Traveling through Germany was pretty easy. I was lucky enough to have a 9-hour layover. Therefore, I got into Dubrovnik, Croatia pretty early in the morning. I was staying at an Airbnb (link to Kate's Room here) and I arranged for a driver to pick me up from the airport. I knew I would have no idea where to go, so this way I could be taken right to the house.
The Airbnb's hosts name was Kate and she was an absolute pleasure to meet. She was able to get me into my room early since the people beforehand had left early. She gave me some travel brochures and maps showed me everything I would need to know and how to get in and out of the house. After I unpacked, I took a nap. I knew that I would want to go to the football game that evening so I would want to rest up.
I woke up about 1 pm and got ready to go down to the city to check it all out before the game and scope out where I would be watching it. This was a pretty exciting time for Croatia. They had never been to the FIFA World Cup Finals so this was a big deal to them. I knew that wherever I went it would be crowded.
Old Town is the main attraction in Dubrovnik. It has City Walls surrounding it and is mainly foot traffic. There are plenty of shops and restaurants here and does not have many locals living inside the walls, but there are apartments, hostels, and Airbnb.
While I was in Old Town, I saw football jersey's everywhere. Almost every person walking the street was in some sort of sporting gear or wearing the colors of the Croatia team. So, I decided that I should probably join in the fun. I was able to pick up a jersey for the game at a souvenir shop. (As well as one for my sister who is a huge fan of football). I grabbed some grub, which ended up being some fish tacos, and made my way over to the big screen they had set up right on the steps of the Church of St. Blaise.
During the game, the crowd was always cheering and happy. Flags flying, smoke bombs and flares going off, and lots of chanting and songs. It was amazing to experience. We did watch it in Croatian, but it was not very hard to understand what was happening.
Croatia did come in second place in the final game, but that did not stop them from partying like they won. They were just excited that they made it to the finals. All I heard the rest of the night was car horns honking and then later in the evening, fireworks. I was able to watch those from my window.
It was a wonderful first day to experience Croatia.