Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Day 10 – Tue, April 16, 2019 – Dubrovnik, Croatia – Crystal Serenity – Monte Carlo to Venice

Just up the coast from Kotor is Dubrovnik, Croatia. Another one of the small countries that were created when Yugoslavia broke apart.

Dubrovnik is another large walled city, but in this case, it is famous because many parts of it and its surrounding area has been using to film Game of Thrones (GOT). Julie arranged for a guide to take us around to some of the filming sites, and then drop us off in the town so we could do some touring. There is a hill that separates the actual Dubrovnik town from the docks, so we could not actually see the town from where we were docked.

Initially we had a very difficult time finding our guide. In the other ports, the guide met us when we left the ship. In this case, we realized that we had to go outside the port and that is where he met us.

Once we found our guide, he took us about 15 miles northwest to Trsteno Arboretum. This is about a 60 acre area with many fascinating sites. Many of which clearly have been the backdrop for scenes in the show. We wandered around, looked at the great flora in the area and tried to picture the various scenes.

There were a LOT of cats running around

Next, we headed back toward the city and drove back across this great suspension bridge.

We then drove around the city to drive up to the top of the mountain right next to the city. There is a gondola that will take people up and down, but we took the road. The views and vistas were amazing. The guide talked a little about how the area had been bombed by the Serbians in 1991. There was also a siege of the city.

The gondola ascending
We then went further south to visit the Hotel Belvedere. The hotel is a derelict but its circular atrium and some clever CG turned into the location for the big fight scene between the Mountain and Prince Oberyn when they fought to the death in the Season 4 finale of Game of Thrones.

That was the end of the GOT spots for the guided tour, so we headed to the actual walled city. Our guide let us off and we stopped for a bite to eat at a small outdoor restaurant outside of the gates. The food was very good and we relaxed and chatted about what we'd seen that far and what was next.

A lot of people choose to walk the walls of the city, going all the way around. We had found a walking tour for more GOT scenes in the city and decided to try and follow that tour. We made it to a couple of sites and eventually got lost and gave up. Then we just wandered around. It's an extremely well preserved city and very beautiful.
Gate house

Notice the resemblance?

We then returned to the ship. Before dinner, we went to our favorite pre-dinner venue, the Avenue Saloon.

On our way to dinner, we saw an excellent sunset.

That night, we went to the Chinese food venue - Silk and shared a wide variety of dishes. Brenda and Alex thought that it was their favorite dinner (other than the Vintage room of course).

After dinner, we stopped by the Galaxy lounge to see John Joseph do another of his comedy acts. We've seen him many times and he is truly funny.

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