This is not a travel blog post. This is a game of thrones, a real life fantasty – from Dusk til Dawn in Dubrovnik.
Dubrovnik BY DUSK
Getting about in Dubrovnik is pretty easy, you can’t miss the shuttle bus sign at the airport which takes you straight into the old town or further on to the Port Gruz.
Descending from the airstation down the steep slopes, against the backdrop of barren hills, your eyes are drawn to the contrasting clusters of bright terracotta rooftops overlooking the pale and glass-like Adriatic.
I hopped off at the port and with less than a ten minute walk I’m on the doorstep guesthouse Nikolina. I was greeted with giggles and loveliness by Jele, who showed me to my room and quickly whacked the air con on. After putting down my obesely overweight backpack, I headed out for a sunset stroll.
I’d been to Dubrovnik before, about seven years ago, and walking back through those giant gates into the old town I was flooded with a thousand lovely memories.
The old fortress walls, streaming with tourists, are like a Mediterranean Tower of London and the cobbles are so worn with visitor stomps that they’re as smooth as marble – it’s a total health and safety hazard for flip-floppers.
I cautiously glided through the narrow streets, beneath the curtains of a never-ending dusk and followed the evening scents of aftershave and holiday sweat down to the marina.
As a lone wanderer I was warmed by the romance that was all around me. Couples young and old, families and groups of teenagers were out together enjoying the last hour of sunlight. Some were tucking into candlelit dinners to the sound of guitar-playing buskers and others were perched on benches overlooking the marina indulging in a big dollop of gelato
DUBROVNIK BY DAWN
The best way to see somewhere new is to watch it wake up.
The next morning I woke up at stupid o’clock and too excited for the day I headed out for a sunrise walk. As I turned left around the bay of Port Gruz, I stumbled across the Sentica walking trail which took me right around the peninsula.
There’s nothing more exciting than walking on ground you’ve never walked on before, it’s like a down-the-rabbit-hole adventure into the unknown. It can be a road to nowhere but if you’re lucky, you can trip up and land somewhere nothing short of magic.
This was one of those moments.
As the sun crept over the mountain tops lighting up the sky up shades of pink fantasia, I tottered past hundreds of mini boats peacefully bobbing up and down at the water’s edge.
Dozens of friendly stray kittens curled themselves around my legs letting out Croatian purrs as I tried to pass. Apart from the whiskered ones, the trail was all mine and I walked and ran along it for hours until my body let me know what time it was.
It was only just past 6am and the moon had only just faded. I headed back along the marina to where the fruit and veg market was setting up shop and groups of local old men huddled around small café tables talking animatedly.
It reminded me of the scenes I’d read about reading John Dummer’s Serge Bastarde Ate My Baguette.
I just love the European appreciation for taking time out in the morning to enjoy a coffee in social surrounds, not speeding down the tube escalators with a paper cup full of calories elbowing everybody en route.
I headed back to Guesthouse Nikolina were my first Croatian Hero Jele offered me up the tastiest homemade apfel and cherry strudel I have ever tasted.
I said doviđenja (goodbye) to Dubrovnik and was on my way…
Next stop: Mljet