Well it was take two for an early morning start as we had to be up at 4am to catch a 5-15am bus to Dubrovnik. Rob had got ahead of himself and thought we were going a day early so at least we had a trial run at getting up at 4am two days in a row!!! Thanks baby!!! I am a team player!! We had decided originally not to stay in Dubrovnik as it seemed like a long drive so we were going to go by boat from Split. After reading some reviews we decided against the long boat trip which could be rough. Rob found us a coach that took about four and a half hours.
Our coach ride was an amazing journey that we really thoroughly loved. It was an early start but it was so picturesque as it went along the windy scenic Dalmatian Coast with its crystal, turquoise, rocky coastline. We realised we had made a great decision. We were so glad Rob didn’t have drive along these narrow clifftop roads.
We were kept entertained the whole journey as this was a coach that serviced more locals than tourists. I think we were the only English speaking travellers on board. It made frequent stops along the quaint coastal trail to drop off crates loaded with fresh berries. Locals waited patiently for the arrival of their online shopping purchases that were being couriered to them on board our bus. One guy was all smiles when out from the luggage apartment under our bus came his new car bumper bar. The bus driver seemed to know everyone and greeted them with happy banter. We had a duo team of careful drivers who travel from Ljubljana in Slovenia to Dubrovnik then they had an eight hour rest and then they did the return journey!!!! This is a big trip, around thirteen hours each way!!! Luckily they were great drivers as we travelled with them both ways. Both ways we arrived about half an hour late which is exactly what you want. A nice smooth ride, no wheels hanging off the edge of the cliff. We had read some really bad reviews of some passengers’ nightmare rides with some coach companies along these windy narrow roads.
On our bus journey we had to cross the border into Bosnia where we stopped for a full bus passport check. This is the second time in seven months that we have had to show our passports so we were happy to get a stamp in our books. Bosnia has a tiny piece of coastline which is just stunning. Our bus stopped in Bosnia so we could admire this amazing tiny coastal strip. This area is called Hercegovacko-Neretvanski.
We arrived at 10am at the Port of Dubrovnik amongst the huge cruise ships that lined the shore. Then we had to take a local bus to the old town. The main reason we came to Dubrovnik was to walk along the 16th century stone walls.
Once inside the old town we were faced with high summer crowds so we immediately brought tickets for the wall walk which cost us 22 euro (almost $40 Australian). A little pricey as we had just walked along the fortified wall of Rothenburg in Germany which didn’t cost a cent and to make it even better we had the wall pretty much to ourselves. No such luck here in Dubrovnik we were pushed along by the wave of moving fast paced pedestrian and the risk takers looking for the best photo break. The view was movie like from a forgotten era locked in a time warp. The midday heat rising off the terracotta roofs making the turquoise waters look extremely inviting.
The beach was exactly where we headed when we got off the wall. A ten minute walk once outside the walls, we found the pretty coastal beach along with everyone else. Half the tiny stoned beach cove was sectioned off for chairs which you had to pay for, so we opted for the free side and tiptoed over peoples’ heads, fingers and toes as they relaxed dreamily in sunshine. We found a spare rock to put our things on …. only to find out it was really the locals pathway down to the water. I went for a refreshing swim whilst Rob manned the passport and wallets. This is the painful side of travel, what to do with important stuff when you just want a swim!!!! I would never think of swimming at home in Australia at a crowded beach, I really couldn’t think of anything worse, but that is just what you have to do over here!!!! Oh and even though the water is amazing to swim in but you do feel like a sinking elephant trying to to get out of the water as the rocks sink from under you – so unbecoming. Entry and exiting the shallow turquoise waters is so so awkward – you feel like everyone is just laughing at you. Maybe they were!!!
Back inside the walls we hit the labyrinth of maze like twisting and turning laneways filled with copious amounts of restaurants, cafes and very average shops. One of our favourite finds here was a cat that had his own private space (smart cat!!!) and another mother cat and her kittens living on an alleyway roof walkway. We also found the rock sea front cafe with great views, oh and pricey drinks!!! Bring your money with you as everyone wants your money. Interesting how deep your pockets need to be as soon as you arrive in the old town there are so many hard selling tours to get you off shore before you have even had a chance to explore the old town.
Our favourite find was a delicious Indian Restaurant called ‘Incredible Indian’, down a shady alleyway which severed amazingly hot and spicy indian. We were going to do the gondola ride to the top of the mountain, but instead we retreated here in the cool quiet shady alleyway restaurant and watched England play a match in the World Cup with a bottle of wine as we couldn’t bare diving back into the maze of tourist groups.
The sunset on the way home was glorious!! We arrived back in Split at 11pm. Now that was a big day which included ten hours on a bus!!!
Was it worth all that trouble??? Well if we hadn’t have gone we would have always been left wondering !!!! So, yes.