Croatia

We are settled into Dubrovnik for six days of R & R at a beach resort on a beautiful peninsula. It takes about an hour to walk into the spectacular walled town of Dubrovnik, and it’s a beautiful walk. It’s also easy to catch one of the frequent buses that gets you into town in 15 minutes.

So far we are spending long, leisurely days on the rocky beaches and beautiful coves of this peninsula. Then we walk into town for an evening of great food, atmosphere, and Croatian wine. After months of traveling from town to town for countless three-day stops, it really feels like we are on vacation.

From here, I’m just going to let the pictures speak for themselves.

The view from our terrace

The view from our terrace

The beach at our hotel

The beach at our hotel

The beginning of our walk into town

The beginning of our walk into town

Later in our walk to town

Later in our walk to town

On our way into another wonderful evening in old Dubrovnik

On our way into another wonderful evening in old Dubrovnik

Getting close to town

Getting close to town

Arriving at the spectacular walled old town of Dubronik

Arriving at the spectacular walled old town of Dubronik

The perfect wine bar, inside the walled city of Dubrovnik

The perfect wine bar, inside the walled city of Dubrovnik

Today's lunch

Today’s lunch

Today's after-lunch swimming spot

Today’s after-lunch swimming spot

The pace of life has slowed considerably since we reached the gorgeous Mediterranean coast of Croatia. After three days in Split, including a day trip to Hvar island, we took a bus further down the coast to Makarska, an unapologetic beach holiday town on the edge of fantastically steep mountains. We’re just now ending a three-day spell of beach time and not much more. It’s been wonderful.

Today we’ll catch a bus another three hours south to Dubrovnik where we’ve scheduled our real summer vacation. We’ve booked an unusually nice resort, just a few minutes outside the city, for a six-night stay. This will be our longest stay in one place since we spent a week in Beijing in May. Life will be centered on the beach for the week, but we’ll be able to get into Dubrovnik by long walk or short bus ride for sightseeing or dinner as much as we want to.

Impossibly steep mountains behind the town

Impossibly steep mountains behind the town

One of the nicest things about our stay in Makarska was our big terrace overlooking the beach. Below is last night’s incredible sunset as we played cards on the terrace.

Sunset from our terrace

Sunset from our terrace

But our terrace featured something far better than a beautiful beach or a wonderful sunset, at least from the point of view of long-tern travelers…

A laundry rack and a hot Mediterranean sun -- It doesn't get any better!

A laundry rack and a hot Mediterranean sun — It doesn’t get any better!

Beaches in the Mediterranean aren’t exactly what one might expect. I remember my surprise decades ago when I first went to a beach on Capri, that most fabulous place on earth to go to the beach. It was all rocks and pebbles, not a grain of sand to be seen. We saw it last summer in Nice, where there’s a mile-long promenade but all rocks. And that’s our experience here on the Dalmatian Coast so far – rocks, cement, pebbles – but no sand.

Mind you, I’m not complaining. At all. This is unbelievably beautiful. Yesterday we went to two beaches on either side of the main port in Split, one in the morning, one after lunch. They were both spectacular. The water is just perfect, the views are amazing, the sun is warm. This is really the good life.

But don’t expect sand.

The view from our morning beach. You'll see that people swim out to the near rocks and, like turtles, do their sunning there.

The view from our morning beach. You’ll see that people swim out to the near rocks and, like turtles, do their sunning there.

Then there was lunch

Then there was lunch

This was the view on our walk to the second beach

This was the view on our walk to the second beach

Our second "beach" - from here you just jump the 10-feet into the sea

Our second “beach” – from here you just jump the 10-feet into the sea

And then climb back up to the rocks

And then climb back up to the rocks