“You haven’t seen a tree until you’ve seen its shadow from the sky.” – Amelia Earhart
Our first two days in Dubrovnik, the sun hid among a thick cloak of clouds. Dodging a deluge of raindrops that is unusual for the city, we longed for the vibrant ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’ of postcards – those sapphire-blue skies meeting a sea dressed in the same hue, ripe-orange rooftops, and verdant palm and pine trees dotting the craggy landscape.
Diligently watching the weather reports, we made strategic plans for when to ride the city’s cable car up to Mount Srdj, 405 meters above sea level. As we walked to the cable car station, things started looking up as Dubrovnik gracefully began her transition from greyscale tones to Technicolor.
Our cable car lifted off, and within seconds, Dubrovnik looked more like a medieval Lego land than a formidable city with imposing walls. In my peripheral vision, residential rooftops faded into scratchy green vegetation, and finally a rocky hillside. In less than three minutes, we had glided 778 meters from lower to upper station.
Our destination – Mount Srdj – has been a strategic defense spot for centuries. The Imperial Fortress that still crowns the hillside today was built between 1806-1812 by the French. Later, it was extended by the Austro-Hungarians, and in 1991, it sheltered local fighters who defended the town during the Siege of Dubrovnik. Today, it houses the Homeland War Museum.
The city’s original cable car was built in 1969, but destroyed in 1991. Its bright-orange successor was not put into service until 2010, after the station was completely rebuilt.
The views are, of course, the star attraction on Mount Srdj: diminutive Dubrovnik below, the Adriatic Sea as far as the eye can see, nearby Lokrum Island (a protected nature sanctuary and also the scene of filming for the Game of Thrones) and the rugged landscape to the north (which is slated to be developed into a golf course).
We were pleased to learn that we did not have to catch the next cable car down, and that we could stay up on Mount Srdj until around closing time. We walked on the multiple terraces, reflecting upon the city’s impressive history. From this vantage point, the city’s strategic location was ever more apparent.
I enjoyed watching nature’s canvas change with the light and clouds as pensive thoughts popped into my head. They are the kind of musings that are inspired by such history and beauty. I found myself pondering how to bring people together and promote peace, and concluded that travel – and the intercultural exchange that can happen as a result – is a starting point. Finally, it was simply entertaining watching the expressions of cable car passengers newly arrived to the terrace. The looks of excitement on their faces as they glimpsed the tiny version of the Old Town below reminded me of our visit to the Grand Canyon last summer.
Walking Dubrovnik’s walls and experiencing this unique view from Mount Srdj are certainly the two best souvenirs we’ll take away from our time in Dubrovnik.
Watch Shawn’s video below to see the scenes come to life.
Video of This Experience:
Where in the World?
- Purchase your tickets from the Dubrovnik Cable Car’s lower station. The round-trip price for adults is 94 kunas (about $15 USD), whereas a one-way ticket is 50 kunas ($8 USD). Children’s ticket are 40 / 25 kunas, respectively.
- You’re probably wondering why there is a one-way ticket option? When you’re atop Mount Srdj looking down, you’ll notice a series of switchbacks on the footpath leading to/from the city. The hike is said to take about 90 minutes.
- The upper station complex offers restrooms, a restaurant, souvenir shop, and several viewing terraces. Hours vary, based upon the season. Check the Dubrovnik Cable Car website for more details. We especially appreciated that we could enjoy the views from atop Mount Srdj for as long as our schedule permitted, and that there were no time constraints for returning (so long as we caught the last cable car down in time).
- Need more inspiration? This link contains an index of all my posts from Croatia.
Disclosure & Thanks:
The Dubrovnik Cable Car hosted us for this excursion.
Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved. Video footage is courtesy of my husband, Shawn.