August 12 - Korcula

Today I feel as if I am on an island in paradise. We're in Korcula, an island just off the coast of mainland Croatia.

The sun was beating down this morning in Dubrovnik as all of the tourists arrived. Even though there wasn't much shade on the streets in the morning, everyone looked happy. As a group of men with drums wearing traditional medieval folk costumes paraded through the streets, people ran out for photos. We found refuge from the heat down on the waterfront with an iced cold fresh squeezed lemonade. I checked to see if the mother cat and her kittens were still there and they were. Later in the day, the children from London will be back to feed them. I have heard that many of these cats in Dubrovnik hang out by the seafood restaurant for handouts.

After checking out of our sobe, a van carrying only 6 people took us on the two hour journey to Korcula. We drove high up in the hills with sweeping views of the Adriatic. Vineyards and olive groves were everywhere and I was amazed by the number of wineries. The best part of the trip was a ferry ride to the island. It only took about 15 minutes, but we had a great view of all of the stone houses with their red tiled roofs and wooden shutters. Pineapple palm trees line all of the streets and people everywhere are relaxing in the water.

Our accommodation is the Royal Apartments. We have a small dining area with kitchenette. With the market just down the street and the ocean right out our front door, it's the perfect place to stay. Right now in the small harbor in front of us are a few fancy yachts, sailboats, a ferry, and a small ship from France.

Before coming to Croatia, a Croatian father of one of my students told me to be sure to see the Moreska dances. We are so lucky because they are only performed on Thursday nights in an outdoor small theater lit by torch lights. The performance itself has a history dating back 400 years. It tells the story of a bad king who took a good king's bride. The dancers represent the forces of good and evil and the happy ending is when the bride is returned to the good king. The dancers, all men, are dressed in medieval folk costumes and perform an elaborate dance battling with real iron weapons. They are highly skilled. Arranged into two concentric circles, each circle of dancers moves in the opposite direction of the other and the dancers clang their iron swords in perfect timing.. Everyone sat mesmerized.

Dinner was at Knoba Marinero. We had delicious shrimp and dined outside in the stone alley. Even though it was close to 11:00, stores were still opened and in the main square, a man was making fresh crepes and another was popping popcorn. On the steps leading to the main part of the old town, young children sat with displays of seashells they had collected and were selling.

It's past midnight and people are outside dining and walking down by the water's edge. Tomorrow we will spend the day on this island paradise, learning about its history and perhaps going for a swim in its crystal clear waters too.


Susan said…
It sounds so wonderful, Nancy.
I wish I could go. I know Chip and Anna are planning to go
when they live in Germany.
Susan said…
Have you seen any beads or buttons? I think you should
bring back the kittens -- and the mother.
Susan Erickson said…
This sounds absolutely gorgeous! Great descriptions as usual make me feel like I am there with you! If you can sneak a bag of sand back, that would be great!
Explorer Bear said…
I'm still looking for the beads and buttons, but beading seems to be really big here.

As for the kittens and their mother, the good news is the mother from London said she is working on it to take them home with her.

Susan, about the sand, I have some all set for you for your collection!

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