Travel to Dubrovnik

Thursday 13th June

My terrace view for my first two nights in Dubrovnik
My terrace view for my first two nights in Dubrovnik

Today I travel to Dubrovnik via Croatia’s capital Zagreb.  The flights are uneventful, bar the heart-stopping moment when male perfection sits next to me in transit at the Istanbul airport.  He came in the form of a giant blonde human that looks like he should have been in Troy (I’m sorry Adrian but he really was beautiful).  I think brief eye contact was made, then, pretending he looked just like any other human, I ‘coolly’ resume tapping away on my iPad: “asfnvas’kj vjsndf’asdjf kjasnl!!!!;kasdf ;lkcasn sfgkljasfjasmdnf;ljfg;naesk”.

Arriving in Zagreb, I rush to catch my connecting flight as time zone confusion makes me believe I’m an hour behind schedule. Turns out two American mums are in the same boat and once we have been de-flustered by airport staff we start some polite chit chat in the lounge.  One of the first things they say to me is “you should have SEEN who we were sitting next to on the plane”. I just laugh because I know in an instant.  Turns out it wasn’t just me and he is actually a god.  How refreshing!  And I LOVE that these two are so comfortable with their level of worship; they even got him to smile for a photo whilst extracting his life story. The guy is a Brit (thank god we never spoke because I may have dribbled a bit at his accent) and he has a contract playing rugby in Romania.  Currently enjoying a bit of travel in the off season.

Ok. Enough.

Ok I'm a creep. I totally took a photo of the photo.  But c'mon - who is born with this?!
Ok I’m a creep. I totally took a photo of the photo. But c’mon – who is born with this?!

On the plane I notice that virtually everyone has Lonely Planet or at least some kind of travel guide.  Me?  I don’t even know if Croatian is a language. But I don’t care. If anything I actually revel in this non-knowledge.  Inherently, I am a planner.  At work and at play.  I was always that girl that planned the road trips, holidays, new years … falling into an events management career was a no brainer.  But I don’t think this is the best way to approach travelling, not if you want to have genuine, fulfilling, in-the-moment experiences.  For me this trip is all about throwing myself in the deep end and swimming as best I can even if it means resorting to doggy-paddle and treading water.

Possibly the most picturesque landing I have ever had.  Into Dubrovnik.
Possibly the most picturesque landing I have ever had. Into Dubrovnik.

I guess I was thinking that Dubrovnik was going to be huge.  I am still blown away at Istanbul’s 17 million residents.  I am given a reality check on entry into Dubrovnik Airport which sports three luggage carousels and free copies of The Dubrovnik Times.  It has eight pages.  Just to top it off the girl I buy my bus ticket from tells me that there’s no real return timetable – just two hours prior to all international flights.  Love it.

The bus ride passes quickly thanks to stunning views of the Adriatic coast, speckled with what seems like hundreds of islands.  Before long, we are descending into the iconic terracotta roofs of Old Town.  I am staying in an apartment with a uni friend I haven’t seen since, four years ago.  The very helpful lady at the airport told me to jump on the number four bus and get off at the second stop.  I get off the first bus right outside Old Town.  Important things first, strapped with my luggage I walk about two steps and get some icecream.  It’s a pretty hot day and it’s melting just as fast as I can eat it.  Standing in the heat I am sweating by the time I get on bus two.  It’s not unfair to say people aren’t as …. courteous over here as they are down under.  I give up letting others go in front of me and squeeze onto the steps and stand in the aisle.  There’s no air con and I’m carrying 20kg on a 30 degree day in a bus that’s full to capacity.  However, I am so very aware that my intentional exercise count is at zero and I manage to kid myself that I am sweating off my Turkish kilos.  After a short walk and an enquiry at a hotel I arrive at the Dubrovnik Apartments Kovacec.  They are family run, primarily by papa bear who really has no urgency about him at all.  Arriving an obvious sweaty mess, he really takes his time showing me our room and giving me a general briefing.  I know Amanda is on a flight later than me so I take my time showering, settling in and doing some writing on the terrace.  She shows up at about 5pm looking even more glossy than I did having opted not to take the second bus and walk up the hill the whole way.  We spend a couple of hours catching up then head into Old Town to find dinner.  We don’t really want a sit down affair and end up getting a burger and fries.  It isn’t a patch on the burgers from back home but we are happy to sit and admire all the passing Croats gearing up for their first match of the football World Cup.

We head back to the apartments for an early first night.

and end up getting a burger and fries.  It isn’t a patch on the burgers from back home but we are happy to sit and admire all the passing Croats gearing up for their first match of the football World Cup.

We head back to the apartments for an early first night.

Navigating the narrow alleyways of Old Town, Dubrovnik
Navigating the narrow alleyways of Old Town, Dubrovnik
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