Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Korčula and the Blue Water

We got up super early to make our way of town, raveling by


cab, train from Sarajevo to Mostar,

bus to Dubrovnik.  From Bosnia,

we had to pass 

through four security points, had to get out of the bus three times to

have them

inspect our passports, missed our ferry, had lunch, grabbed another ferry,

and made it to the majestic island of 

Korčula, two hours off the mainland. 

Settled by the Greeks in the 4th century BCE and named for

“Black Corfu,” for a long time, it was ruled by the Venetians across

the water.  You feel both influences

here, the Greek fantasy with the sea and the Venetian color and food.

A white stoned Medieval

town centers the place. 

After a dozen hours of travel, we find ourselves in a quiet place.

The sounds of bells,

celebrating the end of the war, filling the air.

Down the alley from our house, some rocks,

lead to water. A cat looks out the window above us.  Laundry

is hanging. 

The owners put a couple of chairs out on our alley,

where we have a glass of wine. 

Each day here, we swim even more, slowly falling into a pattern,

swim, read, swim,

go for food, swim, read, sleep,

adding a few activities here and there.

Maybe some Olympics or chess or poetry.  

The little one reads us a lot of the post WWI British stuff.

“Suicide in the Trenches”

and “Anthem

for Doomed Youth.”  I can’t stop reading Steven Morris’s


existential musings

on music

and suicide and mental health.

Caroline arranges for us to take a boat out for a tour. 

“Živjeli” says Joe, our guide, over a glass of his



as we head out,

early on Saturday morning.

Abba is playing.The water crisp, blue and green, more blue than


Our first stop is Badija, a small island the Bosnians owned until 1949. 

The Franciscans have

had a monastery here ages. 

“Tito bought the island,” says Joe.  “He brought the deer. 

Now they

are protected.”

As usual, the conversation turns back

to Yugoslavia. “Those were good days.  You just couldn’t say

anything bad about Tito or you ended up at Goli Otok working

in the quarry,

breaking rocks.”

The subject turns to pollution. “We all clean the islands. 

We all do.”

Docking up, Joe suggests we go feed the deer, giving us some


Sure enough, they are friendly and willing to eat from our hands. 

On we walk to visit the Abby built in 1447 by the Franciscans. 

It all feels like time outside of time, the monastery, the white stones,

the blue water.

“Since Corona, it has been hard,” says Joe, now playing Celine

Dion.   “In 2019, that was too much.

But 2020 was nothing. But it's coming back.”

He serves us a glass of his home made wine. The bridge is

going to

help a lot. 

Then tourists and travelers won't have to cross through all the

border checks.

The Bosnians were not too happy about it. But it helps. 

“This is my living room,” says Joe, looking about. “I know every stone,

every cove,

every little island here.”

He stops the boat at a little island called Sitvara, where we swim and he

cooks some fish

and sausage. Fresh as possible, just with olive oil and salt.

“Do you like my living room?” he asks as we enjoy our lunch and fresh wine. 

It's a good like here.

“In the winter,

maybe start drinking and cooking dinner at 430 PM and then go

to bed at 8 PM.”

Joe plays us Queen and takes us back by early afternoon.

Sunday, we grab some bikes for the day.

I think the beach we want to go to is 16 K away,” says Caroline. 

“Not too many hills,” I ask. 

“Not too many.”

Famous last words, I think as we zig and zag, up arn around, through medieval towns,

past bathing spots, and swimming holes, beach that calls.  We stop and swim for a bit, imagining

living here.  People are sitting about, looking gorgeous, drinking beer, napping. Kids are playing.

We have to push the bikes up some, lots of hills.

Onward we ride to Vala Luca, walking  down a rocky path to a cove and a secret beach. 

Semi clad bathers are out, navigating the rocks. 

We swim all afternoon and make our way back. 

The ride is hard, but we do it, celebrating back in town, Caroline and the little one telling stories

at dinner, recalling giants and ghosts, monsters and demons.  The ride reminds us.

Later that night, I sit in our little alley in Korcula, watching the sun go down,

listening to choral music from the church down the street.  In the morning the sparrows fly,

as we prepare for our day, another journey ahead.

A few posts from Caroline.

And a few poems from the teenager:

No comments:

Post a Comment