Saturday, August 27, 2011

Of Sand and Sun

Fish Picnic day in the Elefati islands off the coast of Dubrovnik has its own unique charms.  The first island, Koločep, has boulder beaches, but just look at the photo: It's not about the beaches, it's about the water!  I should add that not only is it swimming-pool clear, it is also swimming-pool warm.

We also tour a quaint town on the island of Šipan.  We don't eat here, since we have just eaten fish picnic lunch, but we do, of course, snag some ice cream. 

And finally, we hike across Lopud island to see one of the country's more famous beaches -- famous because it has actual sand and is, therefore, what we could call a "real" beach.  After painfully walking over pebbles all week, we're all looking forward to it, but possibly not enough to justify what turns out to be a long, hilly walk across the island.  When we get there, the sand is practically invisible, as the thin strip is covered from water to wall with lounge chairs, which you must pay to use.  We would pay to use one, except that we have accidentally come on Fish Picnic day with almost no cash, and nobody on a remote beach in Lopud Island is going to take our plastic. 

The reason the beach is sandy is that it faces just the right way in terms of wind and currents to have waves lapping up on shore.  You can see the difference in the photos above: "beach side" with waves, and "harbor side" completely calm.  So though the sandy beach is a bust, we make the most of the water.  The girls and Anthony try body surfing for a while, and I just bob up and down in the swell.  It's swell.  Sorry. 

People are staring at our family like we are aliens from outer space.  That is because it is a 97 degree heatwave, and we are wearing long-sleeves.  Those of you in the States, especially West Coast, will immediately realize that we are wearing SPF shirts.  The inverse/perverse porportion being that the hotter and sunnier it is outside, the more we cover up.  We have sunhats, too.  It's a real look, I tell you.  Meanwhile, the Croatians and other Europeans are topless, with skimpy bikini bottoms (yes, women and men).

We have saved our scant cash for the return across the island, having counted just enough to get a ride on the golf-cart taxis that ply the island's narrow pathways.  It's a real roller coaster, with P sitting on my lap, unbelted in the front seat, and is therefore especially fun because we know in the States, this would be overregulated, hypersafe, and completely devoid of the adventure of nearly falling out of the open side on a particularly sharp and fast turn.

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