Dubrovnik is incredible, the most fascinating place I have been to in ages. The bits that I can see for free anyway cos this is the MOST expensive place I have been to so far this year and its bleeding me dry even being as frugal as I can! For example, I'm staying in a cramped 8-bed dorm for the outrageous sum of $58 a night. Now that might now seem so expensive to some but my entire daily budget until I got to Turkey was $50 a day for accommodation, food, travel, sightseeing etc so to pay that much for one bed nearly makes me woozy. Even on my more inflated Eastern Europe budget of $100 I am finding it difficult not to overspend.
But that is just a little aside because frugal or not it costs nothing to walk around the great city of Dubrovnik and take in the sights and sounds of what Lord Byron once dubbed ’the pearl of the Adriatic’. A magnificent curtain of walls surrounds marble streets and baroque buildings that exude a pearly light in the afternoon sun. The main pedestrian thoroughfare is a melange of cafes and shops without outstanding monuments at either end. Churches, monasteries and museums ornamented with finely carved stone recall the city’s vibrant history. Beyond the high walls is a heavenly landscape of beaches, wooded peninsulas and a sea strewn with lush islands.
The ’real’ beaches are more difficult to reach but the Old City beaches are just fine, although somewhat more uncomfortable as there is no sand, just rock platforms jutting out over the cool, clear sea. So sparkling and inviting that you can’t help but stay around longer, for just one more dip.
I finally got my first haircut of the year here today and ended up in a raging argument after the woman quoted me a price of 150 kuna, which I thought was reasonable (about $40AUD) but then at the end she told me it would be 250kuna as she had dried my hair and put some product in it. I was furious and argued that she never told me that those things were optional, or not included, as I had asked for a shampoo, cut and blowdry….I think a barber would have been just as effective and much cheaper.