After seeing what I thought would be the most breathtaking views of the entire trip at Plitvice, we hopped on a a plane from Zagreb to Dubrovnik. Luckily air travel in Croatia is extremely cheap; Croatia is a small country, but it is very long and Dubrovnik is at the bottom. It had been rainy and foggy during our brief time in Zagreb and Plitvice, so when I saw the sun as we flew into Dubrovnik I was instantly excited.
We took the bus from the Dubrovnik airport to our airBnB. The road into town winds around some cliffs right above the Adriatic, so we had excellent views that only fueled our excitement. It was something out of a dream: the green hills above the sea were dotted with those quaint Mediterranean white stone houses and red roofs. Everyone had little gardens and laundry hanging out of their windows. We could already see quite a few islands looking out at the sea. It was the literal picture that sprang to mind when I told people why we were going to Croatia – I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a kayak paddle.
Unfortunately, as often happens when traveling, we had a bit of trouble finding our way to the apartment. We had printed directions to everything, but got off on an appealing (and wrong) bus stop that rendered our directions useless. With the help of a local we made it to the main bus station, where we found out that the tickets we had just purchased for the next few days were only good in town and not to get us to our place which lay just outside. We purchased the correct ticket and made it to the right stop – only to be lost again. We couldn’t find the correct address. We walked down quite a few stairs, and Joe walked down a big hill in search of the place. We never quite found it, but luckily as we were giving up our host found us and showed us the way.
The apartment, though unfortunately out of main town Dubrovnik, was amazing. The deck and view were the best I had ever had in any place I’ve stayed. We also had a hot tub to use and walking access to the beach. Though we admired these things quickly, forefront on our minds was food. Joe found a pizza place within walking distance and we ate it quickly on our beautiful deck.
After cleaning up a bit, we decided to try out the bus again to get into town. Two bus lines run to our stop, and we got on the wrong one. However, with a bit of extra walking, we made it to our destination: Srd Hill. Though you can hike up the hill, we wanted the experience of taking the cable car, first built in 1969 and remodeled after the siege of Dubrovnik in the Croatian war for independence from Yugoslavia. We were rewarded with some amazing views as we were whisked up the mountain:
You can see the islands, the old town (surrounded by the walls), and the surrounding hillsides. At the top there is a gift shop and some views of an Imperial Fortress (built in the 19th century for the height advantage). There is also a large restaurant on the top of the mountain – indoor and outdoor seating is available. This was the best price/view ratio I’ll probably ever experience. We had an outside table right on the edge, and the waiters even gave us a heat lamp and blankets as we enjoyed the sunset.
We stayed up here for a while – ordering coffee once our food was gone and enjoying the beautiful sunset.
If you visit Dubrovnik, I would highly recommend getting (by cable car or hiking) to the top of Srd Hill. The views are incredible and cannot be found anywhere else. The cost is low compared to anything you would pay in other European countries, and the restaurant is extremely well-priced!