Saturday, 9 September 2017

Travelling Around Croatia: Second Stop - Korcula

Having spent a wonderful few days in Dubrovnik it was time for us to leave, we packed up our things and planned to catch the first boat to Korcula. However when we awoke in the morning things didn't really go to plan...

The boat we had decided to catch was at 7.05am. I reluctantly woke up to Ciarán poking me and informing me that it was 7am and my alarm had not gone off. Confused, half asleep and grumpy I rolled over thinking it couldn't be right, I had definitely set my alarm there was no reason for us to not have woken up...That would have been true had I not set my work alarm which only goes off on week days. It was a Sunday. 

Ciarán hopped online to find out when the next boat was, book tickets, and plan what we would do until the boat...I fell back asleep. I know! I messed up, so I should have at least stayed awake with him while we got it all sorted. I'm a bad girlfriend, and also a very lucky one!

Crisis averted we had tickets booked for the 4.30pm boat and Ciarán suggested we get the bus to the port and explore this area of Dubrovnik as we hadn't been there yet. My advice to you on this would be not to spend 4 hours at the port, it was a major mistake, once we had eaten and walked around for 25 minutes there was literally nothing else to do but sit in the park. I read my book and Ciarán curled up on the bench and fell asleep. I spent most of the day mentally beating myself up for not setting the right alarm and ultimately wasting a day doing nothing when we could have been exploring. In hindsight we had spent several days days with constant plans in Dubrovnik and had a lot of busy days ahead of us, it was probably very good for us to have had that one day relaxing in the sun with nothing to do.

The boat ride went very smoothly, and with no internet there was nothing to do but watch the islands pass by. It wasn't too long before we were stepping off onto Korcula and were welcomed by crystal clear water, a beautiful medieval walled town, and a stunning landscape. Something we were quickly beginning to realise was kind of the norm in Croatia, and that we were happy getting used to.

We had a little wander about the old town, it was basically a smaller, quieter Dubrovnik. Naturally we quickly sniffed out a pretty spot to sit and have a glass of wine, while we did a bit of restaurant research for dinner. It was such a lovely spot, (but wow super windy) and so quiet and calm compared to Dubrovnik, which was a bit of a relief. Although we did go at the beginning of June, so maybe it gets more hectic during the school holidays? Yikes!

Anyway we had our restaurant choices narrowed down to 2, the first being on a pretty roof terrace, the blogger in me instantly wanted to go to this one just for the photos. But it was unfortunately not to be, they were rammed full and turning people away. The second spot, Konoba Mareta, was just a few doors down the little street and was also very busy, but the waitress (who was a total babe by the way) managed to squeeze us in. Before I go into the review I would just like to say that all the restaurants were really busy, because the old town is so tiny they fill up very fast so we realised we should have either gone earlier, or been prepared to put our names down for a table and go get a little aperitif. Anyway, we ended up being really happy we had been turned away from the roof terrace, because this place was great! The food was delicious, there service was fantastic, and they had a really nice selection of local wines, which we did not hesitate in ordering and drinking a whole bottle of ;) 

The next morning we were up bright and early (Ciarán took control of the alarm this time) with the intention of getting going before the heat if the day. We tried to hunt down somewhere for breakfast, which we were quickly realising is quite  hard to do. I'm not sure if generally people have breakfast at home rather than out which is why there is no breakfast menu, or if breakfast menus just aren't advertised until you get into the restaurant. Anyway, we found somewhere to buy some pastries, that were really not good unfortunately, but the coffee was great, which took the edge of our disappointment. Once we had eaten we booked our boat tickets from the Jadrolinija ticket office (I very much suggest booking tickets at least the day before you go, it's so easy and you just have peace of mind that you'll definitely get on.) With those safely purchased our next stop was to rent a couple of bikes and set off in search of a beach! Our early start was so we could get cycling before it got too hot, but to be honest it was still roasting, like had to keep wiping the sweat off my hands so I could grip the handle bars roasting. 

The woman in the rental shop showed us a route on a map to a nice beach in Lumbarda. A little heads up, they describe the route as mostly on a cycle track. My thoughts of a cycle track is off road with no cars. This cycle track is basically just a wide pavements you can cycle on. But it isn't long until you are on quiet roads through the vineyards, and eventually a very pretty sandy beach. We spent a few hours here, reading, snoozing, and relaxing.

But of course eventually our stomachs took control and we were off in search of food once more. Back through the vineyards and along the coast into the town of Lumbarda, stopping at this rather pretty restaurant.

Energy restored, we hopped back on our bikes to take the route back home, via a vineyard we had seen signs for on the way, I was hoping for a tour a maybe a little tasting. This was the only thing propelling me forward up the hill/mountain! Needless to say I felt drawn to tears when we finally got there only to find it was closed during the middle of the day. Crushing disappointment doesn't quite cover it. The only good thing about cycling up the hill is free wheeling back down it, not quite as good as a vineyard tour and wine tasting, but not bad in a pinch.

By the time we got back to Korcula I got off the bike and oh my was I weak at the knees! Seriously I thought my legs were going to fall out from under me, like Bridget Jones in that exercise bike scene. We dropped off the bikes and head back to the apartment for a well earned shower and to get ready for  our last dinner in Korcula before sailing to Hvar in the morning.


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