Jan and Nastassia are both fans of the Game of Thrones series, and a few weeks ago Jan found a GoT based tour that goes every day in Dubrovnik, and so the two of them signed up for that. Deanna is not so inclined, and decided to take the day for herself to take a general tour and to catch up a bit on her journal, rather than to take a tour based on a show which she had never seen. So all together we bussed to the city, and there we split up to do our separate tours, setting a meeting point and time for later in the afternoon. Jan and Nastassia’s tour started up on St. Lawrence Fortress, which offers a great view over the old town of Dubrovnik. The fortress features a few spots where Game of Thrones scenes had been shot. Something that we learnt quickly was how sporadic and varied the scenes that had been filmed in Dubrovnik are. Sometimes a huge area is used for nothing more than a clip of a second or two, and a small room is the set for a large event. Meanwhile, Deanna was walking around the town on her general city tour learning about the history of Dubrovnik.
Both of our tours went over the highlights of the history of this scenic city, and some of the quirks of it. For example, Dubrovnik boasts that it is the only modern city that views it’s pigeons not as a pesky problem but instead feeds them every day in the central market square. 10 minutes to noon you can see all the pigeons flocking to one area and lining up – waiting for their regular feeding. When the church in the square tolls noon, the market keepers toss salad, corn, bread and other foodstuffs to the ground for the pigeons to feed on. An interesting sight, it is quite contrary to what we are used to in modern cities. Another quirk that we as tourists noticed, was the large quantity of cats present around the city. Other useful notes about the city that we learnt – there is a nunnery across the street from a monastery. When they were cleaning the substructure of the city a few years back, they found a tunnel that connects the two – one that is at least a hundred or so years old. Also, at one point the Dubrovnik Naval Fleet rivaled that of Venice in size and formidability. Deanna learnt of an interesting beach in Dubrovnik that we are going to check out tomorrow, too.
While Nastassia and Jan trooped on with their super long tour, Deanna’s finished and she went for a bite to eat in the city center. Looking up while she ate some risotto, she saw some familiar faces in the crowd. Who else to bump into than our Aussie train buddies, Steph and Patrick. They caught up for a little while and swapped stories about what had happened since we had all separated in Split.
Meanwhile, Nastassia and Jan kept a wary eye on the weather, as their tour led them up on Dubrovnik’s city wall. The forecast had been changing all day, and it looked like the evening thunderstorms were coming a little sooner than expected. Towards the end of the tour, the rain started sprinkling a bit, and some light thunder was even heard around us.
The tour ended at a point on Minčeta Tower, where the most identical Game of Thrones reference was also made. From the season two finale, the only changes the HBO producers made was to remove a metal gate from the background, and to add some trees visible behind the surrounding wall to give the area the appearance of being on ground level.
With the tour over, and the rain not falling too quick, Nastassia and Jan made the decision to complete their circle of the city walls. Around the same time, Deanna was finishing up a nice coffee after her lunch and some journalling. To Jan and Nastassia, the rain had quickly turned from a slight nuisance to a real problem, and soaked both of them quite thoroughly. About another 5 minutes later, both Nastassia and Jan gave up on finishing their walk of the city wall when some lightning flashed no more than 50 meters from them into the sea, giving both of them a complete shock. While the two of them scrambled down from the wall and tried to find a place to hide from the rain – which had turned into a torrential downpour – Deanna was calmly visiting the Rector’s palace museum, which was the house of the leader of Dubrovnik for a number of years, and as you can imagine, quite lavish.
As swiftly as it started, the rain and thunder stopped, and before meeting back up again, Jan and Nastassia ran back to our apartment to grab some dry clothes, while Deanna visited Dubrovnik’s central market and picked up some traditional Croatian candy. Meeting back up, we decided that after our turbulent day, we could use a meal out, and went for some Mexican food.
After some supper we took some time to show each other highlights from our tours that day, and walked around the city all together with a new perspective. We were able to catch more subtleties in the beautiful city of Dubrovnik before heading home to catch some sleep before tomorrow.
Back at our apartment, Jan, who had been complaining of a blister all day, took off his shoe to find nothing other than a bunch of black splinters in his foot. Coming to the conclusion that he had probably made friends with a sea porcupine yesterday somewhere around the sea park, we then tried our best to get all the quills out. If that isn’t a good note to end on, then we don’t know what is.
Vidimo se sutra!