Friday 29 June we took the Thameslink from Farringdon to Gatwick Airport. We were booked on an 08:30 flight the following morning so a night at the Gatwick Yotel seemed like a sensible idea.

While we were away Claudia, whom we found on catinaflat.com, would be feeding, watering, injecting and generally cleaning up after Mollie. In addition to our normal Nest cam in the entrance hall I’d setup 2 Manything cameras in the bedroom to monitor Mollie’s activities... yes, I’m crazy and I’m ok with that.

The view from reception

Saturday 30, after a perfectly bearable 3 hour flight we arrived at Dubrovnik Airport and although the queue for immigration was huge it was at least fast moving. Hand luggage only meant we were soon jumping into a waiting taxi.

We arrived at our hotel, the Excelsior, at lunchtime and spent an hour on their terrace while our room was prepared. There wasn’t a cloud in the bright blue sky and it was warm, but not too warm, and the terrace had a beautiful view of the old town.

Our room

After getting our room and freshening up we took the short walk into the old town which was used as a filming location for King’s Landing in The HBO hit series Game of Thrones.

Entering the old town

We walked around the picturesque and beautifully clean streets, picking up a cheese and spinach borek and an ice cream along the way.

Entering the old town

We walked around the walls which gave us lovely views over the red rooftops. France were playing Argentina in the World Cup knock-outs and you could hear the whole town roar each time the ball was hit on target. It was hot but bearable.

The old town

Tammay at a picturesque spot just inside the entrance to the old town. We were sure we recognised these steps from King's Landing!

On the way back to the hotel we got pretty wet in a thunderstorm!

After a shower we had a cocktail on the terrace and watched the sun set behind the old town. We ended up going for the easy option and had our evening meal in one of the hotel’s restaurants.

Morning run

Sunday 1 July and I managed to get up and out before 7am for a run. I decided to head around the old town and out to the new port. A little more gradients than I’m used to but there were paths all the way and it was early enough so I avoided to worst of the heat.

The old town

After breakfast we decided to tour Fort Lovrijenac which featured as “The Red Keep” in Game of Thrones.

The old town

After walking around the fort I was amazed to find Tammay also wanted to walk to the port. We didn’t bother going to the far end as I’d found there to be little to see.

The old town

On our way back we picked up another cheese and spinach borek and ate it while sitting on the harbour side watching the little boats coming in and out. The cheap Croatian Magnum ice cream knock-off we picked up from he supermarket on the walk back to the hotel wasn’t up to scratch.

We spent the late afternoon sat next to the pool in the hotel’s spa.

Dinner at Proto

For our evening meal we ate at Proto, a fish restaurant in the old town. The food was excellent, a cream of crab soup to start and fettuccine with prawns and black truffle for me and gratinated sea bream for Tammay. While we were eating Croatia were playing Denmark in the World Cup knock out stage both teams managed to score within the first 2 minutes.

The hotel patio

Monday 2, following breakfast we relaxed on the hotel’s patio (which it refers to as a beach!) and even took a brief dip in the cool waters of the Adriatic.

In the afternoon we walked back into the old town to pick up more cheese and spinach borek and ate them while sat at Pike Bay (another Game of Thrones filming location: Black Water Bay). Afterwards we meandered through the back streets before heading back to the hotel. On our way we found a tiny kitten yelping from underneath parked cars. Sadly it looked as though something had crushed both of its front legs.

For our evening meal we went to Kopun.

On our way back we once again stopped at the ice cream shop and filled the empty ice cream tub with water for the injured kitten who was still hiding under the cars beside the road.

Morning run

Tuesday 3, I decided to go for a shorter run, through the old town and along the road (passed our hotel) towards Park Orsula (although I probably needed to be higher up the mountain to enter the park). Along the way I stopped at the spot where we found the kitten but there was no sign. Hopefully a local had found it!

We took a taxi to airport, thankfully he didn’t seem too concerned that we were 2 Kr short of the fare (I guess it was still better than us using a credit card).

Prompt service from Hertz got us on the road with our brand new Opel Corsa. Not normally a car I’d willingly take but it had 12km on the clock, decent looking alloy wheels and actually wasn’t too bad to drive.

We were soon embarking on the second leg of our trip to Montenegro.