Friday, May 19, 2006

from Dubrovnik: city park

If you haven’t the room for a park in the city, then find room for it elsewhere. The people of Dubrovnik took that message to heart and put their park on an island, a dozen minutes away by boat.

And so when the city was feeling just a little too overrun by school grops, English pensioners and tourists speaking languages I cannot place – it was time to head for the park.

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ferrying for an afternoon away from the city pace

The island of Lokrum is a quiet place. So close and yet so quiet! There is an old monastery and a small church, but you really come here for the lush vegetation, the coastal views...

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...the winding trails, and the nudist beach.

Yes, that. We stumbled upon it by getting lost in the woods (I had the map and I forgot to follow it) and coming upon a sign that basically said put away your cameras and take off your clothes or stay out.

So, did I oblige or did I move on?

It turns out Croatia has a long “naturist” tradition. People expect to be able to go out on select beaches sans attire. They like the feel of water on their bodies. They’ve been commanded to do a lot of things in the past, but here, in these spots up and down the coast, they can do as they please.

They say the coastal waters got toasty warm – good enough to swim in – just this week. And the sun has been out daily, with pleasant breezes keeping the days at a perfect temperature. Why not swim and frolic and eat well at night. Why not…

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a peacock watches

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a boat goes by, taking it in

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yet another place to swim on the island: the dead sea (cameras permitted here)

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a late dinner, outside, by the sea