When our super liner (Celebrity Constellation) slowly and silently glided in at dawn to the centuries old port of Dubrovnik in Croatia it was the red roofed brick homes, contrasting with the green cliffs and the sparkling brilliant blue water of the bay, that we first noticed. Known as the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’ the bay was truly spectacular, with every type of water craft from sculls to luxury cruisers, adding to the excitement and splendour of our first glimpse of this amazing city.
The best was still to come on our visit to the old town of Dubrovnik. This ancient walled city was a visual feast with its cobbled streets, narrow alleyways, churches supporting ancient bell towers and a feast of historic architecture. We decided the best way to immerse ourselves in the culture and beauty of the city was to walk the old city wall. The cost is 10€ for an entry ticket. We climbed around 100 steep steps to the top of the thick old stone wall. As our heads popped above the wall the dazzling views brought bursts of ‘Wow!’ amidst gasping breaths from the strenuous climb.
The plazas and cobbled streets below gleamed in the morning sun as hundreds of tourists snapped their selfies. From this perfect vantage point we were a little awestruck at the rugged beauty of the Croatian coastline. The Adriatic, deep sapphire blue, clear and still and perfect for the groups of sea kayakers (http://www.adventuredubrovnik.com) plying their way to nearby islands.
The round stone fort of Dubrovnik perched high on the cliff has guarded the town for centuries. As we made our way further around the wall we took the opportunity to have a break from the heat of the day in one of the ‘cool’ all white cafes perched precociously outside the ancient wall right on the waterfront. The cafe had its own shimmering entry to the water but we would need to have a refreshing drink and explore a little further before succumbing to this divine temptation.
Walking back through the old town streets past the cafes filled with chattering international tourists we made our way to the cable car that transports you to the best vantage point high above the old city. Unfortunately the ticket lines were long and we were very hot and hungry so an air conditioned restaurant and a huge plate of fresh muscles seemed more attractive. After a delicious lunch we made our way five hundred metres past the cable car to Banje Beach. The water was superb, though this public beach was a little crowded during the siesta time. The Banje Beach Club and Lounge (http://ew-dubrovnik.com) next door was very popular with the uber chic set but we were not interested in the 30€ cover charge just for the short time we had to spend at the beach.
Dubrovnik has no gay bars or clubs although Jazz Cafe Troubadour next to the cathedral has a mixed crowd most evenings. This was a quick taste of the town but next time we visit Dubrovnik we will certainly be very keen to try out Lokrum Nudist Beach, popular with gay locals and tourists. Boats leave regularly from the old harbour to the island located directly across the water in front of the old city.
Our taste of Dubrovnik was wonderful but unfortunately short lived as we were on a day pass from our ship. Like all the guys in our group (Pied Piper – http://www.piedpipertravel.com/gaygroupcruises/) we fell in love with this charming European city. Whether it’s the climate, the lay back lifestyle, the food and wine or simply the stunning scenery and ridiculously cute men, Dubrovnik has become one of the most sought after destinations in Europe.
We made a vow to come back fitter next time so we are up to the strenuous climb, the challenging kayak expedition, the long wait for the cable car, the energetic sightseeing walk through the Old town centre, delicious drinks, a long lunch, divine dinner …………. Yes, we will definitely be back!