Dubrovnik – The Bittersweet Memories

Dubrovnik 1

Image Source: The Vibe 101

I have bittersweet memories of Dubrovnik. I travelled there to catch up with an old flame. But in the back of my head, I knew the relationship was heading straight towards the deep dark void of romance abyss – that is, splitsville. All good things must come to an end, but memories last forever, hence why Dubrovnik will always hold a special place in my heart.

Image Source: The Vibe 101

Image Source: The Vibe 101

Oh the crazy things we do for love! I visited Dubrovnik just a week after my 30th birthday. The trek from Melbourne to Dubrovnik was an adventure in itself. The journey involved close to an 8hr flight from Melbourne to Singapore. The second flight from Singapore to Frankfurt was just under 13hrs and the final leg between Frankfurt to Dubrovnik was a further 2hr plane ride. That part wasn’t bad. It was the 8hr stopovers at both Singapore and Frankfurt that was draining.

Image Source: The Vibe 101

Image Source: The Vibe 101

Actually, Changi airport was fun. The free internet, cinema centre and entertainment areas featuring widescreen TV monitors that were strategically positioned near a smorgasbord of shops and café’s, was enough to keep me occupied. It was Frankfurt that was the bane of my existence. There was nothing to do as I roamed around in limbo trying desperately to pass time, while the cigarette smoke wafting through the air was strong enough to gag on. What was worse, I was dragging around luggage while wearing knee high boots with three inch heels. Don’t judge me – I looked hot despite my pain. Besides, I just entered my ‘flirty thirty’ phase of life and I was footloose and fancy free!

Image Source: The Vibe 101

Image Source: The Vibe 101

Situated along the Adriatic Sea, south of Croatia, Dubrovnik is a UNESCO listed city and a gem of the Dalmatia region. During the drive towards our hotel, the taxi driver kindly stopped at a popular observation deck overlooking the scenic view of the coastline (it was a sneaky, but effective move to bump up my fare but it was worth it!). It was my first taste of the Old Town of Dubrovnik which was accentuated by a sea of terracotta coloured rooftops.

Image Source: The Vibe 101

Image Source: The Vibe 101

The Old Town is the heart and soul of Dubrovnik. As you enter the gates of the walled city, you take a step back in time into a golden era reminiscent of a period where fair ladies and knights in shining armour still roamed. The city is characterised by traditional architecture inspired by Gothic, Romanesque or Baroque designs (I’m not an arts connoisseur, but I’m assuming the buildings are of that vintage). As you stroll along the Placa or Stradun (which is the main city walkway), you’ll notice the promenade is flanked on either side by a myriad of cobblestone streets and narrow alleyways.

Image Source: The Vibe 101

Image Source: The Vibe 101

Our accommodation was just a leisurely walk outside the city. Each evening, S and I headed towards the historical site for a bite to eat. Even at night the city keeps a vibrant atmosphere as the residents open up their quaint al fresco cafés and restaurants to tourists. During summer, candlelit dinners with the stars above are the perfect way to soak in the laid back ambiance.  Being of Bosnian background, S spoke the language and recommended local cuisines including bureks (a pastry dish) and cevapčići (minced meat, similar to a kebab) which is worth trying.

Image Source: The Vibe 101

Image Source: The Vibe 101

I had the chance to explore the Old Town, walking the length of the outer perimeter of the city. Meandering along the surrounding walls is the best opportunity to get a bird’s eye perspective of the lofty bell tower which dominates the main square or watch the sail boats and even the odd cruise liner that are docked in the port. From this vantage point, you’ll be amazed by the town’s timeless, classic appeal. However, based on the information plaque at the main entrance, much of the city was heavily damaged during the Balkans war. Following the end of the war, the town has managed to restore many of the buildings to their original structure.

Image Source: The Vibe 101

Image Source: The Vibe 101

As you immerse yourself in the maze of cobblestone streets and corridors of lane ways, you’ll discover prominent landmarks including the Dominican Monastery and church with its large dome; the Great Onofrio Fountain built in 1348 and the Franciscan monastery. Other highlights include the St Blaise Church for its traditional architecture; the Rector’s (Sponza) Palace and its beautiful archways, and the Gunduliceva Poljana which is the site of the busy morning market.

