Reawakening

London got to us.

It was the noise, the claustrophobia inducing traffic and crowds. It was too much time spent on the Underground with all the suits.

We became a bit reclusive, sluggish, and desperately craved something new.

The night before we were set to fly for Croatia, I was sleepless. I felt giddy, moreso than I have about a new destination for a really long time. Was it that I was anxious to leave London behind, or was I excited about the adventure of Croatia laid out before us? I guess it doesn’t really matter the reason, it just felt good to be overcome with excitement again.

We landed in Dubrovnik in the evening, and as we rode the bus from the airport into town, only a faint outline of the rocky shore could be seen, with bright lights speckling the sides of the cliffs above the water. I gripped Pete’s hand and wished out-loud that we had landed in daylight. “You just have to use your imagination,” he said.

That wasn’t good enough. After a day of ports and planes, we normally would crash at our rest stop or spend the evening catching up. Instead, we dumped our bags, grabbed our camera, and hit the streets of the old city. We dashed around each glossy limestone path, as if it were somehow possible that it would all be gone in the morning.

 

 

It felt completely different and new. The fresh Adriatic air and the shininess of Dubrovnik breathed new life into us.

The following day, we wound around the same streets with a new set of eyes, and then took to a route above. We walked along he ancient city walls, constructed between the 12th and 17th centuries, they encircle buildings of bright orange roofs and cover the edge of the rocky coastline. We took to all two and a half kilometers quite slowly, playfully fighting over who-got-to-hold-the-camera-when – just in case the other happened to miss that angle with that patch of blue sky.

 

 

 

It should be without wonder why/how Dubrovnik brought us new and riveting energy. We can’t wait to see what the rest of Croatia will bring.

**********

Big thanks to Peter, Ivana, and the crew from Adriatic Travel Inc. for helping make our stay in Dubrovnik so wonderful with a sublimely comfortable apartment and many tips on how to enjoy the area.

64 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own

  • November 20 2011

    Wow, love your photos! I was only in Dubrovnik for a short stay, but I remember how beautiful, clear and blue the water was. I found the old town really charming (and especially more laid-back and charming than London ;)). I can understand that it’s refreshing to be there. Enjoy your stay!

    – Lily
    Lily Leung recently posted..Ancient Egypt Temples in Luxor (@GetYourGuide)

    • Pete
      November 20 2011

      The water is so blue it almost calls to you to jump in. In fact, there were people swimming in the sea in November. Crazy.

  • lisa
    November 20 2011

    This is so beautiful! Wow!

  • November 20 2011

    LOVE the pics. Man, I miss Dubrovnik. It’s a little place of magic and I’m so glad I got to “see” it again through the lens of your camera. I’m in the Toronto airport, heading for Vancouver and wishing I was back in sunny Dubrovnik sipping wine at a cliffside buza. Hope you’re well wherever you are in the world tonight.

    • November 21 2011

      Thanks Terri – enjoy your trip back, and pretty soon you’ll be off discovering brand new places of your own! :)

  • Mom
    November 21 2011

    WOW !!!!! I can’t wait for more.
    Enjoy you two. xoxo

  • November 21 2011

    My life changed forever when I was in Croatia. There is something entirely magical about the Adriatic Sea, the slick limestone roads, the ancient walls, the gorgeous cafes … it does awaken something inside of people. I am so glad you are able to experience it. Croatia is truly the first place I fell in love — with my life. :) Enjoy!!!
    dtravelsround recently posted..I’m not full of it, I’m shoveling it

    • November 21 2011

      Thanks D! You are so right, it is completely magical, and was exactly what we needed!

  • November 21 2011

    PDA notwithstanding, great post and photos! :)
    Raymond @ Man On The Lam recently posted..The Agony in the Air Con

    • November 21 2011

      Hey, last “romantico” post I wrote, people asked for smoochin’ pictures. I’m just giving the peeps what they want! :)

  • November 21 2011

    I wish I’ve had more time here in Eastern Europe and also discover Croatia, unfortunately I don’t and it will have to wait a little bit. Your pictures look great!
    Sebastian recently posted..Hiking Mt. Musala in Bulgaria

    • November 21 2011

      Thanks Sebastian! You really need to get to Croatia – the scenery is breathtaking!

