Dubrovnik was the most disappointing of our 3 destinations. Perhaps if we were into history and Game of Thrones then we would have liked it more. Also if we started at Dubrovnik and ended at Split it might have been better, it would be hard to compete with the awesomeness of Sizzling Split. Firstly, it was way too hot, I was warned about the heat from friends but nothing could have prepared me. It felt like I was in the depths of hell and sitting next to Satan himself. So we spent the days near an air-con in our room and we would dare to leave only around 3pm and explore for the evening and night. We stayed in the Old Town (rookie error) but should have rather stayed at “Lapad” beach. There was not much to do in Old town, it was expensive, it didn’t have a vibe or buzz about it and most places close at 11. The old town becomes very quiet at night, almost eerie.
We stayed at an AirBnb called “Paradise” apartments. There were lots of stairs up to the apartment. There were lots of stairs all over Dubrovnik Old Town, it was a killer. The apartment was tiny, there was barely space to move in the bedrooms, never mind place for suitcases. If you made your way up the steep, narrow wooden stairs from the first floor into the loft there was a lovely spacious loft lounge and the best part of the apartment which was the rooftop terrace with a great view of the rooftops (it was so hot we could only use this after 2pm). The apartment was neat and clean and had everything we needed. There were air-cons in each room thankfully. The complimentary wine and biscuits were a lovely touch.
Day 1 – We explored the Old Town on foot. The sushi craving hit and we were hell bent on finding some so we walked out of the old town for a kilometre or two to find a restaurant I found on google but it had closed down. So we had a cocktail anyway at the “Excelsior hotel”. On the way back we sat at a quaint Chinese takeaway, “Snog Wok Bar”, where we met a Parisian couple who take their dog Mozza (Mozzarella in full) on every holiday with them. The lady was telling us how she wants to declare the dog as an emotional support dog so Mozza can fly in the cabin on all airlines instead of just the one they always use. The husband was hoping that the dog wouldn’t get the certificate so they could leave the dog at home. Interesting to note that this was the only place in Croatia that we saw Chinese tourists, usually you find Chinese tourists all over the world. At night went to “Bard Mala Buza” bar on the rocks of the cliff though a literal hole in the wall. There was a stunning full moon and a view of the lights of the next neighbourhood (we wanted to return at day to see the view of the ocean but didn’t get a chance). We went to the infamous “Buza” bar which wasn’t very impressive either, they were out of most stock and the drinks were warm at 9pm. We were also disappointed by dinner at the “Koloseum” restaurant on the stairs that lead to the cathedral.
Day 2 – We ventured out earlier that day, around 13:30, we only made it to “The Gaffe” Irish Pub, about 100m down the road, before having to take refuge near an air-con because it was just too hot. Eventually we got moving and took a bus to “Lapad” beach. It was much more beautiful and cooler by the beach. It was also cheaper, had good cocktails and there was a lot more to do. We had yummy wraps from “Tutto Bene” (a very popular fast food place). We did a bit of shopping. I got myself another fix of gelato. We then went to this amazing bar inside a cave called “Cave Bar More”. After exploring the cave we ended up chilling on loungers outside that had a view over the water. We enjoyed sunset cocktails for the guys and the best iced coffee ever for me. We took a bus back to the drab Old Town. Chilled on the roof terrace and air-con lounged all night.
Day 3 – I took a solo walk up and down many stairs, there were just so many stairs everywhere. I found an Indian restaurant to have dinner and “Buzz” bar with an air-con and 3L long Islands. I went back to fetch the guys from their siesta and we went back to “Buzz” bar. Then we took the cable car up “Mount Srd” for amazing views and a cocktail. The restaurant “Panorama” was so cool, it even had a buzzer on each table to call the waiter. Then we had the most delicious curry at “Incredible India” as our farewell meal, the little Indian inside was satisfied.
Our time in Croatia was up and it was time to board our 1 hr flight to Istanbul.
Other stuff to mention, it was even too hot for us to even consider walking on the walls of the city so we missed a highlight. Thankfully we had a pretty good view of the Old City from our rooftop terrace.
So I haven’t mentioned this yet but in closing I have to give it a mention. The Croatians are the most unfriendliest nation I have ever met, yes, worse than the French and the Greeks. Niceties and hospitality is obviously not high up on the list for them. We became used to hearing the Croatian “No” all the time. Obviously this is a generalisation, we did meet great Croatians too, like our AirBnb hosts and bar tenders etc., but mostly they were abrupt, rude and not accommodating at all. Even witnessed an episode where a Croatian was super rude to a customer when he queried the price charged vs. the tag price and it ended in swearing from the Croatian. There really isn’t anything like the South African charm.
Overall, we loved Croatia. You have got to try it, especially Split. 3 Ups – beautiful views and scenery, a lot to do and see, yummy Croatian food. 3 Downs – Very hot in August, monotonous food (every menu is exactly the same), the Croatian unfriendliness.