Two bus rides and 8 hours was in between me and Dubrovnik, Croatia. On the way at a "layover" I got some food and turned around only to see the bus was gone, I panicked, all my luggage was in there, camera, drone, laptop, back up drive memory cards, everything. I frantically looked for someone familiar (like the driver) or someone who worked there, I asked him if he spoke English and then where the bus went, he said it went to park. Omg thank God! I literally was freaking out and thought my life was over lol. During the journey I booked a hostel in Dubrovnik for a couple nights, never being there or really hearing much about it, I booked one in "Old Town." I thought ok cool. On the way you could see a castle lit up at night, I thought, cool a castle, maybe ill check it out. I took an Uber to the hostel from the bus station he pulled up to this castle entrance and said "here you are." I thought, what? But as I started to walk closer I could see a whole city in there. I learned "Old Town" is enclosed my a massive stone wall constructed in the 16th century. It was pretty unique in there. The streets are paved in limestone and it is booming with shops and restaurants. Theres also is a nearby island, Lokrum, (15min ferry ride) that has bunnies everywhere amongst other wild life. Scenes from Game of Thrones were filmed here, Kings Landing is essentially Dubrovnik. All in all I was pleasantly surprised with the few nights there, there was even a nightclub within the walls, it felt like I was partying in a castle (and I guess I really was)- all stone, 50ft arched ceilings, incredible!
Good- awesome castle setting. No shortage of restaurants or shops. Good nightlife. Feels like your walking around in Kings Landing.
Bad- very expensive, probably due to the high tourism. Lots of stairs, no vehicles within the walls.
Plitvika National Park
Ten hours later (2 more bus rides) I arrived at a cool little hostel just outside the Plitvice Lakes National Park. They were very helpful and suggested a few routes throughout the park to see everything in 1 day. They even offered a shuttle to and from the park for a small fee. This park was absolutely amazing, not too big that you can't see most everything in 1 day, and no shortage of waterfalls and turquoise lakes. It has over 16 lakes that pour into each other providing some pretty epic views. I spent 2 days here and met a cool guy at the hostel to explore the second day with. He turned out to be an aspiring photographer so it was nice to have someone to stop longer for that perfect shot and/or explore the "off limits" sections to get unique viewpoints. Luckily I came just during off season so there was less crowds (still quite busy though) and the trees were reds, yellows, and oranges. Very gorgeous! Put this on your list for sure.
Good- everything! Waterfalls, turquoise lakes, colorful trees, plenty of hikes to keep you busy
Bad- Tour groups with no manners (standing in the middle of a bridge with their selfie sticks taking pictures without any regard to others around them). Kinda of confusing maps of hiking paths. Park closes at 6pm (I wanted to shoot the milky way and/or sunset :().
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