A trip to King's Landing? For real?!!

Dubrovnik Travel Blog

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The brilliant Perast

So, this one is totally left field for me as well. I never imagined I'd be visiting this part of Eastern Europe. As much as I  want to say that Game of Thrones inspired me to, I'd say that was just one of several factors.

I won't claim to be the biggest history buff and my knowledge of Yugoslavia and its demise was next to zero. Well, it was actually zero. My earliest memory of Croatia was infact from Travbuddy - this amazing town by the sea, enclosed by a fort with red tiled roofs, the photo was taken during a sunny day and the whole town had a glow. The town's name was Dub...Dub....Dub<something>, I  forgot and I moved on. This was around 2006. 

So many years passed since then, and I'd even forgotten I wanted to visit Croatia! Until early 2016 when a mate of mine introduced me to the Game of Thrones.

Kotor Bay, Montenegro
I got hooked. It wasn't just the storylines but the spectrum of locations. Some seemed 'obvious' like Iceland and the UK. Some had that whole Spain-mediterranean feel but I knew it wasn't that. Hence began my internet search which took me back to... Dubrovnik. Yep, that Dub<something>. It brought back memories to my 2007 plans of wanting to visit, essentially put it back at the head of the list again.

So, the question was when to go? Ideally, I'd have wanted the shoulder season, but that would've meant putting it off for another year. I was going to India and Bhutan anyway, no point showing up 2 weeks before Christmas back home when most of my team is on vacay anyway... so I thought this would be an ideal time. I was aware of the caveats - that most touristy stuff would be closed (organised day trips, ferries to neighbouring villages, etc.

Kotor Bay, Montenegro
). I was also aware that it'll be cold as hell. But, at least sunny. The pros outweighed the cons and hence began the trip planning.

Now, where to go? I promptly ordered my Fodor's Croatia book (thanks for throwing in Montenegro as well). As I noticed, for a small country, because of the hilly terrain and all, towns seemed far away. So, essentially, I'd get the most by spending most time in the south, or Southern Dalmatia apparently. This meant I'd have to skip other towns like Split and the capital Zagreb, but there was a bonus jewel - Montenegro! And the capital town Kotor was about 2 hours away from Dubrovnik, by buses.

City walls of Dubrovnik
And, regularly scheduled buses as well. Brilliant! 

So with the two destinations planned out, it was really just sorting out the logistics, dates and ho(s)tels. That didn't take much time. My only problem was the hostels seemed fairly away from the "city centre" (Old Town) so in Dubrovnik so I booked an apartment for myself (something I've never done before). But for the most part, it seemed fairly reasonable. Unlike most of my trips, I kept this one fairly light for 2 reasons: this would be at the end of a fairly long vacation and I didn't want to be too exhausted running from pillar to post. Next, given that this was the winter season (and Christmas), I was prepared for the fact that many attractions and transport would be shut down for the period.

I'll be writing a detailed epilogue later but all I'll say is that it was a very enjoyable trip. I'd have to pick Montenegro over Dubrovnik simply because I got to do more. That's not to say there wasn't a lot to do in Dalmatia, but just that a lot of it was closed (or operating under restricted hours) this time of the year.

Like I do for most of my blogs, here's a "best of" series of photos taken from both Croatia and Montenegro.

Ils1976 says:
Like you I have come across it many times and I am sure that one day I am going to visit these countries, but I hope to see others sooner. Nice beginning of the blog btw! :D
Posted on: May 30, 2017
HORSCHECK says:
Outstanding photos of your adventures in Croatia and Montenegro. Well done.
Posted on: Mar 26, 2017
HelenP says:
Vikram, great to see you on the front page with this blog. I have been to both Dubrovnik and Kotor and thought that they were both really lovely. You have done them justice. Well done!
Helen P
Posted on: Jan 31, 2017
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The brilliant Perast
The brilliant Perast
Kotor Bay, Montenegro
Kotor Bay, Montenegro
Kotor Bay, Montenegro
Kotor Bay, Montenegro
City walls of Dubrovnik
City walls of Dubrovnik
The Kodak moment of the trip, and …
The Kodak moment of the trip, and…
Our Lady of the Rocks (Perast in B…
Our Lady of the Rocks (Perast in …
Kotor Bay, Montenegro
Kotor Bay, Montenegro
Outside the Dubrovnik walls
Outside the Dubrovnik walls
Fort Lovrijenac or St. Lawrence Fo…
Fort Lovrijenac or St. Lawrence F…
Stradun, Dubrovniks main street a…
Stradun, Dubrovnik's main street …
Dubrovnik
photo by: Vikram