We took off at 8:00 this morning along the Dalmatian Coast for a two and a half hour drive on a well maintained two lane coastal road. One thousand islands line the coast of Croatia creating sort of an inter-coastal feel and made for a peaceful, pretty drive.
We passed the island of Lopud which boasts the highest life expectancy in Europe: 92. We drove in and around small villages with limestone and stucco houses, all a soft, cool white. Just like in and around Dubrovnik, the landscape is very rocky with lots of tall, thin Cyprus trees towering stories above the homes and other vegetation. Jasmina (pronounce YazMeNuh) pointed out a 400 year old plane tree. We passed lots of mussel groves and drove through areas that long ago had a lot of summer homes for the wealthy. The homes themselves were of the same basic design with some variation in size, and not designed to impress. It was the garden/yard that was layed out to wow visitors and show off one’s wealth and status.
Loads of olives are grown here as well as wine. Back when Croatia was part of Yugoslavia, all grapes had to be sold to state run presses where the emphasis was on quantity. The focus is now on quality and apparently Croats are making a name for themselves on the world stage. The objective is to return to the good old days when Greece, who colonized here BC, felt Croatian wine was the best within their large reach.
After lunch we caught a car ferry to the beautiful island of Korcula (CoreChewLuh) whose most famous native son is none other than Marco Polo. Venetians say he was born in Venice, but Croats say he was born into a Venitian family in Korcula in 1256 …and… they have the house to prove it. This house is inside the wall of a charming medieval village that butts right up to the water. Four thousand people used to live inside the wall but the number today stands at just 200. We wandered the quaint streets and found a beautiful Catholic Church where we lit a candle for Aunt Geri. The walled city is built on a small peninsula and was designed centuries ago so that all the streets on one side direct cool summer breezes into town. We tested this out and, sure enough, it felt like we were standing in front of a fan. The streets on the other side of the city were curved so the cold winter winds could not be directed at the city centre. Very ingenious! Korcula is one of two places in the world where sward dancing is still alive and well. We did not see a performance, though, since we were here on the wrong day.
We are sleeping in Vela Luka which is on the other side of the island. We drove inland to get here and enjoyed the mountainous landscape during the drive. This youngster of a town dates back to the 18th century and is situated on a small, pretty, deep water bay.
Once Dan and I settled into out room, we took a quick swim, and then walked around until we found a place for dinner. We ran into the Canadian couple who had just finished their dinner. They chatted with us while we ate and then we all strolled back to our ultra modern hotel. By ultra modern, picture a bathroom with a sliding glass door and a shower, visible from the sleeping part of the room, with three glass walls. There are shades for two sides of the shower walls but nothing that blocks the bird’s eye view of the toilet which is reflected in a mirror situated in front of the glass door to the bathroom. Quite a design concept. The other unique feature of the room is the location of the safe. In order to secure our stuff, Dan had to lie down on the floor to read the directions and was then wedged between the night stand and the closet making getting back on his feet worth a giggle.
Fun fact: Black and white spotted dogs were named after the Dalmatian Coast centuries ago, but they are not from there. Nor have we see any.
3 thoughts on “Heading north to our first island”
Sounds like a beautiful drive
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I agree with Matt- sounds like a great drive. Again as always I look forward to each day’s post of a wonderful time you two are having! I love it!
Another wonderful day! Thank you for sharing with us!