We arrived at Athens airport by train. We were so busy talking that we didn’t realise everyone had got off until the lights went out as, we couldn’t understand the announcements. From Athens to three stops from the airport, the train fare is about 2 euros. The last three stops cost 10 euros. Sort of an export tax. Anyway we got there to be confronted with a bloody turboprop heap of shit which was going to take 1 3/4 hrs to go 600 or so kilometres.
An Aussie refueller was on the plane and even he said “this does not look good”. We taxied to take off – vrumm vrumm and then headed back to the start. Changed planes. More whiskey. The Aussie and I looked at each other and afterwards we both said “if you had got off, so would we”. Luckily an almost perfect, if slow, flight. Our friend booked it, but we learnt from it!
That night we arrived in Dubrovnic and were so happy we didn’t get off the plane.
It beats the crap out of Greece. Hilly yes, but trees – trees all over the place and the views – brilliant. Tomorrow we walk the walls of the old fortified city – about an hour and a half, apparently. Each day, four to six huge cruise liners come into the port so that after 9:00 am it is very busy – crawling. We are staying at a tiny three storey unit, bang in the middle of the Placa (Old Town) – 17 Petilovrijenci Ulica, Dubrovnik, comfortably sleeps 4.
The whole city is surrounded by an enormous city wall – takes about 1 hr – 1 1/2 hrs to walk round the high battlements. Trouble is, that the view is so scenic you can’t help but just take shot after shot so it is a little slow, but beautiful.
Inside the walls there there are VERY steep streets (more like narrow alleyways) going down to the sea, with cross streets choc – a – bloc with restaurant and bars. Due to the huge demand, along the main drag, the restaurant staff can get somewhat frazzled as they tout for business among the continuous streams of people.
A three day pass gets you access to the city walls tour, all the museums and galleries etc in the Placa together with free bus travel outside. Not bad value. We have since found that the locals pay about half price for everything $9 beers for $4 and $1.50 in the cheaper supermarkets. Who cares?
Outside the former Yugoslavia most people think that the war in 1991 was a religious one. Out of ten major differences of opinion between the Serbians, Croatians, Montenegrins, Bosnians, Slovenians etc, religion actually ranked ninth! From the Croatians point of view, they paid 36 % of the taxes and only received 6% back. A bit like Western Australia. In one of the museums it shows where almost every shell and bomb hit the Placa. It must have been devastating. However, unlike Greece, the whole lot has been repaired and the city is immaculate.
LOKRUM After the City Walls hike, we caught the ferry for $20 to go the 650 metres to the island of Lokrum to see the Botanical Gardens. A must see. Not very imposing from Dubrovnic Old Town but have to do it.
It made a magnificent day out. From the sheer cliffs on one side,
to the inland salt water, natural swimming pools to the nudist beach, the peacocks and rabbits, various buildings – restored and under restoration, to the very well treed rugged beauty of the island – sooooo good.
We had a meal at the LK restaurant, very attentive staff, excellent meal, even the espresso coffee rated highly.
Then we noticed a monastery of interest. On entering we saw people taking photos of this chair thing.
It was actually the original Iron Throne from the Game of Thrones set. Apparently there were five Kingdoms in the story and one set was here, one in Jordan, and one in Northern Ireland. (When walking along the main drag in the Placa we had unknowingly ambled along the same plaza where the Walk of Atonement was filmed – “Shame, shame”).
Chris and self had only ever watched two episodes – now in season six – so have catching up to do.
Taking two of one day tours with driver from Dubrovnic so will add them seperately.