Initial Thoughts: My first impression of Dubrovnik was of pure white. I was amazed by the never ending white stone – the buildings, the columns, the cobblestones, the churches, the clock towers, the city walls. All radiant white under the blinding sun. The beauty of the city shone brightly as the white surfaces contrasted perfectly against the terracotta orange roofs, the startlingly blue sky and the countless shades of teal in the Adriatic.
Best Moment: My clearest memories of Dubrovnik are the beautiful views I saw from above. My favourite day was spent exploring the city walls and gazing down at the ancient city below. The UNESCO World Heritage designated old city is fully enclosed by the 800 year old walls and it is possible to complete a circuit in about 2 hours (give or take a hundred photography stops!). Dubrovnik is best experienced early in the day to avoid both the crowds and the heat. My morning visit was a photographer’s heaven with nearly empty walls, crystal clear skies, sparkling water and gorgeous red roofed buildings.
Take Away: On one rainy day, I visited the both Maritime Museum to pore over Dubrovnik’s illustrious seafaring past and the Dubrovnik Museum to learn about the city’s gruesome past. After having explored the well-preserved city on foot, visiting the museums allowed me to better understand the complex history of Dubrovnik. Learning about the very recent siege of Dubrovnik which in 1991 caused the death of 114 people and damage to more than 50% of the historical walls, gave me some much needed perspective. I found myself thinking of Croatia as a highly developed, peaceful, European country but the legacy of the recent wars must be respected. I was inspired by Dubrovnik – first to photography its beauty, and then to admire the resiliency of its people.
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Now It’s Your Turn: Who am I kidding, I know you’ve already packed your bags for a trip to Dubrovnik, Croatia! Not only is it a gorgeous, historic city, it’s the main filming location of everyone’s favourite TV show – Game of Thrones. You can’t imagine how many times of yelled out “I’ve been there” during a scene and then pulled out a photo to prove it. I’m certain you’ll be adopting this same (not at all annoying) habit once you visit Croatia.
How will you know about the historic sights, the museum entrance fees and the yummy restaurants while in Dubrovnik? My honest recommendation is to buy the Lonely Planet Croatia. I never travel without a Lonely Planet and wholeheartedly encourage you to buy one before visiting a country for the first time.