“We’ve had vicious kings, and we’ve had idiot kings…but I don’t know if we’ve ever been cursed with a vicious idiot for a king!”
―Tyrion Lannister, summarizing King Joffrey
King Joffrey might just be the most evil little man-boy on the planet, but he has got one thing right – he gets to live in a beautiful and unique city (King’s Landing) with a history no more interesting than the real-life city in which the show is filmed. If you’re a fan of the show Game of Thrones, you may know that most of the filming takes place in Dubrovnik, Croatia. This site was chosen after season one wrapped (they originally filmed in Malta) because of the city’s perfectly maintained medieval appearance. It is purely coincidental (and perfectly fitting) that the city of Dubrovnik happens to have a past that is as violent and completely peppered with dastardly deeds as King’s Landing itself.
Midway through our cruise on Celebrity Cruises ship, the Silhouette, I was bursting at the seams with excitement. The port of call I was most eager to see had finally arrived! The previous ports had been no less fantastic, Rome (here and here), Florence (here), Corfu (here) and Kotor (here) – but this was the icing on the cake for me. I’m a fan of the HBO hit series, but more importantly I’m a fan of history. I’m also a fan of 6’2″ blond models and this city seems to export them in droves.
The city of Dubrovnik is pleased to be recognized as one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Adriatic Sea and they are certainly proud to have their Old City listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s no surprise that the city is so popular; it is truly something to behold.
It is commonplace for me to weave travel tips into many of my posts; if any of the things that we have learned are helpful to anyone, than I am pleased to have been of service. Please allow me to draw out one specific point that I’m sad to have recently learned:
Do not take a Mediterranean cruise during rainy season – the precipiation will certianly affect your time in the port cities and cause your ship to sway and rock like a ’68 Camero at “make out point”
First, it drizzled when we were in Florence. Then, it sprinkled as we visited Corfu. Next, it rained while we were in Kotor. Finally, it poured when we reached Dubrovnik. Luckily for us, for all the time it rained – we were blessed with just as much sunshine. The rain would pass by quickly, but not before wetting our socks and changing our plans at each port. You see, there are dozens of interesting activities that you can enjoy in Dubrovnik (just like the previous cities). However, when you spend a couple hours hiding out in an Irish pub before finally soldiering through the rain and puddles, you will miss out on the opportunity to participate in organized activities. Indoor museums and churches become more appealing than boat rides and walking tours. I have to say, I am usually a much bigger fan of the latter, but when you are fighting to stay dry – sitting quietly in a 600 year old church somehow seems much more exciting than normal.
Eventually, the torrential downpour did cease and a beautiful sky appeared over the ancient city. We spent the rest of our day walking around and taking in the sites. The city did not disappoint, but I have to leave it on my travel bucket list as “a place I would like to see again”. I can’t say that we fully took advantage of all that Dubrovnik has to offer. There is the Ancient City Walls Walking Tour (you get to see the city from a unique perspective, from atop the walls that enclose the city). Of course, there is the ‘Game of Thrones’ Walking Tour (self explanatory) and then there is the Cable Car Ride to Mount Srd (to witness the best views of the city). I discovered that renting a boat and touring some of the nearby islands is very reasonably priced – but only fun to do when the sun is shining (I was particularly bummed about this, I love putting a boat in the water).
If you do visit Dubrovnik, please click on this link to get some ideas of things to do. And may I suggest checking the weather forecast before booking!