Where does four weeks go??? From starting in the glorious Lake Bled, Slovenia, to driving through stunning cities and towns, to crossing the Croatian border and visiting the Garden of Eden (AKA Plitvice Lakes), to island hopping to a mini paradise called Korcula, all with my three favorite people in the world….. it has truly been the trip of a lifetime.
For the fifth and final week we topped it off by spending the entire week in Dubrovnik- “The Pearl of the Adriatic.” All of our other destinations have been a maximum stay of four nights so it was lovely to slow the pace down. To really put icing on the cake, my parents and sister and her family joined us for this final week. The four little cousins had a whale of a time together (as did the adults!)
Here was the view from our Airbnb balcony. Wow!
The week in Dubrovnik was glorious with tons to do. I will preface this by saying Dubrovnik is indeed a tourist trap and was extremely busy. It was also by far the most expensive of any Slovenian or Croatian place that we adventured through. To be fair, we have found that the further south we have come, the busier and more expensive it gets. So with Dubrovnik being the most southerly- I suppose these elements are not surprising.
We did a lot in the week so I will try to break it down by activity.
Walking the Walls of Dubrovnik.
We picked an overcast, cooler morning for this and went early as we knew the crowds would take over from 10am onwards. It took about an hour and a half and the views of Dubrovnik were 360 degrees, encompassing red terraced roofs and the sparkling Adriatic Sea from all directions.
Wandering Inside The Walls of Old Town Dunrovnik.
Each and everyday we took a stroll around this medieval town and found something new and intriguing. There are the East and Pile Gates guarding the city, the ever- thronged main street of Stradun lined with cafes, stores and restaurants. There’s the Jesuit Steps, St. Blasius Church, and multiple winding alleys and lanes with something new to discover on each corner.
Real Housewives of Orange County, eat your heart out!
And of course there were many days we participated in grabbing a coffee or an ice cream with the masses on the main drag of Stradun.
Fort Lovrijenac is Dubrovnik’s Gibraltar, sitting menacingly atop high cliffs overlooking the city protectively. As with most forts in Croatia, there were a lot of steps up and with a few breaks along the way (and some ice cream bribes) my two little troopers did fantastically! The views of Dubrovnik were breathtaking.
Upon exiting the fort, we meandered down into a snug bay- Pile Bay- with lazy fishing boats and lovely aquamarine water.
Just outside the city walls lies the tiny Banje Beach. From this beach, the Old City looks like a lego set laid upon the Adriatic Sea. I took my one and only dip of the vacation in the crystal clear waters. Yep- I’m a wimp when it comes to the sea. My sister said it was painful watching me get in! Baahaaahaaahaaa!
We ate out every night and found some nice little nooks and crannies. But the restaurant that we came back to over and over again was Dubravka restaurant. With a view of the city walls, good food and fairly reasonable prices (for Dubrovnik!), we ended coming back here three separate times.
The City By Night
Because my amazing folks were in town for this portion of the trip, we got two fantastic date nights during the week. The first was just the two of us and we thoroughly availed of the evening by taking in the city by night, and frequenting the secret, but not so secret, bar of Buza. Here we saw people jumping off the cliffs which planted seeds in Wyatt’s brain for a future activity. More on that later….
On the second night out, D and C joined us and we frequented Buza bar again, followed, of course, by the Irish Bar.
D showed me how all the insta models are posing against walls these days. Lol!
Two really lovely evenings!
Diving Off The Cliffs At Buza Bar
Wyatt and I met in Hawaii. He was actually living there at the time, and enjoyed cliff diving with buddies on a regular basis. So when he spotted people cliff diving at Buza bar- he knew how he wanted to spend our final afternoon. It was a lot of fun!
The island you see in the background of all my photos is Lokrum Island. We decided to spend a morning exploring. It’s well worth it as there is a lot to do. My parents took the trip over with us. The ferry takes about fifteen minutes to cross.
The island has a monastery, where subsequently a lot of Game of Thrones was filmed. You can check out my GOT Dubrovnik post here.
There is a fort in the middle of the island with a formidable climb up to it. Ro let a heartfelt groan out of her when she saw the steep incline. The views from the top made it all worth while!
There are also plenty of hidden rocks on every corner of the island to sunbathe on and jump off, as well as a mini ‘Dead Sea’.
But it was the wildlife of Lokrum Island that made my two kiddo’s day. There were peacocks everywhere. KJ called these the ‘peahawks’ (can you tell he is a Seahawks fan?) and referred to them as The Bad Guys as they could peck you.
There were also rabbits all over the island. These were affectionately called The Good Guys. Lots of bunny kisses obtained on this day!
All in all a very enjoyable morning.
Another fantastic extended family holiday in the books!
And so our five week adventure around Slovenia and Croatia draws to an end. I cannot put into words what an unbelievable trip it has been. When Wyatt and I are (hopefully) old and senile, I know we will look back at this time-out we took to spend as a family with our two littles, and light up at the memory of this phenomenal adventure. A massive Hvala Slovenia and Croatia!
It’s back to reality for Wyatt in Seattle, while the kiddos and I continue our Irish adventure for another few weeks.