Image Source: The Vibe 101

Image Source: The Vibe 101

Dubrovnik has an enchanting fairytale charm. Sadly, S was not my Prince Charming. However, I didn’t want this doomed relationship to overshadow my time in this romantic city. Yet, as each day passed, I knew the inevitable was looming. The relationship was coming to its finale and I was trying desperately to hold onto ‘something’ that clearly wasn’t worth clinging to.

Image Source: The Vibe 101

Image Source: The Vibe 101

As women, we all know some boys are toxic. There’s a breed of men out there that are like cigarettes. You know you should stay away from them but temptation gets the better of you, until it finally hits you that they’re clearly a bad habit! Ok, this hook up wasn’t all good, but it wasn’t all bad either, it just was never meant to be.

Image Source: The Vibe 101

Image Source: The Vibe 101

During the journey home to the land of Oz, I remember sitting at Changi Airport with a heavy heart, staring outside onto the tarmac…I was 30, and single….AGAIN, I thought to myself. There’s a line in Sleepless in Seattle where a man says to Meg Ryan’s character “It’s easier to be killed by a terrorist than it is to find a husband” and it hit me hard. I shed a tear. It was the end of a chapter to another failed romance.

Luckily, this story didn’t end there. Within a few months, I met a wonderful, caring, smart, funny guy who is the love of my life! To this day, this love story continues….

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70 thoughts on “Dubrovnik – The Bittersweet Memories

  1. Enjoyed the photos of a place I’d love to visit! Your posting reminds me that sometimes letting go of the old is what is going to make way for the new and better! Thanks for that encouragement.

  2. This is lovely city Dubrovnik I agree 100% Too many places in the w orld are beautiful,but my solo around the world will be unknown destination to the South Georgia Island,Antarctica belong to Uk,just 400 miles from CAPE HORN-South America,please stop on my blog.

  3. I really wanted to go there this year along with some other Eastern European countries, but I had to put it on hold! Have you ever read the book Matt the Goose-herd? It was based in Dubrovnik. I read it as a kid and have been wanting to go ever since!

  4. Greetings from Australia,
    I really love your photographic series on Dubrovnik, it looks absolutely beautiful. I’ve visited many European nations but Croatia is not one of them, however the Greek Islands and The Dalmatian Coast are high on my list. Keep up the great work
    God bless

    • Thanks so much!!! I’m very much an amateur. I’m with you, I’d love to visit the Greek Islands. It’s still on my bucket list. Thanks so much for the positive words. God bless you too!

  5. Another great post, and a beautiful description of walking the streets of Dubrovnik Old Town. I’m writing a story set in Turkey at the moment so I particularly appreciate your sense of place. Lovely. Glad you’ve found a new/better model too!

  6. Oh Dubrovnik and its romances, I too experienced romance in that city. Luckily I realised I was dating a Croatian version of my ex and that was bad news. A bad habit as you say (well put by the way). I left before things could get spoiled knowing full well that in staying I would be repeating the pattern of mistakes that had been occurring in my life since my early twenties. Perhaps you should check out Sibenik with your new love. A stunning medieval town along the mid coast of Dalmatia. The lifestyle is much more local there.

    • You go girl. I’m so glad you saw the light. It’s the beauty of hindsight, you can learn from mistakes a lot faster. I’d love to explore other parts of the Dalmatia region, it’s a stunning area.

  7. Pingback: As women, we al… | WorldTrekker's Journal

    • I had many more pics I wanted to post but I’ve lost the memory card!!! I only have hard copies left which isn’t great when uploading to the net:( But I loved Dubrovnik!

  8. I can relate (that sounds remarkably like my trip to England last year…) but regardless, don’t let someone else ruin your memories of Dubrovnik, truly one of Europe’s most beautiful places!! Dubrovnik is better than a prince charming 😉

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