Three Ways to See the Walls of Dubrovnik’s Old Town

If you’ve been following this blog, you know that we spent a great night in Old Town. Tragically, the day we were planning to return, the fun parent sprained his ankle. As in, what had been his ankle was probably the same size as his calf. The word that springs to mind, after “NOMYGOD!” is “Elephantine.”

But D was adament that we should walk Old Town’s fortress —  a full 2.5 km of centuries old ramparts, interspersed with steps. 1,080 steps to be specific.  And so we did, once he was able to hobble around.

First, we tested out the husband’s ambulatory experience by starting with the cable car. The cable car is about a 4 minute ride up to the top of Srd Mountain. There’s not much there for the kids (there are expensive restaurants great for date night, buggy tours and a war museum) but the girls thought it was amazing nonetheless. I think when you’re short, getting to rise above houses is a pretty cool thing. And the museum wasn’t lost on them either since there was so many pictures of the city and the effects of the war.

Squirrel enjoying the view while Goose pines for the expensive food.

After the cable car ride down, D led us down some random steps and we came out by the entrance to the wall tour. “Wanna do it?” he asked. It was 80 degrees. We had two small children, a barely ambulatory 40-year-old, and one bottle of water between us. Do you feel lucky, punk?

Squirrel was totally game, but the first flight of stairs were excrutiating. “Why are there always more steps?” Squirrel asked, breathless. Why indeed. I was worried about the fact that we had just started and there was a first aid station with a stretcher. How bad was the rest of the walk going to be?

We’re walking to where?!!

Turns out, pretty bad. But only because I ended up carrying Goose, and half way through the trip, she fell asleep on me. In the mid-day heat. Sweat was rolling down my back and there were more stairs. My arms ached. And to add insult to injury, as we rounded the half-way point, we walked along people’s houses where underwear was drying on the line and locals were carrying kids in strollers down their neighborhood stairs. I was looking into their kitchens from my perch. “People do this,” I said to myself. “With kids. Every. F-ing. Day.”  I figured if they could do it, so could I.

Take the picture already. This wall is the only thing holding me up right now.

And I did, until we stopped along one of the final restaurants along the way, our final tower within sight, and I enjoyed a beer and the view. We felt accomplished and lucky, even though my arm shook as I tried to hold up my drink. And then I woke Goose up for the final stretch. She demanded to be carried more. And ice cream.

And still sleeping. But we made it!

For some reason, after the walk of weariness, I thought it would be a great idea to do a boat tour next. Maybe it was the beer. Maybe it was the heat stroke. Nevertheless we walked to the main port and inquired about a glass bottom boat tour thinking we’ll sit for 50 minutes, enjoy the sea breeze and watch fish in our own private aquarium. And did I mention that we also gave them ice cream just before the ride?

All hail SUGARRRRRR!!!!

The kids thought the boat ride was cool, even if they were antsy. I suspect the captain was supposed to stop somewhere for us to see fish, but he was too distracted by his friends and so we saw no fish. We did, however, see the nudist beach — and a nudist — on Lokrum Island. That counts as wildlife, right?

Where are all the fish mommy?

All in all, it was a fun but absolutely exhausting day. I enjoyed seeing the fortress walls come right out of the sea, adventurous 20-somethings sunbathing on the cliffs and a woman scaling the rock wall with her bare hands. Ah, I thought. That must be what people who don’t have kids do when they want a challenge.


3 Ways to See Old Town’s Walls

  1. By Air: Dubrovnik Zicara or Cable Car will take you high above the city walls to some pretty breathtaking views. More>> 
  2. By Foot: Take a 2.5 mile hike along the fort walls, but be sure to bring plenty of water. And well rested kids. More>>
  3. By Boat: Most tours are about 50 minutes, although you can opt for a full day tour of the islands if you plan a day ahead. You can book these tours pretty much from any tour stall, or go online for more info. More>>

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