The question was asked... "Do you want to go to Dubrovnik - Croatia?" Ahh, visiting another country, extra stamps in my passport, beach time on a 34 degree day and seeing some of where Game of Thones was filmed... HELL YES!
The drive down from Mostar was about 3 hours, though it felt like an eternity for me being rather hungover from the homemade wine we'd decided was a good idea to finish the night before. Felt much better after a lunch stop of rustic bread, pâtés and nutella. It was a pretty drive (when I was awake) and very windy in and out of the mountains and through little towns and passed vineyards. Such beautiful country side in this part of the world.
Finally we got to the border, and what did I get... no stamps! WHAT THE HELL?! Croatia had joined the EU the day before, so we presume this was something to do with it that I'd already been in the EU when I'd arrived in the Netherlands, and somehow they didn't register me as going into Bosnia... who knows!? Not a happy chappy!
Driving into Dubrovnik, it was just stunning... the white wash stone of the city walls, red tiled roofs, the large splashes of pink and purple Alstromeria flowers and beautiful blue-green water of the Adriatic Sea. We parked and walked down into the old city, slightly blinded by the white. The city was busy, but very hot, so all of the restaurants and ice-cream shops were bursting!
We walked through the city to get to Dubrovnik Castle where some of the scenes of Game of Thrones were filmed. Obviously those shows dress the sets up and it's sometimes hard to see exactly where it was, but the whole city felt like you were walking through the set. Here and there you'd spot a place and be drawn into a scene (Albeit with modern people walking in modern clothes!). At the top of Dubrovnik Castle looking out from the rock walls over the city, you can see everything. It was so beautiful - picture perfect!
After walking back along the water through the city to the Fortress of St John, getting ice-cream, and me taking a photo, or two, or a hundred! The boats in the harbour were as perfect as the rest of the town. We got back to the car to go and find a swimming beach. 20 minutes later we turned a corner and drove past a building like nothing I'd ever seen. It looked like a beautiful hotel with ballrooms, balconies and somewhere that only the very, very rich would stay... the only thing was that it was completely abandoned, run down, destroyed during the war, and now had vines, ivy and trees growning through the open doors and windows. It was so strange! It turned out to be 4 hotels all with the same look. Unfortunately we didn't have time to look through them, as completely unrestricted as they were, but I was able to find this website about them.
The water and beach time was awesome - water even clearer than Greece - which I hadn't thought possible. We stayed swimming and sun bathing fora bout an hour, glad that the sun wasn't anywhere near as hot as in Australia!
The drive back was much easier (not being hungover), and I even got a glorious 2 stamps in my passport!!!! It was such a perfect day, which we ended with more lovely BBQ food with a pretty Mostar sunset.