Within the past few days Adam, Michal and I have become beach bums.  Our bathing suits have been the outfit of choice several days in a row now.  I have hardly touched all of the clothes that I packed in my bag. Yesterday we spent the day at the Island of Lokrum.  For $8 we purchased a round trip ferry ticket that allowed us to spend the day on the island.  No one lives on this island or is allowed to spend the night there.  There are also no cars allowed.  This is reportedly a place where locals go to swim instead of the tourist heavy beaches in Dubrovnik.

The island was once home to an abbey and monastery as well as a vacation place for the Austrian Archduke Maximilian.  The island buzzed with the sound of cicadas and was home to lush vegetation that consisted of olive groves, botanical gardens and palm trees.  Peacocks roam around the island and curiously watch the people as they pass by. Beaches were everywhere on the island.  When we got too hot it was simple to find a place to jump into the refreshing waters.

We had a relaxing day wandering around the island and indulging in the waters of the Adriatic.  We also found a lovely cafe with live music.  It was incredibly relaxing and a great way to spend the whole day.  It was pretty amazing to relax on a nice large rock next to the sea, listen to the waves and cicadas while watching the peacocks.  It is not very often in life that you get to experience something like that.  One of the highlights of the day was the ferry ride back to Dubrovnik.  The view of the city walls at dusk was quite spectacular.

Today we found another beach away from the busy part of the city.  For $6 we rented beach chairs and umbrellas and spent the day lounging in the sun and swimming in the sea.  All of the beaches here are either pebbly or consist of huge slabs of stone.  Later this week we will go to a nearby island with sandy beaches.

To save money, we make almost of our meals at the apartment we are renting.  We are staying in a great location that is about a 15 minute walk from Old Town.  Dubrovnik is an incredibly safe city and we have walked home in the wee hours of the morning several times and never felt nervous or concerned about our safety.  Grocery shopping is interesting here.  There are no supermarkets.  Instead there are very small markets tucked away on various streets.  Today we had to visit several markets to gather all the ingredients we needed to make a simple dinner. The price of groceries is much cheaper here compared to the US. My favorite place close to us is a 24 hour bakery!  We have gotten fresh bread from there at all hours of the day.

Michal and I are used to European excursions where we only spend two or three days in a city then hop on a plane and fly somewhere else.  Spending a week in a place is a new experience for us.  Thankfully it is forcing us to take time to relax which is much needed. We have discovered that we a pretty successful beach bums.

Tomorrow we are taking a day trip to the country of Montenegro and visiting the Bay of Kotor and Sv. Stefan.  I do not know much about Montenegro but I have heard it is absolutely beautiful with picturesque mountains and lakes.  We are being picked up by a travel company at 8 AM tomorrow and will spend the following 12 hours on a guided tour.  While looking forward to seeing all the beauty, I am also looking forward to getting another stamp in my passport!