The ferry docked efficiently just outside the medieval city and we drove the short distance to the old town and after a bit of parking confusion found a perfect spot just outside the harbour and we set off to explore. Immediately it was obvious that Korčula isn’t very big and so, because we had all day there pencilled in for tomorrow, we decided not to do too much of it today.
We walked around the outside of the town and restricted ourselves to the main street that runs through the middle and then found a pizzeria with a table overlooking the sea and the Pelješac peninsular. We choose a speciality pizza and the waiter asked if we wanted it cutting into six or eight slices, we said six because it was a big pizza and we didn’t think we could manage eight.
Korčula is like a scaled down version of Dubrovnik with the same white Dalmatian stone buildings and red tiled roofs but sadly it is completely eclipsed by its more famous close neighbour and there has been little investment since the 1990s war that split old Yugoslavia apart. Dubrovnik was the priority after that but the local authorities are now campaigning for Korčula Old Town, which is a gem of Venetian architecture to be awarded UNESCO World Heritage status.
As usual the Easyjet flight was late taking off and also arriving so added to its statistic on late or delayed flights that Michael O’Leary delights in gloating over when he provides benchmark statistics in the Ryanair in-flight magazine each month. Easyjet are frustratingly relaxed about flight times and I think on the whole I prefer the Ryanair approach.
It was a disappointing start to the day with a lot of low cloud about so we prepared our breakfast and sat on the balcony and scanned the horizon in all directions looking for signs of improvement. There was some blue sky to the south and the west but the cloud simply wouldn’t shift from over the island of Korčula.
The problem appeared to be that over the water on the peninsular there was a thousand metre high peak that the incoming cloud just couldn’t seem to get past and the grey lump just seemed to keep on growing as it sucked in more and more passing cumulus to add to the problem.
Booking a ticket for the six-kilometre crossing was very straightforward and didn’t involve the same administrative arrangements of providing passenger names that there are in Greece. I suppose that because Croatia isn’t in the European Union yet then it can safely manage without some of its bureaucratic procedures. The ferryboat was part of the Jadrolinija fleet, which is the largest in Croatia and carries nearly ten million passengers a year. It was called the Sveti Krševan, which is the name of the beautiful Romanesque church in Zadar that we had visited the previous year.
It was another perfect start to the day on Friday morning and we had our breakfast outside and were amused by the gardener who was watering the plants in an inefficient way that involved a fifty metre trek in between each inadequate fill of the watering can. After we had eaten, packed and checked out of the hotel we joined the rush hour traffic and crawled out of Dubrovnik towards the E65 main road. Our destination was north but first we went a couple of kilometres south to find a viewing platform with a last panoramic view of Dubrovnik.