Game of Thrones scenario
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Hello, I am glad to greet you, I am Yael Yancelson and today we are going to a historical and really beautiful place, we fly with the power of imagination to the interesting city of Dubrovnik in Croatia, so breathe, close your eyes and let yourself be guided, we begin.
An intense shine of emerald and sapphire tones in the water welcomes us on the coast of Croatia, between the Balkans and central Europe. Shadow of ancient walled cities, these lands have passed between kingdoms, empires, and rival republics for centuries, contributing to the rich legacy culture that it has left in its wake. Venetian palaces next to Napoleonic forts, Roman columns jutting out of early Slavic churches, or Viennese mansions in front of socialist sculptures.
Here we find excellent museums that house treasures that cover all of European history, from prehistory to post-communism, showing a journey that is both fascinating and terrible.
The limestone karst has created an incredible landscape of incredibly picturesque peaks, caverns, canyons, waterfalls, and lakes. Look how beautiful!!! The more active can explore this part on foot and by bicycle, greatly enjoying the many trails, while the more adventurous can go climbing, rafting, or zip-lining, which is just what I will do right now!
Let’s go to the most popular destination in Croatia, the walled city of Dubrovnik, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Despite being relentlessly bombed in the 1990s during the Croatian War, its imposing walls and towers, medieval monasteries, baroque churches, squares, and fascinating residential neighborhoods have regained their magnificence. To get a good view of the entire “pearl of the Adriatic”, how about we take the funicular up to Mount Srđ and then go around the walls and spy on the hidden gardens and ancient streets?
Dubrovnik (ancient Ragusa) is the capital of the Dubrovnik-Neretva county. It is located 495 km from the Croatian capital, Zagreb, 340 km from Zadar, and 216 km from Split. The word Dubrovnik means Oak Grove, a name that describes the number of trees of this type that existed in the area. The city of Dubrovnik was dominated by the Byzantines, Venetians, Hungarians, and Turks. In 1272 it was directed by an aristocratic government reaching its maximum splendor in European trade, one of its star products was silver alloyed with gold, called glama. The decline of Dubrovnik has its origin when in 1667 an earthquake struck the city. It later became the property of Austria.
We arrive at the old town of Dubrovnik, notice how it is surrounded by a hundred-year-old wall and we enter through the Pile gate, the most frequented entrance to the old city. Undoubtedly, fans of the award-winning television series, Game of Thrones, are in luck, since guided tours of the settings that were part of the filming can now be taken. In fact, they tell us that some of the guides have participated as extras in the series, so our lucky guide Mirko has the information firsthand.
From the Pile Gate, we can begin this experience, close our eyes and imagine that we are in the Capital of the Seven Kingdoms, it will help us to see from the walls the magnificent fortress of Lovrijenac, the Red Fortress in fiction, a bastion of the XI century that appears in numerous scenes of the saga, and that is on the Blackwater Bay, where the intense battle of the same name takes place.
Look right in front of me, there is Placa street, also known as the Stradun, the artery that connects the Pile gate with Luza square. At the beginning of the street, is the Franciscan monastery. In the background, you can see a bell tower and two palaces. In the middle, the buildings, all made of stone, on Placa Street and a surprisingly shiny floor due to the stones polished by millions of steps.
The first part of the walls leads to the part closest to the sea. Halfway through the route, we reach the area of the old port. We see the cobbled alleys and cross next to the Rectoral Palace and, passing by the Dominican monastery, we begin to climb again.
Now we walk over the roofs of Dubrovnik. You manage to appreciate how the city dyed the red of its tiles. In Plaza Luza we see the portico of the church of San Blas, the patron saint of the city. Further back, the Cathedral of the Assumption. In the background, the Adriatic Sea frames the landscape.
Our guide tells us about the Rectors’ Palace (Knežev dvor), which was the seat of government and the rector in the days when Dubrovnik was an independent republic, and the spectacular Velika Gospa Cathedral, which was built in 1192.
We arrive at the Onofrio Fountain, which has a circular shape and was built in the 15th century to commemorate the end of the construction work of the new aqueduct that served to provide the city with water from the Riieka Dubrovacka fountain. Drinking and fresh water comes out of the mouths of the sculpted figures
Now let’s change the scene and go to the Gradska Plaza beach “city beach” which is located next to the Lazaretto, behind the Ploce Gate. The beaches in Dubrovnik are usually thick sand as the area is very steep and rocky. We can enjoy many other beaches by moving to other places very close. We will do it by ferry to the island of Lokrum, this beauty is called a National Park, we will see the ruins of a Benedictine monastery, as well as the Botanical Garden, and a beautiful rocky beach that, beware, is for nudists, I hope you do not feel uncomfortable.
And an adventure in the waters of the Adriatic Sea is this kayak tour that we are going to take. We start the tour in Pile Bay, which is located at the foot of the Lovrijenac Fortress. We row around Lokrum, making several stops to rest and listen to stories about the area. We pass through the Lokrum caves while floating deliciously in the crystal clear waters and this serves to disconnect you from all thoughts in this paradisiacal environment, seize the moment!
Let’s rest in the cave of Betina, right on the beach on the east side. Here, we can go back to swimming, diving, and cliff jumping.
Once dry, we continue exploring and arrive at the Lapad neighborhood, which is located in the western part of Dubrovnik, under Mount Petka. This is where most of the hotels are located, it is called Babin Kuk. Its Gothic constructions are very beautiful, don’t you think so? We find in addition to the Church of the Virgen de la Misericordia, the Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Modern History
If what you want is to enjoy the nightlife, nothing better than going to Calle Prijeco, full of terraces with a very chic atmosphere where you can listen to Jazz music, among other styles; festivals like the Dubrovnik Summer Festival are held every year.
If you start hearing cries of Jedi! Jedi! Jedi!” (“Eat, eat, eat!”), are the residents of the area and sharing food and drink is one of the great cultural traits of Croatia, which is explained by the hospitable nature of its people and by the quality of its products. Family taverns prepare simple home cooking and there are hundreds of restaurants of all kinds in the Old Town area.
And after so much activity, the truth is that I was already very hungry, so if you like to cook, I think it is time to prepare our ingredients to go to the kitchen and make a very typical Ston cake, click on the button or if you prefer, keep traveling.
And that is how we leave this beautiful and interesting region of the planet with the desire to return. We will travel every week to another corner of this wonderful world, to discover, enjoy and fly with the imagination, I wait for you every Friday and I ask you if you like me to share the content with your friends and give me a like and a review of your comments because with that you help me a lot to raise the ranking of this podcast, ALTERNATIVE REALITY A UNIQUE AND DIFFERENT SPACE THAT CREATES COMMUNITY. If you are interested in knowing what the Include Me Foundation does with the social and labor integration of people living with mental disabilities, go to: www.incluyeme.org
We make a difference. And as I always tell you when helping others, we mainly help ourselves. See you next week and thanks for traveling with me.
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Thanks for traveling with me, until next week!!
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