This article is part of our Trip Report – Our Summer Holiday in Dubrovnik and Beyond
Middle Age Miles loves The Amazing Race. And Season 12, Leg 6 is one of our all-time favorites. Not because of anything in particular that happened on the Race – in fact, it was average leg with a moderate amount of drama and challenges that were not particularly memorable – but rather, because it introduced us to a spectacularly beautiful city that became a bucket-list destination for us, Dubrovnik.
Unfortunately, Dubrovnik got a big of short shrift on the episode. The 6 teams left in the Race faced air travel challenges getting from Vilnius, Lithuania, to Dubrovnik. Because of this, it was over 17 minutes of air time from a 42-minute episode before the teams even arrived into Dubrovnik. Once they arrived, though, Dubrovnik was quite the sight to behold.
So, once we made it Dubrovnik, we wanted to visit as many of The Amazing Race sites as we could (ok, I wanted to, and Philly happily played along!). We were actually able to visit pretty much all of the sites from this leg of the Race. In this article, we’ll walk through them in the same order as in Season 12, Leg 6.
Finding the Location of the First Clue Box
There wasn’t much detail on the episode about the location of the first clue box the teams needed to find upon arrival into Dubrovnik. We knew that they asked to be taken to the harbor near the Fort of St. Lawrence. (And along the drive from the airport into town, the episode showed several clips of teams remarking on the incredible beauty of their surroundings.)
On the episode, we briefly saw some teams scrambling to find their way down from their drop-off point to the water’s edge. As it turns out, the drop-off point was at the busy plaza just outside the Pile Gate, the western gate in the Old Town Dubrovnik city walls.
Tucked away, just around the corner from the plaza, is a small set of steps leading to a narrow-and-winding walkway that takes you to Dubrovnik West Harbor. The path is not well-marked, and it’s certainly not immediately obvious that this is where you’d need to go. When you’re there in person, you can see that this was a nice twist by the Race designers.
Even assuming that you’ve made it to the water’s edge, the location of the clue box was not well-described in the episode. I had worried that we wouldn’t be able to identify it at all. But once we emerged from the walkway at the water, the clue box location jumped out – it had a unique location on a small jut-out point from the walkway, which was instantly recognizable from what we’d seen on the episode.
Road Block – Find Stone
The clue at the first clue box directed racers to the leg’s Road Block. The task was straightforward – help repair a wall damaged in Yugoslavia’s civil war (the Croatian War of Independence, if you’re in Croatia) by searching through a pile of 150 large stones to find 1 of the 8 stones that fits correctly into a notch in the wall.
The wall was around a small church, identified on Google Maps as Sveti Durad. From the clue box, it required the racers to backtrack slightly along the path they’d just come down. The task appeared to be somewhat physically demanding, as the racer had to pick up the stone, carry it to the wall, and see if it would fit. And especially by the time the last team reached this point, there would only be 3 remaining “good” stones out of a pile of 145. But the episode didn’t show any particular drama at this Road Block, perhaps because of time constraints.
When the teams successfully completed the task, the stonemason handed them their next clue.
Route Info – Make Your Way to the Roof of the Fort of St. Lawrence
The Fort of St. Lawrence (Lovrijenac) sits atop a steep bluff, with its base 121 feet above the sea below. Teams were instructed to make their way to the roof of the Fort, which involves another 40-50 feet of climbing once you’re inside the Fort itself.
Once up top, the teams rode a tandem zip line across Dubrovnik West Harbor, down to Fort Bokar. Fort Bokar is a circular outcropping along the Dubrovnik Old Town city wall.
Two other things about the Fort of St. Lawrence:
- One, there is an admission fee to enter the Fort. In August 2018, the admission fee was 50 Croatian Kuna per person (about $7.90 at the time).
- Two, we don’t watch Game of Thrones, but of course a lot of people love it as much or more than we love The Amazing Race. We learned that the Fort of St. Lawrence serves as the Red Keep on Game of Thrones, which thrilled Middle Age Miles sister Cymber to no end (just wait until you see her in our upcoming article about the GoT boat tour!).
Detour – Short & Long, or Long & Short
Once they reached Fort Bokar, the teams received their next clue – choose between two ways that foreign armies might have tried to invade Dubrovnik, Short & Long, or Long & Short.
In Short & Long, the teams had to rappel down the walls of Fort Bokar and then scale a rope ladder to the top of the city wall (this was the Short part). Then, they had to make their way on foot through the streets of Old Town Dubrovnik, to a plaza on the diagonal opposite side of Old Town (the Long part), to find their next clue.
In Long & Short, the teams had to do another tandem zip line from Fort Bokar down to the water, swim to a floating platform, then get into a fishing boat and row it around the city walls to the east harbor (this was the Long part). When they arrived at a flagged area in the harbor, they then had to make their way on foot up to the same plaza to the clue box (the Short part).
In the Race, 4 teams chose Long & Short (zip line & rowing), while only 2 teams chose Short & Long (rappel, rope ladder, and find your way across Old Town Dubrovnik on foot). The rowing portion saw its share of drama, including one young couple who came completely unglued arguing on the boat.
The clue box at the end of both Detour choices was located in Trg Oreszja (spelling? I did this phonetically based on pronunciation by Phil and a Race contestant on the episode; I don’t see the name on Google Maps, I can’t find it by searching, and I didn’t see it written anywhere when we were there). This plaza is located just inside the city walls, very near Ploce Gate on the eastern side of Old Town. The plaza overlooks the marina. The clue box was located near the far southern end of the plaza.
Pit Stop – Stone Cross Atop Mt. Srd
After picking up their clue in the plaza, teams had to exit Ploce Gate, catch a taxi, and travel 4 miles up to the Pit Stop, at the Stone Cross atop Mt. Srd overlooking Dubrovnik.
The taxi portion of these instructions seemed simple, but one team was horribly foiled when the taxi driver wouldn’t let them in his cab because they were wet after rowing. They hailed a random Croatian driver to take them to the Stone Cross on the mountaintop, but Phil was none too pleased about this. He ordered them to go back down and take a “legal form of transportation” back up to the top. This adventure led to the title quote for this episode, the “Cherry on Top of the [Ice Cream] Sundae That’s Already Melted.”
Once they were dropped off near the Stone Cross, the teams had to ascend one final set of stairs to reach the Cross and the Pit Stop mat. The stairs were lined with gentlemen in Croatian military regalia. One of the fired a musket when each team ran up the stairs, unfailingly startling the bejeebies out of the racers, which made us laugh every single time (and still does!).
The Pit Stop mat was located just past the Stone Cross in the far left (southwest) corner.
We got a kick out of going to the Stone Cross, ascending the stairs (sans musket-fire), and standing at the actual Pit Stop location. (We actually took the cable car to the top rather than a taxi, which we’ll cover in a later article.) It’s quite a spectacular view from the Stone Cross overlooking Dubrovnik and the Adriatic Sea below. What an amazing location for a Pit Stop of The Amazing Race.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our chase along the route of The Amazing Race Season 12, Leg 6 in Dubrovnik half as much as we have. The sights here were truly amazing. This was a wonderful place to experience and satisfy a big item on our travel bucket list.
On Middle Age Miles, we try to visit sites featured on The Amazing Race whenever we can on our travels, and we enjoy sharing our fondness for the Race and love of travels with you. If you also enjoyed this article and/or have something to add to our recap, please let us know in the Comments!
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