  • November 21 2011

    OMG! That place looks FABULOUS! That 3rd pic alone is utterly divine! Leave it to you two, to find heaven on earth.
    Dyanne@TravelnLass recently posted..Not Even In My Wildest Dreams…

    • November 21 2011

      Oh Dyanne – it is quite heavenly! Also heavily touristy in summer months (for OBVIOUS reasons!), but breathtaking all the same. I’d go anytime! :)

  • November 21 2011

    Looks like a photographer’s dream!
    Stephanie – The Travel Chica recently posted..Steak Extravaganza: Restaurant Review – El Obrero vs El Trapiche vs Manolo’s

    • November 21 2011

      A photographer’s dream until you get back to the room and sort the bazillion pictures we took – haha!! We luckily also had some great weather while we were there!

  • November 21 2011

    How peaceful! And the photos are absolutely breathtaking! This is much deserved after the London trip.
    Rachael Sena recently posted..How NOT to Smuggle Cuban Cigars into the United States

    • November 21 2011

      Thanks Rachael! We really needed this *boost*, and I think Dubrovnik was the perfect place for it!

  • November 21 2011

    LOVE those photos! That is not at all what I pictured when I thought about Croatia!
    Emily Sims recently posted..How NOT to Smuggle Cuban Cigars into the United States

    • November 21 2011

      The country is actually very diverse in scenery, but the entire coastal region has that one thing in common – gorgeous blue/green water!

  • November 21 2011

    Love these photos, guys!

  • November 21 2011

    I’m a big fan of London, but I understand the need to get a change of venue when you’ve been in a city a long time. Dubrovnik looks like it was a great choice! I know that feeling of wanting to get out and about right away to try to take in as much as possible — it can be so exciting. Great photos.
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted..The Lone Sailor’s View

    • November 21 2011

      Truthfully Cathy, it had been a LONG time since I felt that way. Like, almost back to when we started our travels. I was due! :)

  • November 21 2011

    Oh wow that looks amazing. I have always wanted to go to Croatia and thought it was a cheap country but I heard that’s no longer true.
    ayngelina recently posted..Jordan surprises a food snob

    • November 22 2011

      Dubrovnik is definitely expensive, but there are other places that are still pretty reasonable.

  • November 21 2011

    BEAUTIFUL photos! Seeing things like this makes it really difficult to think about skipping Croatia during my trip around Eastern Europe next summer… But I feel like Croatia deserves its own trip!
    Amanda recently posted..Photo of the Day: Big Skies of Texas

    • November 22 2011

      There are SO MANY tough decisions to make when visiting Europe, and from what we’ve seen since coming here in June, Croatia ranks very high on our list!

  • November 21 2011

    Croatia was already on my list of must sees when we get to that part of the world but you make me want to get there sooner. LOVE the night pics.
    Erica recently posted..Photo Essay: Hangin’ in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

    • November 22 2011

      Thanks Erica! Croatia is a photographer’s dream.

  • NLM
    November 21 2011

    Interesting note: when my parents visited Dubrovnik in the early 1970s, they said that, although it was beautiful, it was uncomfortable because of the presence of KGB everywhere. How times have changed!
    NLM recently posted..And You Don’t Have to Go to the Mall

    • November 22 2011

      Oh wow, no kidding. It’s hard to believe how much that little city has been through, with it being so heavily under attack in the early 90s as well.

  • November 21 2011

    I love the photo with the sea and the castle it looks really cool!
    James Cook recently posted..Kayaking in Melbourne

  • November 21 2011

    That last picture is adorableeeeee…

    and Croatia looks pretty awesome!
    Hogga recently posted..Awesome Events in London 2012

  • November 21 2011

    The pictures are just beatiful. Thank you for mentioning Adriatic Travel.

    • November 22 2011

      Adriatic Travel was a generous supporter of our time there, and we loved every minute of it!

  • November 22 2011

    What a great change from London. Enjoy Croatia and please keep taking beautiful photographs!
    Lauren recently posted..Accidental Mad Libs

    • November 22 2011

      Dubrovnik was a very welcome and refreshing change.

  • November 22 2011

    Dubrovnik looks like such a lovely place. I love all that history and old architecture. Great photos.
    Dean recently posted..In the rainy season on Koh Lanta, Thailand…It rains

  • November 22 2011

    I’m so glad that Croatia could refresh you after getting down in London. I cannot wait to get to Croatia and your photos make it seems more beautiful than I imagine.

