30. May, 2017

Dubrovnik, Croatia - 17th May

Here we are in the docks in Gruz, a bus ride away from the beautiful walled city of Dubrovnik. Plenty of signal, we're breakfasted and we're ready for sight-seeing and maybe the odd geocache!

The bus drops us off outside the city gates and we run the gauntlet of touts offering trips around nearby island, Segway hire and Games of Thrones walking tours. A lot of this hit series is filmed here and you can't move for groups seeking out every wall and step that may have got onto film. However you know what we are looking for, yes, a cafe with wi-fiπŸ˜€

It doesn't take long to find what we are looking for as there are cafe chucker-inners on every corner. After a coffee, it's time for a wander. First on the list is a trad surprisingly named Dubrovnik which I found sitting on a ledge down a back alley. I was helped by some of the recent cachers photos so I knew I was around the right placeπŸ˜‰

The second cache, a 2/4 trad was really on the Games of Thrones tourist agenda. This was Kings Landing - PGC, a film location which a set of steps from the city walls down the cliff face to the sea. Having not seen the programme, I guess that the king lands here.πŸ˜‰ Just down the steps from the city wall is the Buzza Bar, where you can sit with a drink and be amazed at the wonderful view.

I pass through the drinkers enjoying the view and do the reverse king's walk down towards the sea. Down here somewhere is an elusive cache which takes some finding but I walk back up the stairs feeling like a king. I make my way back through the narrow streets and just about remember which cafe that I need to find. Another coffee to calm the nerves and we go sightseeing.

Not too far as it happens and we are soon having a beer in a square which is thronged with tourists. Just 25 years ago, it would have been deserted. Anybody seen out in the open would be a target for snipers up in the hills.  You can see where bullet holes in the limestone have been repaired. The city was also frequently shelled by artillery fire which caused immense damage.

As we gaze across the square, there is a clock tower. I need information here for a virtual cache, Port a Foot - Dubrovnik. To our right is the St Blaise's Church which a large statue of the saint at the top. I need information here for the Earthcache - Limestone of St Blaise. All the information is quickly gathered and it's time for another grog, thirsty work, this geocaching. πŸ˜‚

More looking around shops, then a spot of lunch and then a gentle meander round the streets, edging towards the bus station. This is packed with waiting passengers so just enough time to pop up to Fort Lovrijenac. This is also heavily featured in Games of Thrones but there's a 1.5/2.5 trad there. It's worth a higher D/T but I'm not too fussed as it's a quick find. Back at the bus station, Kathy is at the front of the queue.

We get back at the boat but it doesn't leave for a few hours. Kathy goes for a swim and a sun bathe and I get off the boat. One hundred yards away is a European rarity, a SideTracked cache! Really SideTracked - Dubrovnik old railway station is just outside the dock gates. There's a locked box on a wall and an upmarket keysafe box nearby holding a key. I was really pleased to get this one. Then it was a brisk half a mile walk to collect another trad, Dubrovnik Gruz. This was my final cache in Croatia. I've liked what I've seen and the beer is good. Maybe an island hopping trip will be on the cards sometime.