This morning started with a bang… Literally; as stuff came flying out of the cupboards from hitting a large ocean swell. Mom and I were immediately up and out of the room, refusing to let the rocking of the boat get us seasick. While it was early, about 6:30, it was a great way to catch the sunrise (: After breakfast and our usual debrief, we set off from the city of Prigradica. Once again, we wasted no time in gaining elevation. I’ve decided that Dalmatia doesn’t believe in warm ups! After a short(ish) climb, we decended into the city of Blato. After a few roundabouts, it was time to climb… Again. Shocking. This climb was tougher than the first, but resulted in us getting onto the other side of the island and seeing some really first class ocean front. We the followed the coastline. Lined with oceanside mansions, private beaches, gorgeous island views, and many boats, it was truly a sight to behold. Seeing that we had our first really sunny day of riding also helped with the asthetics I’m sure. Between the cities of Prižba and Brna, we stopped to have a picnic and a swim break. Hot and a little tired from the heat and the climbing, the water felt PHENOMENAL. What made it even better was the picnic lunch that our wonderful guides provided which included cured meats, sheep cheese, fresh bread and a wonderful red pepper spread (Ajvar).
After swimming and lunch? You guessed it; more climbing. Not to bad at first and then at a pretty good incline. We did stop in the small town of Stokvica to get some water and made a very adorable furry friend (:
We then went through some vinyards and up a steep narrow winding road. We couldn’t see the ocean for a a bit, but when we finally did, the views only proved how far up we had come.
We then reached the town of Pupnat, the where we stopped for a quick break and some ice cream from a convince store. From there it was a short uphill before making our decent into Korčula. The way down was VERY steep in places, nearly 21% grades. To say I was thankful we weren’t going up would be an understatement! In usual Dalmatia fashion, the views were vast and impressive. Once down, we followed the coastline to Korčula. The streets were narrow and bustling with cars, people were swimming in the calm water, and large ships moored in the harbor. It was so perfect.
We then had a couple of hours to relax, shower, and get ready to explore the old town and take a city tour. The tour was very informative, almost too informative for my taste, but it was fascinating to learn about the ancient Roman and Venetian occupations of Croatia and see how much they influenced their architecture. We also learned about the possibility that Marco Polo lived on the island of Korčula, seeing that there are records of a Polo family living on the island. There is no definitive proof that he lived here in those records though, so no one really knows; the Croatians do believe he did.
At this point, was nearly 8pm and I was getting hungry! Basically hangary if you know the term. We ended up heading to the Marco Polo Mistique. I ordered the Fish Soup and a Scampi and we got a bottle of Pošip as a table. It was all DELICIOUS!! Also have to give 10/10 for presentation.