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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Korcula, Orebic

Day 11: Korčula

We took an early ferry at 8 a.m. from Korčula to Orebić on the Pelješac peninsula for a day trip. There are many ferries between both towns and they just need about 15 minutes to cross the sea. We hadn´t heard of particular points of interest in Orebić apart from the beaches. But we had seen a church, located high up on the mountain, overlooking the sea and wanted to go there. There weren´t many people yet and we had a nice passage.

We needed a map of the area when we arrived there and also to find the way to the church way up on the hill and we got one at the tourist information office. We started our tour with a visit to the small but fine Maritime Museum, which showed paintings, miniature models of ships and a lot of old documents and information on the history of Orebić.

We couldn´t wait to swim and decided to go to the beach first before hiking to the church, which was actually a Franciscan Monastery. When we walked along the shore, there were many places to swim, but Orebić has also a bit of a sandy beach. When we arrived there, it looked nice but there were already a lot of people, so we went further until there were pebbles instead of sand and a lot less people. The water was splendid, like everywhere else in Croatia. 

The heat was burning when we started to go from the beach towards the Franciscan Monastery. After a short stop at another church and buying some bottles of soda we came to a hotel after some time, from where a  road leads up to the Monastery (there´s also a sign). After a short time there came a diversion with a small, rocky path and we opted for that instead of the road. It was a nice walk through the woods, getting slowly higher until the path ended and we came out at the road again, just below the Monastery. The view from up there was great - with Korčula, many little islands and the sea. 

The Monastery itself was closed unfortunately (opens at 3:00 p.m. only and we got there around 11:00 a.m.) so we just got a look at it from outside. Then we looked at some curiosities at the cemetery next to it before we went downwards, this time on the road. After having a snack nearby the ferry pier we took one of the small boats back to Korčula, which offer their services in addition to the bigger ferry.

Back in Korčula we had seen an interesting looking church on our city map - it looked like having a big stairway. We hadn´t seen the south of Korčula anyway and so gave it a try. There were signs for the "Sveti Antun" and with our map we came close, but at one crossing, the sign wasn´t clear to us which way to go and we took the road on the right and eventually landed in the middle of nowhere, obviously having taken the wrong one. Just when we wanted to go back, two people came out of the thicket near a bus stop and I've noticed a small hiking path that looked like it wasn't used for a very long time. The path was overgrown with bushes and vines and we were quite skeptical but we braved it anyway. There was a marking, identifying the path as some sort of hiking trail, leading upwards. Finally there was a wall and a marking leading to cleared footpath over the wall so we climbed it and voila, there was the church.

The church "Sv. Antun" on the hill was a pleasure to see, especially after all the walking and not knowing if the path really leads to it. And after taking some time there we walked down on the stairway, which is not exactly like "Bom Jesus do Monte in Portugal", but still impressive.

We felt, we had earned another swim and when we were back in Korčula, we went to a beach nearby the apartment and took another plunge in the crystal and fresh water before going "home" for dinner.

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