DUBROVNIK, CROATIA

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Dubrovnik was by far the most beautiful place I have been on my European trip but the travelling to get there and back to Split for our flight home, was not my favourite. Despite that, this city has something for everyone and I loved every second (though, unfortunately, there weren’t many).

We caught a ferry from Split to Dubrovnik which left at 0730 and arrived at 1215 and this was a lot more pleasant than I expected. It was air conditioned and we had big comfy chairs so no one felt too close to anyone which is something I always struggle with on public transport. When we arrived at the port of Dubrovnik, we had a couple of hours to kill before we could check in at our air bnb so we went to a lovely little bar and grill near the port and I finally tried some Dalmatian style cuisine – even though I have absolutely no idea what it was. We drank some cocktails and then headed up to check in to a beautiful apartment which was just a short Uber from the city. I charged my phone for a while and then we headed to the bus station to catch a bus to another Game of Thrones location, Trsteno Arboretum aka the gardens of the red keep. This was one of my favourite parts of the whole trip as the gardens were pretty much empty and there were hardly any tourists. The area where Olenna and Sansa eat cake was supposed to be closed off to the public for safety reasons but I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to sit where one of my favourite characters had sat (Olenna of course). The gardens weren’t as big as I had expected but what they lacked in size, they made up for in beauty and nothing could compare to the view over the cliffs.

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This was pretty much the only thing we had time to do that day other than having a bite to eat and a little walk around the old city to get our bearings but it was amazing all the same.

The following day, I went to explore the city walls and had also booked a Game of Thrones tour for the afternoon. It was so hot in Dubrovnik that I thought I would melt and not make the tour, but the various mlojitos that I had throughout the day really helped. The view of the old city (or King’s Landing which I much prefer) was absolutely stunning from the walls, the red roofs were so recognisable and the atmosphere was so exciting. But the best part of the whole trip was the tour. I never expect much from tours, just general information, but our tour guide, Dora, was amazing and actually played one of the extras in Game of Thrones before being promoted to a stand in and her sister became the personal assistant of the series directors. This meant that she had loads of inside information and so the tour was ten times better than I expected. We visited the Red Keep, Blackwater Bay, the shame staircase and various other locations which were used during filming. Dora explained what was real in each of the scenes and what was CGI and this was actually so fascinating. I was smiling the whole time and went back to the apartment on a high.

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I decided to spend the rest of the night in the hot tub in our apartment, reading Game of Thrones and relaxing before the long day of travelling home ahead.

Dubrovnik, you couldn’t have been any more perfect.

Laura.

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