discovering dubrovnik

discovering dubrovnik

dubrovnik has definitely been discovered, but it’s a pretty amazing
discovery that is worth making on your own. if you have the travel bug
you’ve definitely seen pictures + heard of this old roman city with ancient
walls towering over the adriatic sea, but you have to go there to believe it!

IMG_5515thoughts on dubrovnik:
// it’s truly unique – and a feast for the eyes
// i loved the contrast of the steep stone walls towering over the salty sea
// the charming old town with orange roofs filling it in is so distinctive – it will take your breath away
// there is fresh, amazing seafood at every turn
// the city is smaller than expected, and the summer crowds are much BIGGER than expected
// there are one too many game of thrones tours and attractions being offered for my taste ;)
// the winding stone staircases through the city were my favorite part
// confusing little paths through old town make you fall in love with the place faster
// not nearly enough hotels for the amount of visitors
// sassy, yet charming locals
// yachts and sailboats as far as the eye can see
// complete enjoyment of life hanging in the air
// influence from so many cultures can be felt here

as you can probably sense, we experienced the pros and cons of this tiny coastal town
in croatia … but overall, we thought it was well worth visiting. here are some glimpses:
IMG_5522one of my favorite photos of him, at a hidden little spot
we happened upon where all the locals cliff dive!
Dubrovniki wasn’t kidding about the hotel comment above … there are only a select few
hotels in dubrovnik (especially in old town), making it tough to visit in the
summer months when it is practically overrun! there are resort hotels in the
newer parts of the city, but if you want to stay in old town and experience
the true charm then you have limited options. we booked our accommodation
last minute since this part of the trip was unplanned, and we ended up in a
tiny airBNB room right in old town in the home of this sweet croatian lady above.
IMG_5273it was definitely a fun location and a good experience, but as some airBNB’s
can be, it was a little bit too authentic ;) the first night as we were about to go to
sleep i saw a cockroach scuttle across the floor and under our bed, and that was
it for me. between that and the heat, i hardly slept! i would have been fine,
but for some reason that wigged me out and i was just awake wondering when
would make its way across my face- ha! meanwhile chase slept like a baby, of course.
it made for a funny memory, and those things are just all part of the experience.

IMG_5518the old town is absolutely magical. a lot of european old towns
can feel similar (and i love them all), but this is far and away in a
league of its own. i’ve never seen anything like the way this town
was built. we had fun wandering through every twist and turn here.
Dubrovnik6^^ you never know where a pathway (or stairway) may lead!
dubrovnik is like one giant built-in stairmaster… i am still sore.
we rented a jet-ski for a few hours and took it around the
city walls. it was a cool way to see the city + walls from the
water on our own agenda, and not from a big boat. the only
downside is how choppy it was! more jetskiing pictures to come!

IMG_5520dubrovnik looks good on this guy ^^
IMG_5281Dubrovnik17IMG_5308 Dubrovnik9after all the steps, sun, and jet skiing, we were famished. we beelined it straight to
an early evening dinner at dalmatino, one of the best in dubrovnik (rick steves agrees!)
it’s in a tiny alleyway in old town, and we were so happy when we found it.
IMG_5315we liked this restaurant because it had all the best flavors of the region:
mediterranean, adriatic, istrian, etc. i started things off with a
mediterranean dish, choosing the freshest greek salad that
could not have tasted better after a hot and salty day in the sun.
IMG_5316next came some istrian coast flair: truffle “pasta dalmatino,”
homemade pasta with truffles and porcini mushrooms. 
the northern croatian coastal area of istria is where a big
percentage of truffles come from, so you will find a lot of truffle
dishes sprinkled throughout croatia. although i can appreciate
a good truffle flavor, most of the time i think it can be too strong. a lot of
restaurants overdo it and use truffle oil, which kills a dish immediately.
this place went light on the quality truffles and added in cream, mushrooms,
and tomato to create a perfectly balanced flavor that i could not get enough
of up until the very last drop. it was my favorite – and i can still taste it!Dubrovnik1chase got some exciting job news during this dinner, so we celebrated
with king crab for him – his favorite. how amazing is this dish? ::
IMG_5331IMG_5354IMG_5338we also celebrated with this dessert ^^ because what is a better celebration than
chocolate soufflé? i promise i am posting in the next week about where we are landing!
Dubrovnik3 IMG_5349we walked off our meal through the sun-flooded alleyways + endless stairs.
IMG_5508^^ past this sweet handmade lace stand 
IMG_5365and up for some last looks at the views ^^
Dubrovnik4the city wall at sunset. i highly recommend not missing it ^^
Dubrovnik11 IMG_5369IMG_5364IMG_5373i couldn’t believe my eyes as we strolled the night away ^^^
IMG_5552IMG_5584IMG_5555 IMG_5554we listened to some live music and soaked up the moment..
it (very cheesily) reminded me of that we danced anyway
song that says: “the summer air was heavy & sweet,
you and i on a crowded street – there was music everywhere..
i can see us there. in that happy little foreign town, where
the stars hung upside down. a half a world away..far, far away.
i remember, you were laughing, we were so in love… and the
band played, songs that we had never heard but we danced anyway.”
..i know – cheesy, but also so fitting. give it a listen. it’s the cutest
and it will forever remind me of this summer with my husband.

IMG_5559still in our swimsuits, we tried to get a cool picture in the
square at night but they ended up a little blurry. chase set
the camera on a garbage can with self-timer and it was so
embarrassing but also so funny .. i couldn’t stop laughing.

IMG_5561 IMG_5564^^ blurry or not, i’ll take it. i plan to remember this night forever.
IMG_5580 IMG_5583goodnight, dubrovnik.
IMG_5701croatia – and dubrovnik especially – is having a moment, and it’s
not one that will end soon. i am so glad to see this area of the
world opened up even more to visitors from all over, and with
time it will get even more manageable and visitable.