Sunday, May 6

The Adriatic Coast, Day One: Dubrovnik

Full disclosure: the title for this series of posts covering my time in and around Croatia was not set until the holiday was done. This was because we didn't actually know what we would be doing until we got there. That in turn was due to the relative geography of the travelling group (two of whom were from across the pond), a general lack of drive in the planning stage and, crucially, the fact that researching this particular region opens up a huge Pandora's Box of activities and sights that I personally found impossible to incorporate into an agreed plan.

So instead, we decided to book our open jaw flight, our car for the next few days as well as our first night's stay (here in Dubrovnik) and see how it went. In my personal experience "winging it" generally ends up with a holiday to remember... but it largely depends on the flexibility and agility of the group travelling.

Our first day was easily decided: we landed in Dubrovnik at 10am, opening up the real possibility of completing our time in the town on the same day. After settling into our accommodation, we headed out to the Old Town (where we figured would be the meat of our tourist activities). On the way we took the cable car up the adjacent hill for some decent views of the old city, most of which were seen not from the cable car complex itself but further down off track from the side of a cliff.

After we were done with the exterior views, we entered the Old Town itself for a spot of lunch. This was similar to other old towns you can find across Europe, if a bit more busy and perhaps commercial - I often found myself wondering what the town would have been like pre-Game of Thrones. That said, it was fun walking around trying to spot as many scenes from the show as we could (resulting in us chanting "shame" to each other for the whole day as well as what I can only predict will be for the rest of the holiday).

Still, the group seemed in agreement that we were done with Dubrovnik and the decision was made to leave the town the next day. Knowing that we wouldn't have another day here, a couple of us decided to squeeze in a trip to the other side of the peninsula for beach walks and sunset - this side was much less busy and much more chilled out that what we found in the Old Town, and it was a welcome change.

After a pizza dinner we randomly decided to drive back up the hill we visited via cable car earlier in the day - the night drive up winding roads was just about justified by the night views of the Old Town and the wider Dubrovnik. It was a nice intimate end to a busy day, and one that I felt had set the tone for the rest of the trip going forward.

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