14.7.17

Croatia II: Dubrovnik Old Town, Lokrum Island and our cable car experience

Hello, dear readers! I just honestly can't believe it's already July and August is also coming closer and closer. But on the other hand July will bring along our two week summer holiday and I have no complaints about that. Especially because we have an exclusive boutique hotel visit planned for the first week of our vacation but I will tell you more as soon as it's the right time. Today I want to share another adventurous day in Croatia and I have prepared a very generous amount of photos for that purpose so let's better get started!

We took a quite early local bus and started our May 5 in Dubrovnik Old Town. However, it was a short walk that day because the weather turned rainy. We saw St. Saviour Church, built in 1520s, the first comprehensive Renaissance style building in Dubrovnik. The church has survived throughout the history to nowadays almost intact. We climbed numerous crazy stairs and enjoyed the spectacular view across the rust-coloured rooftops of the Old Town. And then we wanted to try the cable car and ride to the top of the Srđ Hill but thanks to the gloomy weather it was closed!


So we swiftly moved to The Old Port of Dubrovnik, took a ferry and sailed on stormy sea to wonderful Lokrum Island where the weather soon turned from lousy to lovely. The first written word about this 72-hectare island originates from 1023 when the Benedictine abbey and monastery were founded here. The name Lokrum, meaning "sour fruit" derives from the Benedictine tradition of cultivating exotic plants on the island. The tradition continued in 1959 with the foundation of the Botanical Garden. In 1964 the island was also declared a Managed Nature Reserve and in 1976 a Special Forest Vegetation Reserve.

The Botanical Garden covers about 2 hectares but there are around 500 species in the 1-hectare public area today, mostly shrubs and trees: cypress, eucalyptus, laurel, magnolia, oak, olive, (black) pine. Probably the most attractive part of the garden is the one with the succulents: cacti, puyas and agaves, also palms, mostly of American origin. By the way, this year they had a rough winter which destroyed or considerably damaged decent part of the greenery.


Additionally the island is inhabited by families of peacocks brought over from the Canary Islands by Austrian archduke Maximilian. They're gorgeous, super curious and bold, and well, they're everywhere around you. The husband was patient enough and got some pretty awesome frames while stalking them. And then there were the cutest little rabbits, fluffy as cotton candy, again super curious and also everywhere around you. And the tricks they did! Someday I will probably share our travel video which includes some of their coolest performances in addition to everything else.


Anyway, we also visited a restaurant on this magical island. It was called Lacroma Restaurant (see here) and their food was simply superb! I had cornflake-crusted chicken with seeds and the husband had grilled squids on a bed of young rocket leaves with potatoes and we shared yummy french fries. Let me tell you it was just the perfect lunch in the perfect place!


Now, at some point we said bye bye to our new friends bunnies and peacocks and sailed back to Dubrovnik. Since the weather was super sunny we rushed towards the cable car and guess what? It was running again! So we immediately bought the tickets and had no regrets - it was a really cool ride up and down, my very first cable car experience.

The Dubrovnik Cable Car (see here) was built back in 1969 when it was the first and only cable car in the Adriatic. The cabin needs less than 4 minutes to travel the 778 metre distance between the lower station in Dubrovnik Old Town and upper station on top of the Srđ Hill. The height of Srđ is 412 metres and it was once forested with oak trees which locals called "dubrava", after which the city of Dubrovnik was named, and also pine trees. But in the second half of the 20th century and during the 1991-95 Croatian War of Independence the forest was almost completely destroyed through numerous fires. Regardless of that the view over Dubrovnik, its Old Town, crystal clear Adriatic Sea, Lokrum Island and the slopes of Srđ was breathtaking! And to complete our super adventurous day with a simple dinner we sat down in Panorama Restaurant & Bar (see here) on top of Srđ and had their cheeseburgers which were filling and tasty.


So I hope you guys enjoyed today's extreme photo flood and my notes and observations. As you probably noticed it took me forever to put it all together and once again it was just one day of our adventure! The abandoned ghost hotels in Kupari, more Dubrovnik Old Town, a day trip to magical Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina and more is yet to come! But I'm quicker and more active on Instagram so you can follow me there if you want to - @maikenteesalu or just find the widget from the sidebar! And of course see you in the next post!

9 comments:

  1. it looks so magical! I'm sort of planning a trip there myself ☺️ great post x

    🌱 only4feet9.blogspot.com

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    1. you should most definitely go if you can. it's so worth discovering! I would go back today if I only could :)

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    2. seems like you had a great time! and yes, I'm definitely trying to plan it :)

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  2. Beautiful post! The peacocks are breathtaking! I've tried a cable car in Hong Kong and Barcelona, those were wonderful experiences!
    Thank you for your comments on my blog, I'll write another post about my daughter's birthday presents, thank you for the hint! When is your baby due? I think the baby belly photoshoot sounds amazing <3

    xxx
    E from Helsinki, Finland
    http://helsinkidragonfly.blogspot.fi/

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    1. thank you for the sweet comment, Elisabeth ♥
      looking forward to that post about your little girl's presents! sounds exciting!
      my baby's due date is in November but my maternity leave starts a little before the end of August. and the baby belly photoshoot comes right after the maternity leave has started ;)

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  3. Oh, so glad you posted about your Dubrovnik holidays and again, so many beautiful pictures, you look really so beautiful! I loved to see St Saviours church and about the story of the first word being written in the 11th century, and that Lokrum means sour fruit - and also, the families of peacocks! I would love to watch the video, waiting for it here one day :) How is everything? You know what I mean :) I hope you are all fine! Yes, time flies... soon it will be August, and soon Christmas... wow, impressive! I have been very tired lately, but now I am feeling a bit better :) Hope you have a beautiful weekend, dear Maiken!
    DenisesPlanet.com

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  4. Wow, I'm so impressed by the gorgeous views, adorable animals, and scrumptious food you experienced! The old town looks so quaint with the stone walls. I'm sorry to hear the weather wasn't great, but it still seems like you made the most of your trip! The peacocks in the park are so regal, and the shots you got are stunning. I especially love the photo with the daring fella atop a beam while you smile below. I wonder how it got up there! The cable car looks and sounds like a dream. I'm sighing at the hint of mist covering the tuquoise blue water and copper-colored rooftops.

    Sending you all the best--I'm so excited about your baby and can't wait to hear more about your travels <3

    imperfect idealist

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  5. Thank you Maiken for your kind words on my blog. Oh, November! <3 So it's a February baby (maybe winter break?), haha. In my family, we have always had this tradition to think about when the baby got its start. Me and my sister are both born in March, so we are Midsummer babies :) Nice that you have some time to prepare for the baby before it arrives in August-November. You should pamper yourself during that time, and maybe write a letter for the baby!

    xxx
    E from Helsinki, Finland
    http://helsinkidragonfly.blogspot.fi/

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  6. Ooh I loved this post Maiken! The pictures are (as always) gorgeous, and that island is absolutely stunning. The botanical garden looks so beautiful, and those cute animals everywhere !
    The cable car ride is really impressive, I'm scared of heights and I can't imagine myself doing that xD


    Catherine
    www.fashionardenter.com

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