Dubrovnik, Croatia

(Bridget)

At the start of June, I went on a girls trip to Croatia with three friends for five days. This was my first European trip without Alex keeping me in check, so I was interested to see how things went.

This trip was a lot more chilled than any other trip that I have been on with Alex. Usually we love to rush about, trying to see everything, but for this one, I decided to just sit back and let the girls decide what they wanted to see and do, which ended up being not much some days. That was fine as I got a lot of reading done and soaked up some well overdue sunshine. What we did do while we were there was:

Eat a lot of delicious seafood

If I can sum my trip to Croatia up in one sentence it would be ‘we ate tonnes of amazing seafood’. Honestly, the seafood was the absolute highlight of my trip. As we were staying in Dubrovnik, prices were pretty steep, but since I live in London, they did not make my eyes water as much as they would have if I was travelling straight there from New Zealand. I don’t think we had a disappointing meal while we were there.

Day trip to Lokrum

Lokrum is a small island just off the shore of Dubrovnik. This is easily reachable by catching a large, old fashioned ferry which runs every half an hour or so. One thing you will notice when you visit the island is how many peacocks are roaming free, everywhere. Apparently, these have inhabited the island since the mid-19th century when it was inhabited by an Austrian Archduke. Much of the architecture and historical gardens on the island remain and it was interesting to walk through all of the history when exploring this island.

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Explore the Old Town

This is one of my favourite activities in any place we end up in Europe as it is something that we cannot do in New Zealand. It is endlessly fascinating to me how much history is packed into the places that we visit here. Dubrovnik is no exception. The part I liked the best about Dubrovnik was the main square, particularly because the stone that the road was made out of had been polished to a high gloss finish from the centuries of people walking the streets. This town is also obsessed with Game of Thrones. I think we were the only tourists that had visited since the show started who had not seen it. Every person we talked to asked us if we had seen all the sites from the show.

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Boat trip around the Elafiti Islands

There are plenty of boat trip operators in Dubrovnik, all doing a very pushy job at getting you to come on their particular boat tour. I do recommend finding one way or another to get out and see the Elafiti islands. On our tour, we visited Kolocep Island which had the famous Blue Caves. This was such a cool place to swim to and in. Sometimes, you will need to dive under a rock to get into the cave. Luckily, the day we went, you could just swim straight in. Inside the cave is pretty spectacular. Unfortunately, I didn’t take the GoPro on this trip, so do not have any photos of this. We also visited a deserted little bay called Tri Brata (three brothers). I only learned after the trip that it is called that because the three brothers are said to have killed themselves there. Really wish that was a piece of information that the Croatians kept to themselves, as it was an otherwise lovely place. The other island we visited was Lopud, particularly to Sunj Bay which is famous for being sandy. I have to say, it was nice, but doesn’t compare to anything we would get in New Zealand. We had lunch (and a few cocktails) at the beach bar and just relaxed in the sunshine. We didn’t take many pictures on this trip as we were busy swimming and enjoying ourselves, so you will have to take my word for how beautiful it was.

Swimming in the bays around Dubrovnik

One of my main criteria for the holiday was swimming in the ocean. I never knew how much I would miss the ocean before moving to the UK, so now, I am obsessed with making the most of it every time we go somewhere (warm) on the coast. Dubrovnik was a great place to explore outside of the Old Town as there was a multitude of little, hidden coves tucked in around the coastline. We spent a lot of time just wandering to see what we could find. We came across this cute little cove and couldn’t resist. To get there we had to duck down some very small alleyways and through a few gates, it wasn’t particularly obvious that there would be somewhere to swim there.

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Enjoy the beautiful views from our apartment

I am so pleased we picked to stay where we did, if for the views alone. We were staying at an AirBnB apartment high on the cliff to the side of the Old Town. This was great for the views, but you did have to climb 216 stairs to get back there. This was a blessing in disguise as we spent so much time eating the delicious food that we had a workout built in each time we wanted to go home. We did a lot of chilling on the balcony this holiday. How could you not with a view like this:

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Overall, I loved our trip to Croatia. I will definitely be heading back at some point in the future to explore more of the islands and the northern lakes. I would throughly recommend Dubrovnik to anyone travelling to this part of the world, it is stunning.

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