18.09.2014 - 19.09.2014
Jeremy and I took advantage of the on board breakfast to help us wake up, and upon arrival we transferred the boys into the van whilst they slept. They woke up to a pretty awesome view of Croatian waters and we were all buzzing with excitement to be here. The bathrooms on the ferry were as awful as the rooms so we pulled in to a gorgeous coastal layby with a stone jetty to give the boys breakie and to freshen up in the van.
Our 6am ferry arrival had guaranteed us an early start (a rare thing in this family!) so we thought that we may reach Dubrovnik by lunchtime. As always, we massively underestimated our journey time, largely due to the numerous stops where we pulled off the road to absorb the unparalleled beauty. The coastline reminded me a lot of New Zealand, particularly of the Bay of Islands where I am from, but it was even more dramatic. The road (we took the coastal road 8) was literally RIGHT on the face of cliffs with their silhouettes being reflected in the expanding ocean below.
We stopped at a layby with incredible views of crop fields below, and after having local honey and jams spooned into his mouth by an adoring local, Jeremy could not resist a purchase so we left laden with condiments and fresh fruit which was an expensive but memorable stop!
We arrived in Dubrovnik by late afternoon and were all in awe of the massive ships in the port. We followed campsite signs to campsite "Solitudo" and pretty much as soon as we were parked up we ran down to get a glimpse of the water at the local beach, just in time for sunset.
The campsite was about a 20 minute bus ride from Dubrovnik old town and were relieved to not be driving ourselves as our limited driving experience here had indicated that road rules were not particularly well adhered to (or that we were following the wrong ones!). We spent a full day exploring the old city and walking around the impressive city wall which gave spectacular views of the old town within, the "new" town outside, and the incredible oceanscape beyond.
When we purchased our tickets for the wall walk the ticket seller was so excited to meet Kiwi's as he was a huge fan of LOTR and was unimpressed by Game of Thrones, filmed in Dubrovnik, by comparison! For reasons of safety no buggys were allowed on the wall but Mylo was an absolute champion and walked almost the entire circumference, including up some very steep stairs of a tower, all by himself. We forgot to pack the carrier so Jeremy carried Felix the whole way which made for a hot journey for both of them as it was a sweltering day and the open walls afforded no shade from the sun.
We stopped for some cold ones at a perfectly placed bar and enjoyed which may prove to be the most scenic drink stop of a lifetime
After exiting the wall we welcomed our buggy back to the family and wandered around the old town at street level and couldn't resist a coffee and baklava from the wonderful restaurant where we had left our buggy.
Although we had enjoyed a few bevvies on this day, a cocktail window just could't be passed by and I was rather excited to get two takeaway Mojitos ;-)
Just as we were about to exit the old city we saw a man with several gorgeous, colourful parrots. He was an absolute sweetie and let all of us touch and hold them - at one point I think I had 4 on me at once! Felix's reaction was priceless!
The guards at the city walls were very friendly, much more so than those in London, and were happy to high-five Mylo which he was pretty chuffed with and made sure Felix got his turn too :-)