The concept of ‘balance’ shifts with each new place Joe and I call home. In Split, Croatia — where we’re living for six weeks in early 2018 — our work weeks are relatively quiet. Joe and I both work remotely with U.S.-based colleagues and clients. We’re six hours ahead now. So while mornings are for quiet starts and trips to Split’s greenmarket, we’re typically attached to our working station (our apartment’s dining area) through most evenings.
Most weekends, as a result, are for exploring. So we recently took a four-hour bus ride down the Dalmatian coast for a long weekend in Dubrovnik, Croatia. For Game of Thrones fans: Dubrovnik is the filming home of King’s Landing.
Walking from place to place took twice as long as it should have. We couldn’t resist taking photos every few steps. Luckily, the city takes just 10 minutes or so to cross.
Here are a few of my favorite photos and memories from the weekend.
A Winter Weekend in Dubrovnik
The city is full of winding, often hilly streets. Our Game of Thrones tour guide said the city of 40,000 sees 1.8 million tourists per year. Thankfully, we visited in the off season and so we had the streets largely to ourselves.
We kicked off our weekend by climbing up and up until we hit the back of the city wall. Joe spotted a small sign saying ‘Cold Drinks, This Way’ and soon enough we’d stumbled onto a small door in the city walls. Buza Bar lies on the other side; the bar is quite literally a ‘hole in the wall.’ Ugh, sorry I couldn’t help myself.
Buza Bar nestled on the cliffs outside Dubrovnik’s city walls and in front of the Adriatic Sea. It felt like we’d reached the end of the world! Here’s a shot I took looking down on Buza the next day from the wall. Lounging at Buza over a glass of wine through the late afternoon was a highlight of the weekend.
Food highlights included chocolate gelato — the Croatian coast faces ‘the back of Italy’s boot,’ as people like to say. So the cuisine includes Italian influences like pasta and gelato. Lucky us. Other highlights were trying Bosnian food over a long lunch and this ‘salt stick with cheese,’ which was essentially a baguette for one blanketed in cheese.
We looped Dubrovnik’s wall our first full day in the city. The view from the top is a sea of orange clay roofs.
The walk is about 1.5 miles from start to finish. You can peek over one side of the wall to see the old city. Looking over the other side brings you expansive views of the sea, and some nice views of the Fort Lovrijenac too.
You can also peek into courtyards and backyard of Dubrovnik homes. My favorite was this creative bridge connecting a home to an unclaimed yard area.
We capped off the weekend with a Game of Thrones walking tour. Here are the stairs from Cercei’s infamous walk of shame — our Hotel Pucic Palace was right at the bottom. And a corny photo of us playing with to-scale props: A Dothraki arakh and Arya’s Needle. I don’t understand how Kit Harrington can even lift Longclaw. So heavy.
Visiting Dubrovnik was just the restorative minication I was looking for, and one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever been to. We’re visiting the city of Zagreb next! No Game of Thrones sites to explore here, but Croatia’s capital sounds full of old-world charm of a different sort.