Sunday, 11 August 2019

3 Interesting Things to See on Lokrum Island

This is a throwback post to the time when I made a day-trip to Lokrum Island in Dubrovnik, Croatia in September 2017.

Getting to Lokrum Island

Ferries leave from the Old Port (Gradska luka) in Old Town Dubrovnik to Lokrum Island. The ride takes about 10 minutes.

This is the ferry that I took:

The fare (return trip) was 120 Kuna (as at September 2017). It's now 150 Kuna (I checked the website).


After about 15 minutes, the ferry reached Lokrum Island:




The first signboard that greet visitors reminded that the last ferry to leave the island was 6.00pm. The time changes periodically so make sure you check the time when you arrive on the island. The latest ferry timetable is also available here.

'Is is forbidden to stay on the island after the last departure of the boat!' 
I wonder what happens to visitors who miss that last ferry. Where will they stay since there's no lodging on the island? Will they get fined by the authorities? So make sure you don't overlook the time and miss the ferry. 


There was no entrance fee to the island. The ferry ticket was the only cost to get to the island.



There're no vehicles on the island, so you have to walk everywhere, but it's not a super huge island anyway.

You don't have to worry about getting lost because all locations are marked clearly by signboards such as this:

The numbers indicate the route number based on the map of the island here
The numbers are not the distance or time taken to walk to that particular spot.


So what's to see on Lokrum Island? Some of the notable spots include The Bay of Portoc, The Monastery Complex, Botanical Gardens, etc.

Here are the Top 3 items that I like about Lokrum Island:

No. 1: Game of Thrones (GoT) Exhibition Centre

This centre is a dream come true for all GoT fans because this stone building ...



... houses the Iron Throne:

Visitors are allowed to sit on the throne for pics. 
Since there were not many people around, I took so many photos that will make selfie queens green with envy. I used one of the pics as my WhatsApp profile photo and got many questions on where did I find the Iron Throne. Well, now you know.


Apart from the Iron Throne, the centre has an exhibition about the popular drama series especially about its filming locations in Croatia. The centre was too dark to take pics.

Here's a little info I found in the centre on The Benedictine Curse:

Scary.


No. 2: Rabbits everywhere

Before coming to Lokrum Island, the guide for one of the walking tours in Dubrovnik said that there're many rabbits running free on the island.

Apparently someone had brought a pair of rabbits to Lokrum Island, the rabbits bred like rabbits (pun intended) and now there're so many of them.

The guide said visitors can take the rabbits home because they're breeding rapidly, but I didn't see anyone doing so.

Here's a photo of the rabbits eating, sleeping and chilling on a field:

The rabbits seems to hang out on this field only. I didn't see rabbits in other parts of the island.


Sometimes you have to look hard as they're hiding in the bushes:

Can you see me?


They like to dig holes and bury themselves in it:



Apart from rabbits, there're also peacocks on Lokrum Island:



Peacocks are bold birds who're not afraid to come up to strangers, like this one who came up to me as I was lazing on a lounge chair:



One rabbit also came up to me and here's a pic of it running away before I could touch it:



Random photo of my pedicured feet:

The weather was beautiful that I slept on that lounge chair for about 2 hours.


No. 3: Fort Royal

Fort Royal is located towards the east side of the island and is a bit of a walk through the forest to get there:



Here's a pic of Fort Royal from outside:

Fort Royal is essentially a ruin which was too dark to take pics inside.


The fort is located on a hill with views such as this:



It was drizzling when I reached Fort Royal and a rainbow appeared:

A rainbow is a rare sight and makes me feel all tingly whenever I see one.


After roaming around Fort Royal, I made my way back to the opening where I had entered the area. But I couldn't find it! And there was no one around to ask for directions.

At that point I thought I should have put a bright red marker or leave a trail of bread crumbs like Hansel & Gretel.

After walking around in circles I managed to find the inconspicuous opening and started running to the ferry area. It was almost 6.00pm!

I managed to reach the port about 20 minutes before 6.00pm. Thank heavens for that!

So do keep in mind of the time if you visit Lokrum Island.


Monday, 20 May 2019

A short note on my South Korean trip and other things

This blog has not been updated since January 2019 and I'm ashamed of it.

I got back from a 7-day trip to Seoul and Busan last week. It was a relaxing holiday with lots of shopping. Bought dresses, skincare products, etc. Also bought a pair of original Samsung earphone since I was in Samsung birthplace. Costs me 17,800 KRW.

I found Korean food too pungent spicy, the type that makes my eyes water each time I eat it. So after a few meals of Korean food, I started living on burgers, instant noodles and chips. It was an unhealthy trip, but now it's time to get back to healthy eating.

South Korea was my 30th country and with that, I've achieved one of my bucket list of visiting at least 30 countries. But I ain't gonna stop here. Maybe I should up the target to 50 countries.

I'm abit embrassed to admit that I didn't visit a single UNESCO World Heritage site in South Korea because I was too lazy to navigate myself there. But travelling is about going with the flow and my mojo didn't direct me to any of the UNESCO sites.

Apart from my trip to South Korea, I had been busy with my Chartered Banker modules. The assignments were time consuming and the exams were nerve wreaking. So much for being a heroine wanting to take up this course eventhough it's not compulsory for my career. But I'm a firm believer in lifelong learning and it's always good to learn new things. 

That's all for now. I'll blog soon when time permits. Many back logged posts waiting to be written.


Sunday, 13 January 2019

3 Tips for Climbing Dubrovnik's City Walls

"If you could see only one attraction in Dubrovnik, you must see the city walls because that's the main attraction here," said the lady at Kings Landing Hostel where I stayed for 4 nights in September 2017.

After hearing her waxing lyrical about the walls, I decided to climb it on my last day in Dubrovnik. Save the best for last, so to speak, and I was certainly not disappointed.

Dubrovnik's City Walls is one of the best preserved medieval walls I've ever seen. It's so well preserved that it looks like it was built recently.

Here are 3 tips to read before you climb the walls.

Tip #1: Be prepared to pay exhorbitant fees

The entrance fee for an adult is 150 Kuna when I was there in September 2017.


One of my friend commented that he had to pay a kidney to get onto the walls. Just kidding, but it's exhorbitant indeed. And to think that hundreds of people climb the walls daily, the authorities must be making millions a year from the wall fees alone.


Tip #2: There are many steep steps

Anyone without a considerable level of fitness may find the stairs challenging.


I saw many elderly visitors huffing and puffing as they climbed the stairs. And when they reached the top, they had to stop for a while to catch their breath before continuing.

Go slow if you start having difficulties climbing.


Tip #3: Go early in the morning to avoid the crowds

If you don't already know by now, the number of tourists in Dubrovnik is huge. They're everywhere and it's difficult to take any photos without anyone photobombing it.


The only way to beat the human traffic is to go early.

The ticket office opens at 8.00am ....



So be there early to get your tickets and start climbing those walls.


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So what will you see whilst climbing the walls?

Expect to see Dubrovnik's famous orange coloured roof tops and Lokrum Island (top left hand corner) in the distance:



Expect to see Games of Thrones filming locations. Here's two of the locaions:

Minceta Tower was the location of the House of the Undying.


Fort Lovrijenac on the left is used as the location of the Red Keep in King's Landing.


Expect to see the Old Port:



Expect to see a top view of the Big Onofrio's fountain (the round structure) :



And you can also expect to peek down to the restaurants below ...



... or even at a basketball court right smack in the walls:



The photos I've shared with you are inexhaustable. Of course you'll see many more things from the walls and on the walls.

So if you're visiting Dubrovnik, make sure you climb its city walls. I hope you'll be as amazed as I was.


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