Steve and I are currently living in the small village of Cavtat, Croatia. It’s at the southern end of the country, about equidistant between the Croatian city of Dubrovnik to the northwest and the country of Montenegro to the southeast. Our apartment is situated up on a pretty steep hill south of the center of town, and has a terrace that overlooks the Adriatic Sea. Needless to say, it’s stunningly beautiful here, and we face west, so we get to see the most amazing sunsets.

Cavtat has a small town center with restaurants and shops lined up along the waterfront, as well as a couple of wooded peninsulas with walking tracks all around. It’s almost like it was made for flânerie! There are often grand sailboats and yachts out in the bay, as well as lots of smaller boats. There are a few tiny, mostly rocky beaches. The pace of life is slow, the sea breezes are cool and the views are out of this world. The sea is surprisingly calm, almost like a lake, with virtually no waves or surf. We rented a little putt-putt boat one day to explore the coastline and the water was like glass.

We have made several excursions into Dubrovnik, most by water taxi, which takes about 45 minutes each way. The old city is ringed by walls, and you can walk atop them all the way around. It goes up and down, almost like a roller coaster track, so there are tons of stairs, with a few flat portions. The old city streets are paved with a light, almost white, stone, and there are tons of side passages and alleyways, with shops and restaurants that spill out into the tiny little streets.

One of our favorite things to do in Dubrovnik is to take a cable car up to the top of a low mountain called Mount Srd. There is a restaurant up there that looks like it’s literally hanging off the side of a cliff. You can see down into the old city center and far out to sea. It’s magical. The first time we went, we walked (hiked) down. We are now sticking to the cable car.

There is also a museum on Mount Srd, dedicated to the wars for Croatian independence, which Croats call the Homeland War, fought there in the early 1990s. The old center of Dubrovnik was blockaded, bombed and looted by Yugoslav and Serb forces. Cavtat was occupied. It’s absolutely chilling to think that this happened during our adult lifetimes. I’ve been trying to read up on the conflict, and it’s terribly complicated. We plan to visit the museum soon.

Croatia joined the European Union in 2013; however, they are not yet on the euro, and continue to use their sovereign currency, the kuna. The switch from the kuna to the euro is expected to occur on January 1, 2023.