Daydreaming in Dubrovnik. My love affair with Dubrovnik actually started the night before our initial arrival. Travelling by cruise ship, we had an evening at sea before we were due to dock in Dubrovnik. My fiancé and I lay on collapsed deckchairs on the top deck of the ship, counting the stars in the clear night sky. We traced the constellations with our fingers, pointing out the North Star and Orion’s Belt. Suddenly, a whiplash of light quick-stepped across the velvet cloak of the night in a blink-and-you’d-miss-it movement.

A shooting star…

I scarcely allowed myself to believe it, until the very same thing happened again, five minutes later, and then again! There is something quite enchanting about the combination of the night sky and the sea. The two seem to enhance one another’s powerful majesty, panoramically colliding and dancing away together across the horizon. My lasting first impression of Dubrovnik involves the whimsical, breathtaking revelation of three shooting stars in the space of half an hour.

Daydreaming in Dubrovnik by Cara Jasmine Bradley

The night passed us by. Eventually, the shadows faded and evolved into a scorching July morning. This was it – the moment I had been waiting for: Dubrovnik.
Back on the top deck of the ship, I kept my eyes tightly shut until I felt the railings beneath my hands… Only then was I finally ready for my first proper view of Dubrovnik. I wanted to savour every last second of this love at first sight scenario.
My daydreams and wild assumptions swirled madly afore my eyes, crashing onto the vista in a detonation of colour. It took me a few seconds to fully focus. The royal blue of the sky, the rugged green of the hillside, the rich navy of the sea, and the piercing orange and white combination of the buildings tumbling down to the coast… I was in heaven.

All around me, Dubrovnik was sharply rising for the day ahead

The sun lolled over the bountiful hillsides, dabbing the town in radiating strokes. My excitement mounted at the prospect of sharing my day with this staggeringly stunning city. I hadn’t even disembarked the boat, and yet, already, I could feel the hairs on my arms stand up on end. Paradise.

We caught a taxi from the port to the world-renowned Old Town. We stopped for a drink by the sea en-route, ahead of our day. The sun’s rays cascaded across the table, charmingly accompanied by the soft whisper of the incoming waves, a nostalgic seashell to the ear. The warm air smelled sweet; the slightest hint of jasmine flower. Dubrovnik’s picturesque exterior reflects the general spirit that pirouettes throughout. Laid-back, convivial, and happy-go-lucky, Dubrovnik blankets one in its admirable list of qualities.

The Old Town of Dubrovnik is a truly mesmerizing place

Strikingly preserved, it oozes a certain ambience that whisks one away in a dreamlike state, comparable to delicate musical notes being swept along on a balmy breeze. Entering the Old Town of Dubrovnik is like sitting down in front of a thrillingly blank canvas. You never quite know where it is going to take you, and the feeling alone is quite extraordinary. An intertwining labyrinth of intricate twist and turns, the entire brilliance of the Old Town is buried within the city walls. A mismatched assortment of backstreets creates a snakes and ladders effect, gloriously carrying one along with like the tide.

Daydreaming in Dubrovnik by Cara Jasmine Bradley

Having a plan of action when it comes to exploring every nook and cranny of the Old Town is not an option. Every turn will lead one to an entirely different perspective. One minute, you could be peering through a tiny crack in the wall at a brilliant snippet of endless ocean, and the next, you could be level with the flora-studded hillsides that waltz around Dubrovnik. I can guarantee that a morning spent exploring the infusion of cobbled streets in the Old Town will treat you to one hundred different perspectives of Dubrovnik, each one a timeless love story that you will never forget.

Daydreaming in Dubrovnik

For a few blissful hours, we climbed steps, peered over walls and between hedgerows, and parted ways amongst the maze in a bid to outdo one another to find the best view. Explosive, trailing flowers illuminated the shaded alleyways, their fallen pettles the confetti that took us by the hand and led us deeper into the depths of the old walls. Back on the main street of the Old Town, we browsed the assortment of churches, each and every one unique and intriguing from the outside in. Within the City Walls of Dubrovnik, I was flooded with inspiration and wonder. The feeling of the city engulfed me, and I connected with every inch of my surroundings, yearning to write every detail, every cobble, every blast of wildflower, every sudden and unexpected sea view.

It is one thing being a part of the Old Town, but the views of the Old Town itself, particularly from above, are quite spectacular. Of course, the cable car is a must-do for anybody visiting Dubrovnik. The view from the top is almost iconic, and certainly one to evoke spine-tingling sensations. Looking for something a little more off the beaten track? For alternative birds-eye views of Dubrovnik, I would recommend catching the local bus. It is a bus number 17 from the Old Town, to the village of Bosanka.

Expedition to Bosanka and Fort Imperial

View of Dubrovnik from Bosanka

I can confidently state that a more scenic bus ride you will never encounter! Hold tight around the hairpin bends and allow yourself to be immersed in the experience. The views from the bus are sweeping, and I am quite reluctant to spoil their true magnificence. On one side, you will be greeted by vivacious meadows burning with colour, shimmering in the sea breeze. On the other side, you will come face to face with the declining shape of the Old Town as it becomes swallowed up by the hillsides. Play peek-a-boo with the orange splash of the Old Town as it slips in and out of view as the coast unwinds and frolics at the foot of the hill.

Dubrovnik is even more spectacular at sunset

Croatia is even more spectacular at sunset

That night, as we sailed out of the port of Dubrovnik, we were reminded of its grace all over again. The sunset exploded across the skyline in an enticing mix of pulsating magenta and dripping golden. We stood at the back of the ship as it departed the port, dreamily assessing the changing scenery beyond. The shades of the day evaporated and passed the baton to the lively onset of dusk as it swept across the port. The hillsides were alight with the jumble of houses; a sprinkle of glitter across the enveloping darkness. I had scarcely felt so content and so in love with a location before. So I assumed Dubrovnik couldn’t surprise and enchant me anymore… I was wrong.

Conclusion – Daydreaming in Dubrovnik

As I turned back towards the inside of the ship, ready to close the chapter on Dubrovnik, I was suddenly stunned to the spot. There, rising slowly over the harbour-side, was a moon glazed in a jaw-dropping shade of burnt orange. Being fortunate enough to witness the phenomenon of the Blood Moon over the port of Dubrovnik was an overwhelming disposition. In conclusion, it was the perfect ending to the first chapter of many to be shared with Dubrovnik. My love was cemented.

Cara Jasmine Bradley

Author of article Daydreaming in Dubrovnik is Cara Jasmine Bradley

Cara Jasmine Bradley is a creative writer from Manchester, who combines her love of travelling with her passion for writing. Moreover, the article “Daydreaming in Dubrovnik” is just one of many that she wrote for various websites. I am very grateful that she wrote this post for my blog!

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