This post is also available in: German
This, dear readers, is Dubrovnik, a small Croatian city, tucked into the hillside on the Adriatic Sea:
Well, you have probably heard of it. Dubrovnik isn’t just one of the most visited tourist destinations in the whole Mediterranean, fabled for its beauty and a UNESCO world heritage site, it has also been the filming location of one of the most popular shows on television: Game of Thrones. And if you haven’t heard of that one, you have probably been living under one giant rock these past few years. (Seriously, get to watching already).
As a big fan of the show, I have naturally been extremely excited to finally walk the streets of King’s Landing myself and maybe check out a few of the film sets. The crowds of the high season, which can usually be expected in a city this popular, as well as the ever present cruise ships, were nowhere in sight, which led to beautifully deserted streets, only inhabited by some locals, a few wandering travellers like myself and many many cats.
I was told, that the best view of the city is to be had from the city wall, which encircles the old town completely and can be fully explored on foot. On one cloudy afternoon, I decided to finally bite the bullet and splurge on the pretty expensive ticket (90 Kunas). This wouldn’t have been too bad, if it weren’t for a mistake made earlier that day. After giving in to our hunger within the city walls, which resulted in a tiny 10-Dollar sandwich and much frustration, both Brendan and I were not keen on spending any more money on this tourist-trap of a city.
I did gasp at the equally steep price when buying the city-wall tickets and gave the guy behind the counter the stink eye for the ripoff, but as soon as I caught the first glimpse of the city spreading out below me, I decided it was worth it. It was absolutely mind-blowingly beautiful. A jumble of houses with orange rooftops sparkled in the sun and in the distance, the deep blue Adriatic Sea shimmered invitingly. For a moment, I wished that I could just run down to the water and take a dip.
The old town of Dubrovnik is fairly small and a lap around the city on the walls usually only takes about an hour, at a snails pace that is. It took me two, but I did stop every few feet to take a picture and sometimes spent 10 minutes leaning on the wall while watching the city go about it’s day. Once in a while, whenever I’d spot a filmset, I’d elbow Brendan in the side: the city gate, where our favourite little shithead, King Joffrey, was hit in the face with feces (still one of my favourites), the pier,where Sansa stood with Shae, talking about the departing ships and wishing she could leave as well and the spot, where an unfortunate knight was thrown off the battlements during a tournament. Luckily (or unfortunately), there weren’t any angry peasants pelting us with excrements, only amazing views of a historic and beautiful city, a city that has seen it’s fair share of battles, sieges and even fires, just like it’s HBO doppelgänger.
Satisfied with our walk around the wall, Brendan and I decided to grab some snacks and plop ourselves down at the main square to do some people watching with the 70-200mm telephoto zoom lens (what a big word, I prefer to call it the “spy-lens”) and rest our feet. Although the touristy season was long over and the city was basically empty, we did manage to photograph some interesting locals. Papa-papa-paparazzi!
I won’t bother you with any more photos of the four-legged inhabitants (aka cats), but here are some humans for you to enjoy (well, that might have come out a bit wrong):
Alright, back to this incredible fortress city. Although Dubrovnik’s inhabitants were incredibly interesting characters, the sun was about to set and for us, this meant rushing around the best spots of the city, to try and capture it’s beauty and the architectural jewels in the absolute best light. And with the photos below, I’m going to end this Photo-Essay and hope you enjoyed!