    I’m excited to follow along your train journey, what a cool itinerary!

    • November 22 2011

      Thanks Annie! We’re excited that Eurail allowed us to pick our journey – this was immediately what came into our mind!

  • November 22 2011

    Adding Croatia to my list of places perfect for fighting travel funk! Gorgeous shots!
    Angie Orth recently posted..In a Travel Funk? Time for a Pilgrimage.

  • November 22 2011

    wow Croatia is beautiful! Looking forward to reading and looking at more. I may have to add Croatia to my Travel List

    • Pete
      November 23 2011

      We have already added it to our “we have to go back” list :)

  • November 23 2011

    OK, I feel exactly the same way about London. I’ve always wanted to LOVE it, and yet…I just don’t.

    Dubrovnik, on the other hand, looks like my kind of place. My husband spent three years in Sicily when he was in the Navy, and it reminds me a lot of the photos he has from his time there.
    Camels & Chocolate recently posted..Siem Reap by Night, Angkor Wat by Sunrise

    • Pete
      November 23 2011

      Exactly, everything on paper says we should love it, but we just didn’t. I’m sure we’ll be through again and will give it another shot, but I am unsure whether our opinion will change.

      We’re going to have to bug your husband for some Sicily tips as we have a rough itinerary drawn out, but haven’t put too much research into it yet. I’m afraid already we haven’t devoted enough time to it (approx 10 days)

  • Great photos! I was supposed to go to Croatia two years ago but it fell through….. I really hope i get there next time I am in Europe
    Jade Johnston – OurOyster.com recently posted..How We Almost Lost Our Entire Website

  • Kim
    November 27 2011

    So beautiful. Croatia wasn’t even on my radar until a year or two ago when a friend visited. It looks lovely, your photos are fantastic.
    Kim recently posted..25 Things I’m Thankful For

    • November 27 2011

      Thanks Kim! It is really lovely, the coastal scenery is fantastic.

  • November 27 2011

    Gorgeous photos! I’m just dying to visit Croatia :)
    Nomadic Samuel recently posted..Faces of Asia | Part 13 | Travel Video

  • November 28 2011

    Such stunning photos! I really like London, but I am just dying to go to Croatia, especially after seeing these beautiful pics!
    Emily @ Maiden Voyage recently posted..Five Ways to Stay Fit When You Travel

  • November 30 2011

    I have always wanted to visit Croatia! (and not it wasn’t because of Dr Kovach on ER…) haha
    Glad its made you happy again :)
    Cailin recently posted..Wales was a pleasant surprise

    • December 2 2011

      I have no idea who this Dr Kovach is but he sounds interesting if he made you want to go to Croatia… :)

  • December 2 2011

    I’ve been wondering if I should add Crotia to my list of must sees! You’re pictures makes it look stunning! Looks a good mix of nature and architecture! How’s the hiking?
    Shani recently posted..Weekly Photo – Iguazu Falls in Brazil & Argentina

    • December 14 2011

      I wish we had more time to do hiking in Croatia. There are plenty of places to do it, we just never had a chance. Next time!

  • Sean Westrupp
    December 20 2011

    As always, a great post! I try and get to Croatia in the summer as often as I can. Makes a change from Slovenia and I find the people warm, friendly and very helpful. Try speaking a little Croatian and they’re friends for life :0)

    • December 20 2011

      It is a beautiful country, all around! :)

  • May 4 2012

    Great Photos. The water and rooftops come through so vivid.

  • Cat
    June 17 2012

    Croatia was the first solo trip I ever did, and I have wonderful memories. If and when you get to split, there’s a great bar right on a little cove. I never did find out the name of it, but you have to walk part the port and around to the cove. And if you can get to Hvar, you won’t regret it. The most gorgeous sunsets and cheap cocktails I could find in the country!! Have fun!

  • June 17 2012

    Great photos as always! We’ve been to parts of Croatia but not Dubrovnik yet. We’re thinking of going in August because we are in desperate need of a beach vacation. And since The Road Forks have told us just how dog friendly Croatia is, we’ll be bringing out globe trotting pup along with us!
    Jennifer Dombrowski recently posted..L’Alcova: the Most Exclusive Restaurant on the Grand Canal

    • June 19 2012

      Dubrovnik supposedly explodes with tourists in July-Aug…but then, where doesn’t? It is so beautiful, it’ll be worth elbowing a few others in the face. :)

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