Croatia Day 6: Dubrovnik

We are up at 9:00am for breakfast with the group. The weather is rainy/grey at 63 degrees and those planning on going on an optional kayak excursion in the morning found out that it was canceled due to weather. Nika re-arranges the morning as our group rolls out to explore the beach and souvenir area around our hotel until we board our bus at noon.

We make a quick drive into the city’s old town of Dubrovnik. It’s known for its distinctive Old Town, encircled with massive stone walls completed in the 16th century. Its well-preserved buildings range from baroque St. Blaise Church to Renaissance Sponza Palace and Gothic Rector’s Palace, now a history museum. Paved with limestone, the pedestrianized Stradun (or Placa) is lined with shops and restaurants.

We have two hours to explore before our tour starts so we go up and down the main street that is beyond packed with tourists all bustling through. The streets are a worn down, slick cobblestone that we carefully maneuver as we hike up the winding streets and stair steps. We stop for a quick bite to eat of sandwiches and pastries along with a quick souvenir hustle.

We meet the group outside Pile Gate, alongside our tour guide, Dubrovka, again for a four-hour walking tour of the entire area. Our first stop is Game of Thrones Blackwater Bay. We see scenes where Jaime Lannister sails to Dorn and when he returns from Dorn with the body of Cerci’s daughter, Marcella.

We then climb Fort Lovrijenac for the most incredible view of the water and fort. Dubrovka pulls out some GOT banners from her backpack and we are able to take some pictures with them.

We look across the other side if the fort to Gradac Park, where they filmed the Purple Wedding (where Joffery was married to Margarey, and in the end, killed).

After, we climb back down and re-enter the city through Pile Gate where we see scenes where Dhario and Danerys were filmed, along with scenes of when a brawl breaks out because of Joffery in the streets of Kings Landing.

Next, we see the outside of where they filmed Little Finger’s brothel and where the doenish prince and Tyrian walk along the street outside the brothel and speak.

We walk around the corner and find the Jesuit Staircase outside Saint Ignatius Church. The most iconic scene in season five “Walk of Shame”, in which Cersei Lannister forced to walk naked through the streets of King’s Landing begin at the top of the Jesuit Staircase. This beautiful and elegant Baroque stairs are located on the south side of Gundulic Square. The steps lead up to the Uz Jezuite Street, where are situated the Jesuit Church of St. Ignatius and two of Dubrovnik’s colleges, Collegium Ragusinum and Jesuit College.

We then are met with a surprise as she then leads us through a small hole/doorway in the side of the exterior wall. When you walk through the doorway, you’ll find yourself on the edge of a cliff staring into the Adriatic. There is the “Buza Bar” serving drinks and others down sitting on the cliff’s edges. Such a cool experience!

We crawl back inside and make our way to the top of the city’s walls. The Walls of Dubrovnik are a series of defensive stone walls surrounding the city walls. The walls run an uninterrupted course of approximately 1,940 meters (6,360 ft) in length, encircling most of the old city, and reach a maximum height of about 25 meters (82 ft). This was one of the best parts of the trip and it felt like we were in a movie scene, running atop a castle’s walls. The view from up here is absolutely unreal as well, as we can see across the entire city and water. This is also a full wide-screen shot of GOT’s Kings Landing.

Our last stop on the tour is the Minčeta Tower. The Minčeta Tower was used in GOT as the exterior of the House of the Undying in the town of Qarth. It is the place where Danerys Targaryn walks around trying to find the entrance into the House of the Undying looking for her stolen dragons in Season 2. In the end, this was a FANTASTIC tour and I highly recommend it to anyone visiting Dubrovnik.

The bus picks up the group and takes us back to the hotel for an hour to change and freshen up before heading back into the city for our farewell dinner.

We arrive to a cozy restaurant, Komarda, just outside the wall of the city where our group is lead to an enclosed glass room with a long wooden table running down the center.

Candelabras glow down the center and we can see a beautiful sunset view of the water.

We are each served a drink of choice and bread and olive oil. The best part however, was the wait staff dressed up in homemade Game of Thrones costumes. They walked silently around our table and stood quietly in the corner, and would make strange “Ooh Ooh” sounds (like a monkey) every now and then. On occasion, the white walker and solider would clash swords, it was quite the experience.

Dinner was the absolute best with an octopus salad, seafood platter, and vanilla bean ice cream for dessert. Definitely one of my most favorite meals on the trip!

A few left to go get some last-minute souvenirs while our group stayed and ordered two bottles of wine to stay and chat.

This was such a charming trip, with every city so enchanting and I thoroughly enjoyed visiting each one. If you are looking for a crazy awesome Game of Thrones tour or a relaxing mediterranean vacation away, I highly recommend visiting the country of Croatia. Thank you to our tour guide, Nika, and OSU reps, Natasha and Lindsey for making this such a streamlined experience and I look forward to visiting again someday!

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