August 13- The Enchanting Island of Korcula

Here's something to ponder when planning a holiday. It's a quote I saw on the door of Gradski Muzej, a city museum here in Korcula "Old is nice."

It's a simple statement, but I agree. Everywhere we looked today in the old town, it was like stepping back into the 14th century. St. Mark's Cathedral had wrought iron designs, cast iron weaponry, beautiful paintings,and an old wooden statue of Rocco, a French saint, pointing to a wound on his leg. He is a saint of cures.

At the Gradski Muzej, we got a glimpse of the life of nobility over the centuries here in Korcula. The kitchen was on the third floor with cast iron kettles, and on the middle floor were China plates, old maps, navigation instruments, and a handmade wooden piano. Outside the museum we saw several Venetian lions reminding us that Korcula was once controlled by Venice.

Lunch was right on the water at Kornoba Morski where we had delicious tuna sandwiches on whole grain grinder (hoagie) rolls. While we ate we chatted with a father and his adult son from Croatia. They had their rescue dog lying at their feet and showed the dog our picture of Cooper on our Ipod Touch.

In the afternoon we decided to head to the beach. Walking out the front door of our accommodation we were astonished to see a big cruise ship pulling into the harbor. We took some pictures of it and found a flat rocky place for our towels. Stepping into the water which drops off rather quickly, but is rocky along the shore, my plan was to wade in slowly, but when I looked down there were sea urchins everywhere clinging to the rocks. Yikes! I had no choice except to leap over them and jump right in. Swimming here is like a dream come true. The water is so clear you can see the bottom even if you are out quite deep. The view of the old town from the water was incredible with stone walls and ancient towers with flags at the top flapping in the breeze.

Heading back to our sobe, Dave suddenly realized he had put the key in his bathing suit pocket and after swimming it was now at the bottom of the Adriatic. When we told the husband of the owner, he did not look pleased. "Big problem," he said and he told us his wife would be over in an hour. Waiting for her I was worried. I had visions of eating slices of take out pizza and McDonalds for the rest of this trip, but his wife couldn't have been nicer. It turns out the big problem was they wouldn't be able to get us a new key until tomorrow so we would need to ring the bell when we came back from dinner.

Before heading to dinner we went to Buffet Massimo which is at the top of a wall tower. You actually climb a ladder to get there and anything you order is delivered by a pulley. Our dinner was at Adio Mare in their outdoor garden. We aren't generally meat eaters, but their grilled steak was the best ever. It was served with grilled zucchini and peppers. The restaurant is right behind the old stone house where legend has it that Marco Polo once lived.

By 11:00 the big cruise ship was gone, but in its place was a sleek elegant small ship from London. Tonight Korcula has an exciting vibe. Seaside cafes are busy with candlelit tables, the outdoor market stalls are still open selling everything from coral jewelry to flip flops which are needed on the pebbly beaches, and children of tourists are on the steps selling shells they have painted. Up at the top of the old town, an acappella group from Croatia is performing and by our accommodation is a guitarist.

Thinking back to the quote at the museum "old is nice" it seems that although this is true, Korcula has done a wonderful job blending the old world with the new. Much of the old town is stone and, as the museum pointed out, ever since the first inhabitants came to Korcula they have etched their history in stone and we are witness to that now. Yet among all of this is a new modern vibe. I think we have found a new favorite place!


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