the 1,000+ year old grime that fits in the crack of every brick. I love the way the grime looks in a photograph. But the sun’s radiation filled every cranny, squeezing the life out of you.
Hoards of crowds bustled by but not a single cheap street food vendor could be found.
Everything was expensive.
And all of the historical tours had been abandoned by their companies in lieu of Game of Thrones picture tours. Disclaimer, I am a GOT fan, however I was slightly annoyed that it had like– barfed–all over the place that I was the most excited to see on my Balkans road trip.
Even the street kitties looked entirely bijedan (miserable).
Dubrovnik is the kind of place that would have been entirely enchanting 10 or 20 years ago before everyone else discovered how great it is.
I’d like to go back to stay a good amount of time after the crowds have died down twenty years from now to eat the “Best undiscovered cuisine of the world” (as some of my travel food heroes call it). Perhaps the Game of Thrones tours will all be over and I can learn about the actual aristocrats that scaled the walls, but you’d only catch me in the low season.
I did have two very memorable experiences. The first was a beach without a single tourist- Pasjača Beach. It’s at the end of a dirt road. It’s a short hike before climbing through a cave to get there. No filter, the water really is that blue but the rocks are murderous on your feet, even while swimming in Chacos. Can’t enjoy the most beautiful beach you’ve ever seen because you’re wincing in pain? Check. Maddening!
Note to self, next time bring water shoes.
The best spot we found was outside of Dubrovnik. It was the old hilled village of Bosanka. I can’t even begin to describe the view.
It touched my heart to learn about the beautiful hill’s history. The Yugoslav People’s Army came and murdered every breathing thing in the village during the Siege of Dubrovnik. The walls of Old Town Dubrovnik kept the JNA out. The walls of the farm houses of Bosanka sit crumbling. Nature is reclaiming it. Bees float by. Wildflowers dance in the sun. How could such a terrible thing happen in such a terribly happy place? The conflict led to the international recognition of Croatia’s statehood. It was hard for me to imagine the blood soaking into the gravel of the once village where I stood. The townspeople were helpless outside of the walls.
Maddening, but in a totally different way.
Ready to tell me why I am totally wrong about Old Town Dubrovnik? Comment below.