Psrt of my series, check out part I, if you’re into that kind of thing. You need no knowledge of before to follow this, but it was a fun part to write and I’ve heard good things. This one has also been a blast, so do read on!
Glory and prestige is nothing compared to one good beach
Anout midday some darker clouds had formed over Dubrovnik. At 1:32pm, they burst and it began to rain. We were sheltering in an eclectic bar near to the castle so the rain did not pose an immediate threat to my bird’s vast and lovely locks, which remained straight and thicker than a thesaurus made of porridge. The problem, then, was not so much the rain as what it might mean.
At the port of Dubrovnik, we asked one of the ferryman for the dock of our ship. I must say he told us with minimal fuss but not with so much drama as you might expect of a sailor by the sea. You might expect a bit more of a story, but perhaps he was not that kind of seaman. He did, however, have grim tidings:
The ship this morn did not Her anchor cast
But was marooned, on order of the captain,
Whose wife, an actual woman and not like
His mistress, the sea, had been to augur
That dawn. She reported that though waters
Ne’er were clearer, nor more still, the shower
Of the heavens rendered travel quite absurd.
We consulted our own augurs; the weather reports on our devices. Mine’s said that we may be in for a rough day. While my partner’s said we were in the clear, essentially, beside some gentle droplets about 1pm. I hoped hers was accurate but began forming a backup plan.
In the event of choppy seas we definitely would be best advised to stay out of Dubrovnik. It’s nice but the drink and food prices are more like those of Edinburgh or maybe even London than of somewhere like Prague. It’s pretty odd to have UK or even, I’ve heard, Swiss style prices in a Mediterranean setting. We would have to find somewhere else in Croatia, preferably within a short distance of Split where we’d catch a later bus on our multi-bus tour. The details I figured we could work out later if and when it became necessary.
The Ferry of Chaos
But it never did. It turns out, her app was the more accurate. The captain’s wife had no complaints about this voyage and so we were good to board. Dubrovnik for Korcula.
It was a pretty different ferry experience than I’m used to. I have been on a few ferries in my life, two that I can remember are one to Arran from Glasgow and the other to Belgium from some southern English port like Hull or something. Arran just took a few hours, and I spent that time moping about the deck and listening to Pete Doherty’s ‘For Lovers’. The Belgium ferry was a bit more active, a lot of running around with high school friends on a history trip, we slept in bunk beds, there was a cabaret act which seemed to consist of one comedian, we were too busy frolicking to pay him any mind. The Korcula ferry was more like a train. It took about three hours. There were a lot of people with big bags.
Overall it was quite comfortable. Not nearly so chaotic as the title of this section suggests. The ferry away from Korcula was worse, about half an hour late. I suppose this is one area in which ferries are nothing like the theatre.
The Island of Korcula
It’s rare that I am ever wholly lost for words. As you can see, I can still find a few to detail my affliction when necessary. With thanks to my gorgeous fiancée, I can thus present you with astounding pictures that do more justice to the island that I might.
The island of Korcula with its main town, also called Korcula, is gorgeous. It is reputed to be the birthplace of Marco Polo, even if his origin is somewhat disputed by scholars. The picture of those windows above are thought to be the windows of his familial home. One piece of evidence that might suggest he was not from the area is the fact that the sea there is so blue and the weather so agreeable. Why leave all that behind to possibly die at the hands of some ruler due to a slip of the tongue? Glory and prestige is nothing compared to one good beach. We found at least two of them.
The sea is especially blue in Korcula, that kind of colour you’d see in travel agent windows, back when those were a thing, and would loudly shout “Fuck off! No sea looks like that.” I am quite happy to be wrong on this.
See, the sea at most places with a tourism industry is dredged before the season begins. I saw it in Mallorca when I went there with my dad one January. The sea was dredged, and the whole walk along the seafront was lifted up and replaced. It’s amazing the work people put in to make places look unspoiled. I don’t know how new all the streets are in Korcula, but I can tell you the sea is just blue.
As the sea floor is primarily loose pebbles, the tides throw them around. A rolling stone gathers no moss. A Korculan pebble begets no seaweed. It’s a real delight to the eyes.
The streets of Korcula have this sort of coziness to them. Sure, there are a couple open squares and plazas, but mostly everything is clinging on to the side of a hill for dear life. I can see the appeal of the island, it felt very welcoming.
We stayed in a place my fiancée found on Hostelworld, Rooms Anamarija. We think they have a couple separate buildings. The guy who took care of us was called Mojmir. He picked us up from the port then drove us up the hill. He dropped us off at his mum’s house!
So that was different. Her name was Mila. She didn’t have much English but we communicated as well as we could. Mila was very friendly, she gave us cherry juice and biscuits when we got in, and more cherry juice later. I adore cherry juice. It’s not something you can really find in Scotland, but is truly delicious. Truly, truly scrumptious. Mila liked a Turkish TV series, though we never found out which one.
If you’re looking for an island getaway, I can heartily recommend Korcula. We spent three happy nights there, with an amazing view from the room. I took a couple of pictures.
Too soon we travelled onwards.
The Voyage Splitwards
So it was back onto the ferry. The three nights of rest and the days of rest and beach going pleased me immensely. As mentioned above, this ferry was half an hour late, but worse things happen at sea.
This leg of the ferry had many more stops. The way to Korcula from Dubrovnik had only one stop, Mljet, but from Korcula there were several. Brac and Hvar. In an interesting piece of news, Hvar has recently started policing tourists far more keenly. Some of the restrictions make a lot of sense, pissing in public is bad and wearing a swimsuit in the old town maybe belies a certain lack of respect. One of the restrictions, eating in public squares, seems a bit far though. I suppose besides tourists there is the other major public nuisance to deal with – pigeons.
We never stopped in Hvar because we were heading to Split for our homeward journey and to see the sights. It is good advice for island hopping partiers, however. Respect the customs of Hvar, don’t piss or sleep in the street and especially not in the same place, or you may end up with some pretty hefty fines. And potentially damp trousers. With all of that taken care of, the bathroom review.
The Toilet Review
The ferry bathrooms were quite peculiar. As the ferry was a sphinx-like cross, a ship with the seats of a plane and the route of a bus, the toilet was as might be expected. A bit small. A bit worn from use. Not of the freshest scent imaginable. But it basically did the trick, even if the hand driers were a bit wanting and awkwardly placed in front of the mirror.
The bathrook of Skver, a restaurant located just off the old town, was modern and clean.
The pizza restaurant we visited had a toilet with one broken light and the hand drier not working, possibly a power cut localised to that one room.
The bathroom of the guesthouse was well-provisioned and quite comfortable.
Overall, I give Korcula bathrooms a solid 7 out of 10 and the ferry bathrooms about a 4.
The writer of this piece is currently on a bus bound for Amsterdam. You read that correctly. A bus. Bound for Amsterdam. It is probably going to be a bit of a trek, but it appears the wifi connection is holding out and the plug socket is working. He hopes he will be allowed to post.