The first night in Dubrovnik, we explored the Old Town, scoping out potential food joints and getting an idea of where places were situated. Happily, and unlike our first night in Split, we were not drenched by an impromptu rain storm. Early the next morning, we set out to tackle the City Walls before the cruise ship crowds tendered. The walk along the wall was great (and highly, highly recommended). There were some dicey moments there, when I was convinced that some members of the selfie crowd might fall off of the sides while posing. Alas, everyone was safe by the time we circled around.
We grabbed lunch at Bosnian restaurant Taj Mahal. As vegetarians, we definitely enjoyed the grilled vegetables that Bosnian cuisine had to offer (a nice break from the pasta and risotto heavy Dalmatian cuisine). The food was great, and the location was a little less crowded than restaurants on the main boulevard.
Afterward, we meandered over to the docks and bought our tickets to check out the nearby island of Lokrum. And I really mean nearby; less than 15 minutes by boat. Lokrum is touted as an “oasis outside of the city.” I like the outdoors, so why not? The botanical gardens weren’t particularly of note, but I don’t find too much joy in reading signs about plants. There were rabbits and peacocks roaming around (and the rabbits knew to hop over once they heard the sounds of food bags opening. They were conditioned well.) 🙂
Overall, I enjoyed Lokrum for a break away from the crowds, strolling in the shade among the water, greenery, and town views. Fort Royal offered fantastic views of the sea and the city from afar, although the fort itself was in disrepair. Luckily, I think they’re working on renovating it, but there was a lot of construction ruble strewn about. We found a small hidden, lonely path and it led us right down to the water. My travel buddy was able to take a dip in the Adriatic, while I relaxed on the rocky shore. Bonus: I didn’t see any nudists! Why is it never the attractive people?
Our first full day in Dubrovnik ended with us seeing a show during Dubrovnik’s International Late Summer Festival. The show was hosted at the Rector’s Palace by the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra. The venue was beautiful, with an open air roof. There were no photos allowed, but that directive didn’t stop the hoards of people from holding up large tablets and phones to take video – that took away from the charm a little. Still, the night was warm, the building was beautiful with its stone and column sculptures, and relaxing to Beethoven, Mozart, and Rossini made for a lovely evening.