Thursday, July 09, 2015

A Day on Lokrum Island

I'm sitting on the island of Lokrum, a short 10 min boat ride away from Old Town. It's a gorgeous day again, and we are perched on sun loungers under the shade of pine trees. The cicadas chirp above us, and the waves lap below. It couldn't be a better spot.

We had a decadent sleep in today, so I didn't roll out of bed until 10am. Then it was a quick breakfast, making of peanut butter sandwiches (glad I brought my jar with me!),  and the first coat of sunblock for the day. We did a quick food shop and caught the boat to the island.

When we arrived, we heard towards the fort. Why not start the day with activity then totally sink into relaxation. From what we'd heard, this is an island of walk, swim, walk swim. Thrown took us past a small old church, a monastery, the botanic gardens, and a long olive grove. Then, up, up, up. What started as a path brought the pine forest, soon turned into a paved inclined walk straight in the sun. It was one of those brutal walks that takes 10 min but feels like forever.

At the top of the fort, the view is endless. It is a great 360 view of the island, Old Town, the islands, and mainland. There are older structures falling apart, which I love. Old brick and stone and vegetation creeping everywhere. We then meandered our way back a shadier path along he coast, which brought us back to the monastery and he botanic gardens. The Croatian man who started the garden wanted to see how vegetation from around the world would grow here. It was going well til the war, when it took 50 shells and destroyed much of it. Prickly pears, cactuses from the US, palm trees in various varieties.

We then meandered to be monastery grounds for lunch. We ate under the palm trees while all the mama peacocks led their little babies around. It was quite fun to have them strut right past us; Claire might not have bought it was fun...).

We had done the hiking, now it was time for beaching. We reserved our two wooden beach loungers under the pine trees and went into the rocky sea for a swim. You need your water shoes to walk on the rocks, and I word my teva's in. I am not a big sea/ocean swimmer, as I don't like the deep endless water. This water was warmer than Lopud and quiet. It was a nice little float. A bit shy about the sun, I got out and let Claire keep floating.

Back to our loungers to read and journal and enjoy the view. Then it was time to visit the "Dead Sea" mini lake for a dip. Surrounded by trees and rock, with a little cave you can swim into, it is fed by the sea but doesn't make me worry about boundless depths. It was a peaceful bounce around and a wobbly in/out on very slippery rocks.

After a final chill, we went to the restaurant in the monastery garden. Such a beautiful spot to sit and have some lemonade and dessert at the end of the day. The garden in the monastery has a Game of Thrones connection, too. In Quarth, there is a party for Daenerys where they are wandering a garden and joke about taking parts of the golden peacock and selling it for an army. The producers put in a peacock because of the island.

A quick ferry ride back and we were back in town. The streets were crowded, and they were preparing for a concert in town. We went home, dressed, I Skyped Todd :), and off we went for dinner. It's hard to find a place that fits when you're hungry and there are places every ten feet.

As we walked, we heard music and went in search of it. In front of the cathedral, the orchestra was clearly practicing. Tomorrow night is the opening of the summer festival and the various instruments were tuning. What a sound as they echoed off the buildings. We found a restaurant nearby (the menu actually identified which items could be made vegan), and we ate dinner to the orchestra playing pieces of their program and opera singers also sounding out various parts. We couldn't have asked for a nicer night.

We find ourselves a bit unclear about what to do tomorrow during the day. We aren't quite up for a full day tour, but a half day one wouldn't be bad. So it's a mystery how we'll finish up our trip. Tomorrow night we know we'll eat at the vegan restaurant again and stand with the hoarded of crowds in the square for the opening of the summer festival.

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