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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Mljet - Korcula

Day 10 - Mljet - Korčula

After a nice breakfast, the shuttle from the hotel in Pomena brought us to the ferry pier back to Polače, where we wanted to take the ferry at around 11 a.m. to our next destination, the island of Korčula. When we arrived at the pier, the ticket booth was not open. We've read already that you can only buy the ticket 30 minutes before departure and in that little office in Polače only. While there were many people, the Mljet-relaxation obviously didn´t just get to us but to other people too. When we got our tickets and the ferry arrived, there seemed to be no rush to get to the boat, as all people were still standing and sitting somewhere in the shadows, and later we were asked two times politely by people if this is the queue to stand in line - no one has asked us that before or after Mljet. It's a whole new experience after all the running and pushing and angry faces at the Dubrovnik pier.

After the ferry emptied with the new guests arriving in Mljet we could slowly board the G&V ferry. The trip  to Korčula took just less than an hour . We soon arrived in Korčula town (lat. Corcyra Nigra, Korkyra Melaina) on the island of the same name and it was an impressive view with the old town located on a peninsula and the huge mountains opposite, the Pelješac peninsula. From the ferry we walked to the apartment we had booked, "Apartments Neno", which is just outside the old town. It was a bit difficult to find at first and we took a wrong diversion, before we finally found the right alley with stairs leading up to the apartments. We did not really see a sign for the Apartment but we had the address. It had a fine air-con, small kitchen with a big refrigerator and a beautiful little balcony with a view to the ocean and the old town. The Wi-Fi unfortunately only worked at the stairs to the apartment and for hot water we needed to press a switch 30 minutes before a shower. There was no TV (who needs it on vacation anyway?) and the furnishing was very basic. It was very spacious though and the apartments have a fine location - in walking distance to the ferry pier and the old town, as well to a nearby rocky beach. The bus station is even closer.

We were in Korčula for a three-night-stay and chose it because we had seen pictures of the beautiful old town, the prospect of having some more beach time and its ferry connections to Mljet and our next destination, Split. We wasted no time to go sightseeing towards the old town. After passing the marina we came to the tourist information, where we got a map of the whole island and continued to the entrance of the old town and the Veliki Revelin Tower, which is surrounded by tons of booths, selling touristy stuff. We went up there for a small fee, getting a first view above the town. Back down were a church and a sign for the icon museum, which we wanted to visit - unfortunately it was closed.

The old town is really small and we instantly came to the eastern end of the peninsula, finding a mixture of old canons, a nice view and a whole avenue occupied by restaurants. We went back in one of the small alleys, going up a bit to reach the square "Trg Sv Marka" with the Cathedral of St. Mark and two museums. The Cathedral was impressive inside, outside there were renovations going on. Wanting to see everything, we went to the Museum Riznica where you can see mostly religious stuff, including portraits, sculptures and jewelry. When we finished, we just went to the building on the other side, the Town Museum ("Gradski Muzej"), where you get an impression of the history and culture of Korčula. Both museums were nice indeed and when we went out, the next attraction, the "Marco Polo Tower" was just a few steps away. Of course we went up there too - for whatever reason no one else did - and while the small exhibition didn´t offer much, the view was great, even better than on the Veliki Revelin Tower. You can see the mountainous Pelješac peninsula and the ocean.

Back down it was just a few steps to the northern end to the peninsula and when we went along the western coast back south we came back to the ferry pier, where also some huge yachts are to behold. My friend insisted on buying a ticket already for our ferry to Split. But the booth was open from 7 to 8 p.m. and 5 to 6 a.m. only (for whatever reason). We decided to come back after buying some stuff at a grocery store. We didn´t have to as it turned out, because you can buy the ticket to Split only one day before departure, not two days before departure. Unfortunately we got this information only after standing in a long queue for some time behind a French family who obviously only spoke French and painfully took their time. Merde! The waiting didn´t even get us a ferry ticket to Orebić, where we wanted to go for a day trip the next day - the saleswoman told us, that you get that ticket directly on board. What we got though was a great sunset.

That sight leads us to stroll along the coast a bit, until we saw the peninsula from far away and I did some long exposure photographs of the beautiful landscape and the ocean. Later we went back and cooked at "home" in order to save some money. So it was tuna out of the can for a change...

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