Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

A Visit to King’s Landing. Or is it Dubrovnik?

I first visited Dubrovnik with Anne in 1996, just after the war, and we came back in 1997 with baby B and in 1998 with toddler B. I have been a few times since, but usually without much time to look around. Yesterday, however, our conference finished at lunchtime, and it turned out that C, another participant, is also a Game of Thrones fan; equipped with information from various websites (here, here and here) we went into the old city, C for the first time, me looking at it with fresh eyes. We were joined by Danish B, who confessed that although her sons were big fans she had never seen any of it herself.



(Later on, Danish B went to catch her plane, and we were joined by Austrian K.)



Dubrovnik in June is full of tourists, much more so than in the late 1990s. The city walls have a one-way system set up, so you can now only go around them anti-clockwise.



This meant that we joined the circuit too late to look around the Minčeta Tower, which in a rare non-King’s Landing location was the House of the Undying in Qarth, though perhaps it is better appreciated from a distance anyway:




The walls remain as spectacular as ever - click on this to get the full panorama of the ancient city-state:



The Jesuit Steps are now one of the key attractions for visitors. People were muttering “SHAME” to each other, and I heard a few tinkles from handbells. Nobody however had resorted to full nude re-enactment of the notorious scene from Season 5.



A short walk away is the Ethnographical Museum. C exclaimed in recognition, “It’s the brothel!” Danish B muttered that she had not realised that was how the word is pronounced.




The inlet beside the Pile gate was really spectacular yesterday- there was a bit of wind, so the water was rough. It is a far smaller space than it appeared on screen in the Battle of the Blackwater:





C recreated one of the other famous scenes shot here:




Sibel Kekelli, who played Shae, has of course been seen in dubious company:



The other great discovery for me was the Red Keep, actually the Lovrijenac Fort - again, quite a small space in real life compared to how it felt on the screen, but instantly recognisable. Not shown here, but there were several groups of Game of Thrones fans, some reciting lines from the relevant scenes to each other! (By this time Danish B had left us and K had joined our group).







From the top of the fort there is a great view of the whole walled city. (Click to embiggen.)



We also looked in on Gradac Park, scene of the Purple Wedding where Joffrey is poisoned. There is not a lot to see, but there were cute turtles in the pond:



We had originally planned to also look in on the Rector’s Palace later in the evening, but I was too tired and went to bed relatively early.

This boat went past our hotel in the morning. I think it is a non-specific tourist gimmick, though it would not be completely out of place in GoT:



Other aspects of Dubrovnik that don’t fit into GoT include the impressive Christian architectural heritage (here the cathedral, the Church of St Ignatius, and inside the Franciscan Museum):








And of course the islands. Our original schedule for the afternoon had been a boat trip to some of the islands, but the weather was too rough and we were set loose on the city instead. I can’t say I was sorry, though the islands do look beautiful.




So how was your weekend?
Tags: world: croatia, writer: george rr martin
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