A day off – as rare as snow in July – gave us an opportunity to further explore Dubrovnik and environs. A plucky band of five of us, armed with the city bus schedule and brief notes from the hotel concierge, we downed a quick breakfast at the hotel buffet, packed a few snacks and purloined spoons for yogurt, and hiked down the hill to Cavtat town center to catch the 7am city bus to the new harbor. We arrived 40 minutes later, located our ferry, the Nona Ana, and settled into a morning coffee in the outdoor cafe across from the dock. We were headed for a day on Mjlet.
A bit removed from the hubbub of cruise ships, The island of Mjlet is largely national park, so the souvenir shops are few, but there are plenty of options for hiking, bicycling, swimming and boating. It seemed a nice break from crowds and tour buses, and we were not disappointed.
Once arriving on Mljet, we purchased an all-in-one ticket that got us on the shuttle to and from the lakes, and boating to different locations on the large lake. While everything was conveniently connected, which somewhat “channeled” the tourist traffic, each group set their own pace. We set the dial to “leisurely.”
We boated out to the island for pizza, beer and a swim, and then boated to the small bridge at the juncture between the large and small lakes. Time for another dip, buoyed by the salty water. This time we stayed in long enough to develop “raisin fingers,” and then started strolling our way back to the shuttle stop.
Spotting another good bathing spot, we cooled off again in the ah-mazingly blue waters. Believing that we were not far from the dock, Kate and Kevin decided to swim the rest of the way. Deborah, Ellen and I gathered up all the belongings for the last five minutes or so of the walk.
The shuttle deposited us back at the harbor. More al fresco dining was in order: salads, cold plates, pasta, mussels and the regional brew on tap. The icing on the day was a small group of men seated at a table near a dock, harmonizing with each other…perhaps traditional folk music? It was a fitting farewell to Mjlet.
The Nona Ana lulled us to sleep on the ride back to Dubrovnik, where we reversed our tracks on the city bus back to Cavtat.