It is useless trying to hide my nerd side: I love fantasy and all that gravitates around it.
I read Martin’s books (no spoilers please! I still have to read three or four of those!) and like all of his fans I hate him for the time he’s losing, delaying year after year the last book.
I’ll go on and admit that I don’t watch the TV series: already in the third episode there were too many different things compared to the books’ storyline, and I didn’t want to ruin my reading. I saw some episode here and there, but I still can’t see it.
When I knew that in our cruise’s itinerary, though, we would have gone to Dubrovnik, I couldn’t help organizing a tour through King’s landing. So our own private Game of Thrones tour in Dubrovnik was born!
From the “new” harbor we took a cab and we got out at the old city’s gates, in Branitelja Dubrovnika.
Before us were city’s walls and the small drawbridge, which let our eyes peek through the gates’ arch searching for who knows what enchantment.
On our right was a small square with a creepy looking statue in the center. On the other side of the square we saw a white balustrade, which was overlooking… Blackwaters’ bay, where the homonym battle was fought!
As a first glance on our heroes’ world it was very promising: the water was of a clean deep blue, and colorful kayaks were continuously leaving for tours. Later we discovered that there is a much better place to admire it, though.
Back to the square, on your left there is the touristic info center. Inside there you can find (beside a nice wave of air conditioning) free city maps and a free wi-fi.
From here you can also get to the Red Keep, fulcrum of King’s Landing. Follow the directions to Fort Lovrijenac, a fortress-tower built right upon a 120 ft. cliff, to which you can access by a long stone stairway.
A tough climb in the hot of summer, but the view from there is worth every step of the way… and also the entry fee of 30 kune (Croatian currency: about 4$, 3£, 4 euros).
Note about the ticket: if you buy it here, you can present it to the city walls’ tour, to get a 30 kune discount on the total of 150 (20$, 15£. Way too much if you ask me, since it only allows you to walk on the walls).
Inside the Red Keep (I’ll keep on calling it like this) you can visit the inner court, a couple of small chambers and, icing on the cake, the terraces. From here you can see the whole Dubrovik’s old city (ehm… I meant King’s Landing), Blackwaters’ bay and the isle of Quarth (Lokrum).
We also shot a small video with the song “The rains of Castamere” on the background… It was too strong of a temptation!
Back down from Red Keep, it is time to go back to the old city’s walls. Not yet to enter, though. There is still something to be seen on the outside: House of Undying, Minceta tower (Fort Minceta). With the city walls’ tour you can also walk on it, we watched it from the outside. To get there, you have to go on your left facing the city entrance and walk uphill, a long way up, Uliza Iza Grada’s parallel street.
Following the walls, you will find the northern entrance to the city. Enter through there and then start getting lost in King’s landing marvelous alleys. Between the sand colored bricks, the perfectly clean streets, the maze of little passageways, stairways, and little squares… it will seem like a Lannister could pop out of a corner any moment.
When you’ll reach the main street, Stradum (Placa), you will soon enough find yourselves in a square which was present in many scenes, and walking by it you will get to the market’s square or, going through the arches on your left, you will get to the old port. From here, for 10 bucks round trip, you will be able to get to Quarth Island, aka Lokrum. A 20 minute trip.
The island is actually a natural reserve. Visiting it you’ll appreciate its nature, e.g. the so called European Dead Sea, a lake that communicates with the sea through channels that flow underground. You can also appreciate human nature, stopping by the nudist beach.
Here our own private Dubrovnik’s GOT tour ends. You can easily do it in 2 or 3 hours, so you’ll have plenty of time left to enjoy the rest of the city.