The Emerald Isle
With my last two stops in private rooms, I'm anxious to see who I'll be sharing space with at Caenazzo Hostel in Korcula Town. It's a Thursday night, and arrive to find that I have the entire floor to myself in a historic building, just a sneeze from St. Mark's Cathedral. Location, location, but I must also pull out the earplugs as the church bells ring melodiously every quarter hour! Much to my surprise, my 4 nights here are solo, so yes, I'm living in a top floor apartment with a view of Marco Polo's birth home for $18/night. You never know.
While Bol felt picturesque, and Hvar Town a bit surreal, Korcula Town is comfortable. People call it "Little Dubrovnik," but it's not as popular as other islands, yet offers medieval era squares, friendly residents, and a gorgeous harbor. There are small villages and towns across the island known for olive groves, vineyards, and dark, dense forests. The ancient Greeks called it Black Korcula.
While I don't have roommates, I'm easily conversing with a variety of people. As I walk through the historic walled area of town, my photo is taken. "You're famous now!," the gal says, leading to a drink and laughs with an Aussie and a Canadian. When I run into the library to look for a book to buy, the librarian is chatty, encouraging me to return that evening for a showing of Downton Abbey. I do. The following day I spend 3 hours at the Korcula Museum -- half the time learning the island's history and the other half learning about life in Croatia from the curator. There's a very friendly atmosphere here.
I'm early to rise my third day to catch a local bus to the beach in Lumbarda, just 6 kilometers east. This little village of about 1,000 people was founded as an agricultural settlement in the 3rd century BC, and for centuries the people were farmers, fishermen, wooden shipbuilders, and stone-masons. Today, tourism and growing grapes, olives and figs define Lumbarda.
From the moment I step off the bus, I'm relaxed and feel like I've stepped back in time. It feels like a movie set as I walk the narrow roadway through the vineyards to lounge on soft sand, and swim in the warm sea. There's a French family beside me on the beach, and the five (?) year old is beyond excited that small fish surround her as she swims. But, I'm thinking, "where's my net?". With a few more hours to spare for a village walk, photos, and a stop at Cafe Maestro, I feel like I've been on holiday (from my holiday).
It's Sunday and my last day, so I enjoy a relaxing breakfast, a long walk toward Port 9, and a stop at the harbor to admire the Old Town from afar. I finally pause at the 15th century St. Michael's Church that I've passed a dozen times enroute "home". Surprisingly, I'm feeling a little melancholy about leaving this lovely place in the morning. I'm definitely comfortable here on the island of Korcula.
11/20/2019 10:02:15 am
Judy: Can see why you are ready to head to a campsite after living for so many weeks in this old world country. Beautiful and inviting in all that you have captured in your travels.
11/21/2019 08:15:30 am
E: Korcula was magical, comfortable, slow-paced, and with friendly people about. I am indeed still in culture shock. j.
12/5/2019 08:58:15 am
A grand finale to a wonderful travelogue of Croatia---and I'm not just referring to that yummy pizza! Love the Old Town images of esplanade, harbor, fishbone shaped access, etc. Marco Polo in Korcula? I think that I was mistakenly taught otherwise!
12/5/2019 02:01:08 pm
AMG: I loved and very comfortable in Korcula & this contributed to my shock in arriving in busy Dubrovnik! Thank heaven for Ina. Yes, Marco Polo controversy -- it's in debate on Venice, Constantinople and Korcula! J
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Cyclist, writer, teacher, avid reader, bike/ped advocate, nomad, pie lover