40 for 40: Day 26 – Fiumicino to Dubrovnik

Today begins the solo portion of the trip, as I say goodbye to Daina, to a beautiful B & B in Fiumicino, and to tourist downturns and low seasons.

Flew into Dubrovnik with Vueling, first time and pretty nice, and got lucky again with plane views, spotting the walled city from the plane window. There’s an easy bus to downtown and the bus station run by Atlas which, on a good day, is supposed to take 30 minutes to get you in. Today, traffic was a big issue, so it took considerably longer, but hostel was a short walk from the station. Quick walk to get a SIM card and then off to the historic part of town!

So, travelling through Egypt, I learned a lot not only about the stories of the Gods, but also the politics and histories of the various pharaohs, wars they started, people they manipulated, religions they changed. I’m going to flat out cop to not knowing much about Dubrovnik’s history – when you’re approaching Egypt full-on, that leaves little time to prep for the next location – but I’ve already learned more about Joffrey and Cersei and all the various Game of Thrones characters than I had before. GoT has been a show I’ve wanted to check out for a while, but was never able to, and it’s become enough a part of the cultural zeitgeist at this point that I know the major plot points, which actually makes me less likely to watch it any time soon.

I think this is where they film Fear the Walking Dead.

See, King’s Landing is Dubrovnik. So out of the tours I saw going around today, all of them were talking about Game of Thrones and not once did I hear a guide talk about the history of the city itself. Pop culture has transcended actual culture here.

Now, that isn’t to say it’s not beautiful. I climbed the Lawrence Tower first and, after a brief stop at the Franciscan Monastery museum, I decided the crowds on the walls weren’t too bad, so up for a stroll before a cruise ship or two pulls in tomorrow and dumps a ton of passengers into the (very tiny) Old Town. The sun was starting to set, hitting the red roofs beautifully, and providing a bit of a glow to the city as I walked around. It’s one of those places where you take the same picture from different angles multiple time, and then marvel at how they all look good.

But, aside from learning about a Croatian father who is working to take care of orphaned children accused of witchcraft in the Congo (happening now), I didn’t get to learn too much about the city. It was a day to get a (beautiful) lay of the land and go from there as I check out some of the museums and maybe a beach or two tomorrow.

I feel like, after all the massive days I had in Egypt, I should be writing more here. Maybe the fact that I’m not is a good thing.

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