Friday, September 6, 2013
I woke up really missing our dog, Trixie, today. She's at a good
kennel, where she gets lots of play time with other small dogs, so
I'm sure she's fine, but still... I'm also concerned about our cat,
Carlos. He's home alone, with a neighbor coming by every other day
to give him food and fresh water, but he's got to be getting lonely
(and angry) by now. His usual sitter is laid up with a broken leg,
and I know he won't be interacting with the substitute much.
Peljesac Peninsula and Korcula
But back to our vacation. Today was a lazier day. We drove north
along the Dubrovnik Riviera, across the Peljesac Peninsula, and
then took a car ferry to the island of Korcula. It's a winding road
along the coast, kind of slow going, but the views are worth it.
The 55-mile-long peninsula is covered with ancient city walls,
vineyards, and fishing villages.
Fortifications on the
Oyster farming on the
At the far end of the peninsula, at Orebic, we caught the 12:30
ferry for the 15-minute ride to Domince, on the island of Korcula,
another beautiful boat ride on the Adriatic Sea. The price for the
car to cross on the ferry did not include a driver, which had to be
paid separately. I'm not sure how many people send JUST their car,
without accompanying it.
From the ferry to
Tommy and Jana together
The town of Korcula was founded by the ancient Greeks, became part
of the Roman Empire, and was ruled by the Venetians for four
centuries. Marco Polo was born in Korcula in 1254, and, boy, they
want you to know it! There's Marco Polo souvenirs everywhere, a
Marco Polo museum, and a house where Marco Polo was allegedly born.
Unfortunately, the house was built a couple of centuries after his
death, so I meet the claim with some skepticism.
Jana and Marco
Except for one irresistible photo op, we skipped the Marco Polo
stuff and sought out the tallest thing in town that we could
ascend, the Katedrala Sv. Marka (St. Mark's Cathedral) bell tower.
Fantastic views, of course!
Inside Katedrala Sv.
The tiny Old Town didn't even take up an hour, so we drove over to
Lumbarda, grabbed some snacks, and found a pretty beach, Bilan Zal,
on a beautiful cove, where I waded out over the rocks and went
swimming. The Adriatic wasn't quite as warm as I thought it should
be, but I still enjoyed it. After a picnic and a swim, we returned
via ferry to the mainland to check out some of those walls we'd
Back in Ston, on the Peljesac Peninsula, we stopped at “The Great
Wall of Croatia,” over 5 kilometers in circumference, the longest
complete fortress system around a town in Europe, and the second
longest in the world. The day after tomorrow, they'll be holding
Wall Marathon here. A pity we didn't know ahead of time so we
could participate. Ha!
The Great Wall of
Croatia in Ston
It was a stunning drive back to Dubrovnik down the same stretch of
coast we'd seen this morning. The coastal islands are beautiful. We
pulled over on the approach to Dubrovnik to admire the attractive
Franjo Tudjman Bridge, named for the first president of Croatia. We
have a partial view of this bridge from our soba, but I wanted a
Tonight we found a nice pedestrian area near the beach, just a
10-minute walk from our soba. There were tons of restaurants, all
of them serving nearly the exact same things, and lots of souvenir
stands and, naturally, hucksters selling excursions to nearby
islands. Several expensive hotels are located on this strip as
Croatia was playing Serbia in a football (soccer) match tonight, to
decide who goes to the World Cup. With the bad blood between the
countries, we thought things might get rowdy. The bars and
restaurants were crowded with people glued to the screen. Croatia
won the game 1 to 0, and no rowdiness was to be seen, just happy
We wound up eating a couple of blocks off the pedestrian strip at
Pizzeria Scala and Mex Cantina. Tom played it safe with spaghetti
bolognese, but I couldn't resist ordering a burrito de ranchero. It
was good! Hardly Mexican, but tasty, and at least it wasn't
spaghetti or pizza. I would have called it maybe a beef and corn
wrap. I was able to scare up some Tabasco sauce, so I could at
least make it hot. The staff was a little surly and inattentive,
but this isn't the only place we ran into that in Croatia. I think
they're still learning the tourist biz, in spite of their huge
reliance on tourist money.
Sign our guestbook