Epic European Cycle : 2015-10-07 : To Dubrovnik

Type Name Service Provider Origin Destination Cost Notes Actions
Bus Split to Dubrovnik Čazmatrans Split Dubrovnik $50.00
Type Name Service Provider Confirmation Location Cost Notes Actions
Pension Apartments Aura Booking.com Dubrovnik $217.00 Three nights
Silvija Strahimira Kranjcevica 3A Gruz
If you don't mind walking, it's in a great location in between Lapad Beach and the Old City and handy to the bus depot. Detailed directions to find the property were e-mailed ahead of time and very helpful. The staff were friendly and welcoming. The property has a beautiful sitting area in the courtyard.
There is a long list of very strict rules and dire consequences posted on the wall. These should be communicated on the Booking.com posting so people know what to expect. We found them very off-putting. Also, WiFi was very weak and unreliable.

Trip Log

Notes Actions
We split from Split and shuffled off to Dubrovnik today. It was a "take scenery pictures through the bus window" kind of day again, and I'm quite impressed with the quality of some of the pics I got through this bus window. It must have been brand new or something.
We went through two "passport control" stops today. Croatia isn't contiguous along its coast - we had to pop into Bosnia for a short time, and then pop back out into Croatia. Passport control consisted of the bus stopping and a border guard coming onto the bus to have a quick look at everyone's passport. Pretty simple, but Brent and I enjoyed some Schadenfreude at the expense of the guy who had left his passport in his luggage and had to get off the bus and dig it out. He was kind of a dick about it... thus the Schadenfreude. Brent and I speculated about how often someone might accidentally take a day trip to Dubrovnik and leave their passport back in their hotel. That would make for an "interesting" kind of day.
We checked into our accommodation and went walkabout, but I'm feeling barfy so we didn't go far, only down to Uvala Lapad (Lapad Beach), which is very resort-ey. We're both glad we went to have a look at it, but it's not a place we'd return to. Afterwards, I asked to come back to the room because I was still feeling barfy and just before we got back it started to rain. Yay for timing!
Mount Srð (pronounced like "surge") sits above Dubrovnik. From where Brent and I are staying, we have a pretty good view of it. It's dark right now and the only way we can tell it's there is from the red light on the top of the tower on the top of the mountain. That, and, we're having a thunderstorm right now and we're not seeing many bolts... just the sky lighting up, and back-lighting the mountain just like in a cartoon horror film. AWESOME!
From Brent: Croatia isn't contiguous down the coast, you have to pass through a small part of Bosnia to get to Dubrovnik so you pass through 2 border checks in short succession. At the first one the border guard came on and looked at everybody's passport but when he got to a couple near the back there was a bit of a commotion. After a bit the bus driver came back and waved the passengers off the bus. They had to get out and get their luggage from under the bus and fetch their passports before they were allowed back onboard. When they got back onboard the husband said (for public consumption), "That was such bullshit." Lesson number one for international travel - Don't leave your passport in your baggage under the bus.

Dubrovnik was once an important and influential city-state, run by folks with pretty good political savvy that allowed them to build a small trading empire while avoiding most wars among their trading partners. Their past wealth really shows. The Stari Grad is the most impressive walled city that I've seen on the trip. Massive tall and thick walls. The Serbian and Montenegran armies besieged the city in 1992 using modern weapons and couldn't get in.

We arrived on Croatian Independance Day, a national holiday plus there was a huge cruise ship in port. The Stari Grad was packed with tourists. The folks walking the top of the walls looked like the Conga-line we'd been warned of at Plitvice.

Rather than fight the crowds we took the cable tram to see Fort Imperial, a fort built by Nepolean in the early 1800's, high above the town. It has a commanding view of the whole area. This was also a hot-spot for fighting during the war in '92 and has since been turned into a war museum. The displays are mostly in Croatian with a little in English. It was interesting but I would have gotten more out of it if there had been a tour guide or someone to explain the details.

Next day we got to the Old Town early and took advantage of their Mueseums-package-deal to spend most of the day wandering museums and learning about the city's (older) history. The newer history is still fresh in people's minds and there are reminders of the '92/'93 war all over. Memorial plaques leave no doubt about the hard feelings and mistrust that are still not far below the surface. The break-up of Yugoslavia was a messy thing and it seems, from an outsider's view, that no one had completely clean hands. Although Serbs & Croats were fighting each other here and in N.E. Croatia it seems that they also had a side-deal to divide Bosnia-Herzigonia between them. It's a shame when people go mad and start following politicians on their quest for glory.

Still, Dubrivnik is a pleasant city. Also the most expensive place we've visited in Croatia with prices approaching what we'd pay at home. If you're in the area it is worth a stop-over.