2 days in Dubrovnik- Game of Thrones and the old city

Croatia had been on our travel list for many years. But it wasn’t until Game of Thrones came along that it really bubbled up to the top. Dubrovnik, famous for being Kings Landing, is as beautiful as you would expect.

With 2 days in Dubrovnik, the 2 things we recommend are the Game of Thrones tour and walking along the old city walls, of course well lubricated with local food and drink, and interspersed with some beach time!

We spent our first day on the Game of Thrones walking tour. It may sound tacky but it’s a must do if you are a fan of the show and also a great way to get some local stories of the show and the city.
We started at Black Water Bay – where the battle was filmed and saw the area where all the bastards were purged in Kings Landing.


Across from the famous walled city of Dubrovnik is the Lovrijenac fort or St. Lawrence Fortress. The fort is built to withstand attack from the seas and the land, with 39 feet thick walls and is often called Dubrovnik’s Gibraltar. Two drawbridges lead to the fort and above the gate there is an inscription Non Bene Pro Toto Libertas Venditur Auro (Freedom is not to be sold for all the treasures in the world). A lot of scenes from Game of Thrones were shot in here- the Dog saving Sansa from being raped, Joffrey’s name day.

The fort also offered great views of the city and played an important part in the (real) history of Dubrovnik and its many sieges, right up to 1991, after the break-up of Yugoslavia, when the city was under siege for 7 months!

Then we walked into the main city. It still has a drawbridge to limit how many people enter and of course, was another important site in King’s Landing.

This gave us a good idea of the layout of the city and whetted our appetites to walk on the old city walls the next day. The city belongs to the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites and has been maintained to retain its old charm. Walking on the walls provided a panoramic views in all directions and was definitely worth the time and effort.

2.JPGWith the close proximity to the water, how could any visit be complete without some beach time!

3.JPGDelicious local wine and fresh sea food was the icing on the cake!

1.JPG

Food guide for Croatia: Restaurant Jadruhi, Istria

On our day trip through Istria, wine country in Croatia, we came across this small town called Vizinada and a restaurant called Konoba Jadruhi. Our plan was to taste their wine and leave but instead we decided to eat at the restaurant. And what a good idea that turned out to be.

The restaurant’s owner, Dario Simonovic, and the chief vintner, his son Marko Simonovic, are trying to promote what they refer to as Agrotourism with their home-made prosciutto,  olive oil, wine and cheese. You can follow them on social media  or check out their Jadruhi website

@agroturizam.jadruhi

https://www.facebook.com/agroturizam.jadruhi/

The menu was simple and we started with a cheese and meat platter (all made from local ingredients). Sounds simple but was delicious. We later found out that the cheese,  prosciutto and olives were all locally made

Cheese and meat platter

We also tried their soup as an appetizer and it was quite delicious.

Delicious pasta in truffle sauce

For the main course, we got the truffle pasta. We had never tried truffles before and reading about it later found out how expensive it can be. The fact that it was delicious and also not that expensive made the  meal even more special. We paired it with their house red wine and it was just perfect. Istria is known for its truffles and the area close to Motovun has an abundance of it

After the meal, we had no room left for dessert but we saw some served at the neighboring table and couldn’t resist. We ended up getting the house specialty cake and it was fresh and moist.

With the owner Dario Simonovic

After lunch it was time for some wine tasting straight from the barrel. Dario’s son, Marko, who is the vintner and prosciutto expert took us to their cellar for some wine and grappa.

Barrel tasting some young wine
Marko was so hospitable and humble
The Simonovic wine collection
The grappa collection!
Marko pouring some of his home-made grappa straight from the gigantic vat

Marko showed us the process of making prosciutto. It is made from the rear haunches of the pig; The curing is controlled so that the ham absorbs only enough salt to preserve it.

Posing with his hard work, prosciutto!

This happened to be one of the best meals of the trip. The food, experience and hospitality left a lasting impression on us. Highly recommend spending a day or two around Istria tasting wine and making a stop in Vizinada visiting the Simonovic’s and their wonderful restaurant.

Picturesque Plitvice National Park 

From the title of this blog post, it is evident that this place is gorgeous!

Walk around the park, admire the breathtaking views and waterfalls- there really isn’t much else to do. So without wasting too much time on words, we will let the photos speak for themselves and describe the park as we saw it!

Duck face selfie with a real duck- check!

Tales of the traveling sandals!
Reflections, or is the world upside down?!

Needless to say- we were thrilled with what we saw! If you visit Croatia this is a must!