Visit: 15th – 17th July 2013
By Tom & Ross
Having originally planned to travel throughout Montenegro and Croatia by bus, we ended up taking all three of our intercity journeys by taxi. Whoever sets the bus fares in Montenegro is either in the pay of the taxi companies or assumes that everybody travels alone. For us as a group of three, the taxi fare was always less than the cost of three bus tickets.
The road from Kotor to Dubrovnik first winds around the entire perimeter of the beautiful Bay of Kotor, which is attractive to look at but doesn’t go well with a hangover. After about an hour we arrived at the border – which, contrary to some of the comments I’ve read online, was no problem to get through.
At Dubrovnik, having annoyed the landlord of the apartment we were renting by not informing him when we were going to arrive and not answering the phone when he called 6 times (!), we stayed in the Old Town, within the city walls. This is certainly advisable. The architecture is similar to Kotor, with tiny medieval cobbled streets, orange roofed grey buildings and a picturesque harbour. The old town is full of restaurants, bars and souvenir shops (pricey). Looking at it all, it is incredible to think that only two decades ago it was being shelled by Serbian forces.
We dropped off our bags and had a walk around before dining. Unfortunately the restaurant we ate at was both more expensive and of lower quality than what we’d been enjoying in the country of the Black Mountain.
After dinner we started the evening’s festivities with some vodkas in the flat before going out for some delicious local wine and beer. As we were sitting in the street drinking we noticed that by far the most common accent we kept hearing was Australian – not something we had been expecting. There were literally hundreds of Australians, and we happened to be sitting by the epicentre of “the Oz scene” in Dubrovnik. It turned out there were several Aussie cruise boats in town – apparently they love going to Croatia for their summer holidays. Well, if you can’t beat them, join them, they say, so we went for a few drinks in the Aussie bar. They don’t waste time on glasses, naturally!
We ended up going to where everybody was going, which was a local club called Revelin. We certainly did revel in the Croat nightlife, which is much like anywhere else in Europe except possibly that they stay out later.
The following day was our last, and it was assigned solely to enjoying the cultural side of Dubrovnik. Ross and I went to the beach for a swim before meeting up with Chig for an early evening walk on the ancient walls. This is a must for any visitor to the city, though not if you have trouble with stairs as it’s practically made of them.
The image of sunset on the red roofs is one of the enduring memories I think most people take away from cities like this, and I believe we were no exception.
Our trip in context (WHSs in yellow):