Heading out of Mostar, we decided to follow Google Map’s routing instructions for the driving to Dubrovnik – big mistake! We ended up on mountainous, windy, two lane back-roads without a center divider and occasionally loose gravel or dirt. This was the last time we chose Google’s directions over local signage (local signage usually vectored us on larger, more major roads). We are pretty sure the Google algorithm prioritized simple distance as the crow flies when it is lacking data around road quality and speed limits.
The drive through the mountains to Neum (the one coastal city possessed by Bosnia and Herzegovina) was beautiful, but it was rainy and I had to really concentrate on oncoming traffic. Drivers in this part of the world did not like to stay in their lane, even around curves. The high point of the drive was picking up some lavender growing wild on the roadside to freshen up the car and our moods.
Once we made it to the coast and Neum, driving to Dubrovnik was simple. We just followed the coastal road south, over the border crossing. Shortly after the border crossing, we were entering in to the Dubrovnik city limits.
Our destination was an AirBnB just off the main road while driving to Dubrovnik, and it came with parking. We messaged Marija, the owner, and she greeted us when we pulled in and redirected us to the parking, which was a little tricky trying to back out into rushing traffic on the major coastal highway. The benefit of driving to Dubrovnik was obviously the convenience around coming and going when we wanted, but given that the old town was walled and pedestrian only, and lodging with parking would be pretty far away. This guest house was a 15-20 minute steep walk to the city below. Here’s a view from the guest house while Marija’s mother in law welcomed us with coffee and some wafers.
Here’s a view of the room – nothing special, but it had the amenities we needed (although WiFi was horrible – at least we had the TEP). The shower leaked a bit but the air conditioning was exceptional compared to other experiences we’d had.
We walked down the long windy path to the old city and were immediately overcome by the beauty of the white walled city of Dubrovnik. While we had no idea what we were looking at as we mazed through the labyrinth of shops, restaurants, hotels, and residences, we saw a lot of commonalities between Dubrovnik and King’s Landing. We would be taking a Game of Thrones tour the following day, corresponding with the series finale.
We stumbled upon a very elaborate candy shop, specializing in gummies – they looked better than they tasted! I was very pleased with the photos.
Around 2200 we settled in for dinner at a place that Marija recommended – in fact it was owned by her cousin. It was an open kitchen concept called Lucin Kantun. Here’s a lay of the land to find it – as you enter the main gate, it’s the second alleyway on the right.
We forgot to take pictures of our food tonight, but we shared a caprese and some soup. For our mains, both of us had the vegetarian risotto which was quite good. This was more of a meat and fish place, but neither of us were feeling it after the cevapi platter in Mostar for lunch. Other than it taking a while to get seated, and it being cold outside where we were sitting (they never turned the heat lamps on), we would definitely recommend the restaurant.
After dinner, we continued to stroll around and finally made it to the harbor.
Dubrovnik at night was even more magical than in daylight, with tasteful illumination set up throughout the city.
Satisfied with our day driving to Dubrovnik and night spent enjoying it, we set out again walking up the mountain to get some rest. We met some friendly black cats along the way, and also discovered the underground passageway Marija had mentioned to avoid crossing the major streets on our way up. We were getting the hang of this city already, and were looking forward to seeing it during the day and taking a proper tour.