Dubrovnik, Croatia; a Charming, Seaside City of Wonders
I had committed to this intercontinental journey only a week before departure and once I bought my ticket I knew there was no going back. I left Seattle at 3pm on Thursday, April 13. Fear had always told me that I could never do an international flight alone; there were plenty of excuses. But wonder, joy and excitement took over and I decided to let those emotions guide me. When I finally landed in Dubrovnik, Croatia after a 30 hour journey, I was so glad I chose to be brave.
It was after midnight, Saturday April 15. Matt greeted me on the vertical steps leading towards our hostel and we embraced. It had been over a month since we'd seen each other and he was now a solo European backpacker! Although he had so many unique experiences by himself, he was still the same curious nomad I remembered. I was exhausted but overjoyed. He showed me the way into Villa Ivan and I was overwhelmed with the beautiful surroundings. Little did I know that the morning sun would soon reveal even more unimaginable views.
Sleep came quickly and heavily. I woke up the next morning around 11 am and Matt surprised me with fresh hot coffee and delicious cookies on the balcony. I knew this trip was off to an amazing start already.
I cannot adequately describe just how gorgeous our balcony view was. The Adriatic sea consumed the edges of the vibrant, green city. The orange rooftops perfectly adorned the white weathered buildings and homes; the whole scene was picturesque. After a slow morning that turned into afternoon, we headed out into the city towards Old Town. Old Town is the main tourist attraction in Dubrovnik and rightfully so- the charming shops and buildings line the streets that lead visitors to ancient city walls, scenic alleyways to get lost in and a plethora of restaurants to wine and dine in.
We had lunch at a beautiful seaside cafe called Dubravka 1836 and had the best seat in the house (if you go ask to sit outside along the wall overlooking the ocean and walls, you will not be disappointed). Lunch was filling, affordable and delicious. The rest of the afternoon passed too quickly; think petting cute street cats, walking endless miles and stopping at every corner to take in a new view. A jet-lagged afternoon called for an americano up on the rooftop of Lady Pi Pi, a small cafe in Old Town, which offered yet another glorious view of rooftops, ancient walls and miles of ocean. We spent hours there and were soon kindly asked to leave as it was getting close to dinner time (and we were only having drinks)!
The gorgeous blue day turned to a colorful sunset which we caught at Buza Bar sitting upon a big rock formation. (If you'd like a table I highly recommend getting there well beforehand and securing a spot.) We drank Croatian beer and rested our legs as the sunset put on it's great magic show. That day was actually perfect and I smiled continuously knowing I had made the right decision to meet Matt in Europe. The next few days were spent exploring, eating and laughing. Sadly, on our second to last day Matt picked up a bug which kept him bedridden so we laid low and I worked on our balcony for awhile. If you're coming to this gorgeous place with any sort of budget, I couldn't recommend Villa Ivan more. Our hosts were accommodating, communicative and lovely... and truly the balcony view was priceless. Be sure to pack comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen and cash for all the delicious spots you'll want to stop at.
Dubrovnik is a city of small, unimaginable wonders. I felt so lucky to be graced by it's presence. I will definitely be returning to this incredible place!