One of my absolute favorite things about reaching Dubrovnik was finally getting a bit more of that summer weather. In Italy we had a couple of sporadic hot days (particularly toward the beginning of our trip) but hit a bad spell of overcast / rainy weather for about the last ten days. We tried to be optimistic (literally drove to the beach in the rain twice just praying it would clear and we could make the best of it being overcast) but we were really hoping Croatia would come through on its all-sun forecast.
Porter usually isn’t one for heights (his legs get a little wobbly) but we spotted this not so little cliff area for jumping and swimming on our first day there on a walk to Old Town, and I begged him to try and find a path down there. You can’t tell from the photos, but from the main road to the city this area looks scary steep and far, far down. In reality, once you’re down there it really isn’t that sketchy and has a bunch of small swimming platforms and ladders. We ended up coming here every single day. I loved that there were only a couple of other people down there each time we went and that it generally seemed completely undiscovered by tourists (who tend to take boats out to the islands to go swimming or head to one of the more easily accessible beaches).
By week three in Italy, Port and I were both feeling that kind of I’m-eating-a-lot-and-not-working-out-at-all blah feeling. Basically, we were waking up a lot more lethargic than we typically are and kind of felt like we were dragging our feet by late afternoon. Croatia kicked us into gear completely. Dubrovnik, and this swimming spot especially, has soooo many stairs. It felt like all day we were going up and down flight after flight, and every night Port would report back how many steps we’d gotten each day (one day we ended up walking 8 miles!). Long story short – we arrived in Greece feeling so much better physically than we did when we landed in Croatia, which is great because Athens has been another city where we’re constantly on the move.
The water in Croatia was as clear and warm as we’d been told, and we love that the ocean has had all summer to warm up, so now that it’s the beginning of autumn it’s so much nicer than it would’ve been in even mid-summer. The one downside we encountered on Croatia’s coast (and to be honest, one of the reasons we ended up returning to this spot) was trash on the beaches. A lot of it. Maybe there was a bad tide or we went to the wrong area, but Port and I checked out five or six different public beaches in Dubrovnik and the coastline was riddled with bottles and caps and the kind of plastic you just want to stop and collect because it makes you sick to think about its potential repercussions. I know Dubrovnik is hit hard with too many tourists these days, so maybe that’s a reason for it, but it was a bummer, if also a bit motivating for us to continue to stress the benefits of a conscious, eco-friendly lifestyle in as many areas as possible. Small actions: tossing your soda can in the recycling bin or choosing to donate an old T instead of trashing, if they don’t cause a huge visible positive impact do, at the very least, prevent the strain on our environment from tightening just a bit more.
Anna Lisa & Porter