Dubrovnik: A Game of Tours

12 May 2017

Today was the day. The day I was most looking forward to throughout my entire Journey to 30: the Game of Thrones walking tour in Dubrovnik!!! I woke up feeling giddy and the city bells chiming in the distance really gave a King’s Landing vibe.

I’m not one to skip breakfast so I headed back to Dubravka 1836 Restaurant & Café before I met with my tour guide. I had a seaside table, therefore, I was also right next to the pigeons who were pretty aggressive trying to steal my bread. NOT TODAY, PIGEONS!

Then it was 9:30AM. Go time. Our meeting point was right next to the cafe so I walked over and met Robert, the tour guide, or Bobo as the locals know him. Robert is a current Game of Thrones extra and has been since season 2. His ultimate goal? To be killed off on the last season of GoT. The tour group was small with only 5 of us (plus a baby strapped to a mother’s back and a toddler. Go Mom!).  

Robert led us to our first stop: Fort Lovrijenac, where many scenes were filmed including Joffrey’s name day and various Red Keep scenes. The Fort also provided vantage points overlooking the Adriatic. It also overlooked the scene for the Purple Wedding, aka Joffrey’s wedding scene and [SPOILER ALERT!] his subsequent death. Muahahaha!

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This site was chosen for Joffrey’s wedding scene, aka: The Purple Wedding.

We headed back down the stairs towards Pile Gate and looked at another filming site from Season 2, where Joffrey orders Gold Cloaks to kill all of Robert Baratheon’s bastard children.

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Then we stopped at Pile Gate where Robert talked about filming the riot scene where King’s Landing peasants attack Joffrey … by throwing “cow pie” at him as Tyrion says. Robert was one of the peasants in the background.

 

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Robert proudly presenting his work on the riot scene.

We then walked up more stairs to the infamous steps where Cersei’s Walk of Atonement took place, or, walk of shame. Shame. Shame. *bell rings*

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This was actually taken on a different day, but with far less people than there were when I took the tour.

At this point we also took a little break while Robert went to get replicas of GoT swords! He had an almost-replica of Needle, Arya Stark’s sword, a Lannister shield, and of course, Longclaw, Jon Snow’s Valyrian steel sword. When he asked if I wanted to hold the Lannister shield, I believe my exact words were, “I’m not about that Lannister life.”

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I am no one. #ValarMorghulis

After our photo-op, we walked through the city following the shameful steps of Cersei, and towards Kula Luda, which provided a vantage point of the Old Port. Robert ended the tour here and told us some amusing anecdotes.* Overall, it was such a great experience! I highly recommend completing a tour with this group as all of the guides do have some involvement with the show. For more info, click here.

My Nosh for the Day:

Lunch @ Barba

I had the shrimp salad and salmon sandwich with the Barba Pale Ale from LAB Split Craft Brewery (located in Split, another seaside city north of Dubrovnik). The name of this casual restaurant and name of the beer is purely coincidental. Their menu is simple but delicious, serving seafood only. Most popular dish? The octopus burger. I highly recommend this place if you like seafood.

Drinkies @ D’Vino

Of course, I had to come back again. This time I ordered the flight of white wines. Then I bought a glass of a sauvignon blanc. I stayed here and talked with friendly employees (shout out to Ana!) until I had to leave for my dinner reservation.

Dinner @ Nautika

Nautika is known to both tourists and locals. It’s a high-end restaurant specialising in “Sophisticated mediterranean cuisine” as their website states. I normally do not eat seafood but everything was locally sourced, and hey, “When in Dubrovnik.” I definitely had to take advantage of my location and Nautika’s Head Chef Mario Bunda. And people, the man knows what he’s doing. OH.MY.GAH! My dinner was worth every F***ING penny. I spent somewhere around £80 for everything. The check does look scary in Croatian Kuna though.

I started with a cocktail: Nautika Mule

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My starter: Shrimp Polenta

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Main: Sea Bass on a bed of tomatoes paired with a white wine my waiter chose for me. I apologise everyone, I was too eager and forgot to take a picture of this freaking delectable dish. My bad.

Compliments of the chef:

A matcha goat cheese and HOMEMADE chocolates with figs. I. CAN’T. EVEN.

To be completely honest, I was drunk by the end of my dinner. C’mon though, can you blame me? I had a flight of wine, two full glasses of wine, and a strong cocktail. Oh and I forgot! The aperitif Nautika gave me, which I could smell when it was placed in front of me. After dinner I headed back to my Airbnb and passed out. Best day evvaaaa!

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*Robert’s Anecdotes:

  • One of Robert’s favourite scenes actually involves his former chemistry teacher. He happily watched his former teach being grabbed by the throat by a Gold Cloak in the scene where the Baratheon bastards are being killed.
  • If an extra dies and his “dead” face is seen on camera, that extra can no longer work on the show. Huge red Xs are scribbled across their photos and they’re done with GoT. Because of this, most of the extras try to hide their faces if they are part of the dead in the background. One of the directors encountered this while filming a scene and ordered extras to lie dead on the ground. All of them decided to lie face down. When the extras were told that some had to turn around, the extras would lie face up but threw their arms across their faces. The director had to explicitly state that he had to see some faces. HAHAHAHAHA.
  • Robert personally thanks Malta for preventing further GoT filming there as it was the location for King’s Landing in Season 1. After a squabble, GoT moved to Dubrovnik, for which they are grateful.
  • Dubrovnik extras loved Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) because he explored the city a lot and played the tourist. They also loved Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) because he took the time to learn about the city and its history. They were also pretty unanimous about who they did not like, but this isn’t a gossip site so move along. Or better yet, do a GoT walking tour and ask!
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