My ‘Hood: Lovely Lumbarda

Sunset in Lumbarda.

Welcome to Lumbarda.

For now—until November, when the rules of tourism require that I leave the country—lovely Lumbarda is my home. I arrived here a week and half ago. It’s time I show you around.

Stone path by the sea in Lumbarda.

Want a look around Lumbarda? Let me give you a glimpse of life in this Mediterranean paradise, aka my ‘hood.

My flat is even better than I remember. I’ve stayed here twice before, in 2015 and 2016, and I loved each experience. This time, since I’ve taken up three-month residency, I’m viewing it in a new, longer-term light. The apartment delivers, with every amenity I could want for island life .

My apartment in Lumbarda.

First and foremost, access to the sea. I have a perfect peek of it from my balcony. I can wade into it just across the street. My favorite stretch to swim starts within a half-mile walk of home. A mile takes me to a perfect, barely populated, lounge-for-hours-style stone beach.

View from my balcony in Lumbarda.

The sea in Lumbarda.

Path to the beach in Lumbarda.

White stones in Lumbarda.

Then, there’s the apartment itself. I live upstairs in a traditional stone house, tucked behind green wooden shutters, plenty of windows, and picturesque French doors. There are the modern conveniences: Wifi, AC, a washing machine. As with most homes in Europe, the dryer is outdoors. I sleep happily wrapped in the scent of sun-kissed sheets.

My drying rack in Lumbarda.

Within 15 feet, there’s a mini Konzum market. Within 150 feet, a small-town Studenac grocery. And 5K away, a Tommy Hipermarket, to which I happily ride my bike when there’s something elaborate or unusual—like peanut butter—that I crave. Often, gifts of garden-fresh produce from the homeowners below appear at my door.

Fresh figs from my downstairs neighbors.

When I shop for fruits and veggies, I head to the farmers’ market across the street. There are two stalls, and I quickly forged a loyalty to my favorite farmer, Emilio. He’s the younger of the two, with an entrepreneurial and somewhat modern approach. He’s currently raising the first-ever bananas grown on the island. He greets me with a smile while we chit-chat about this-and-that favorite fruit. He tried to stay serious for my camera, but as you zoom in, his humor shows.

Emilio and his stand at the farmers' market.

Emilio's funny fig display.

Training takes me in two directions. To run or ride, I head for the hills, where a network of mostly-paved bike paths works its way up through olive orchards laden with fruit. A steep descent leads to a final flat mile, flanked with vineyards.

Bike paths through the hills and olive orchards.

Lumbarda vineyards.

More Lumbarda vineyards.

To swim, I slip into the sea and each time add a new section of coastline to what I already know. I’m up to an hour, blissfully gliding above mesmerizing underwater terrain. My new “black line” ranges from sandy-bottomed stretches, to thick forests of black-green sea grass, to bleached rocks dotted with ink-dark spiky urchins.

Where I swim in Lumbarda.

Sometimes I swim in the evenings, indulging in the calm, cool water just as the sun begins to set. On the way home, the beauty seems to make a statement that all is right with the world.

Another sunset in Lumbarda.

Another sunset view in Lumbarda.

Back at my apartment, I perch on the balcony as often as possible, with the bustling town center below and broad-leafed grape vines above.

This grape vine shades my balcony in Lumbarda.

Much of the time, my remote office looks like this.

My remote office in Lumbarda.

Just add wine, and my time spent blogging looks like this.

Where I blog in Lumbarda.

My friend Marija, her husband, and their extended family own the house and live downstairs. She and I catch up as we can, either in person or texting between floors. She patiently answers my Croatia questions and clues me into the best spots to explore. We share a passion for travel and a penchant for girl talk, in the way that women bond all over the world. I love hearing the pitter-patter, giggles, and even tiny tantrums of two-and-a-half-year-old Eva, Marija’s daughter who was just a bump in her mama’s belly my first time here.

My little neighbor Eva in Lumbarda.

Lumbarda. Ovo je moj dom!


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