It was time to say goodbye to Dubrovnk. My bruised and battered albatross resisted my pulls across the uneven stone walkways silently pleading to a passerby who, with a mere nod, threw it on his pulley and led us through the gates of old town.
Bound for Korcula-birth place of Marco Polo-an island not far from Dubrovnik. The room I booked was conveniently located 50 meters from the station. I quickly dropped my albatross and threw open the wooden doors opening up to the small balcony that framed the old city quarter.
I meandered about, down little ally’s draped with linen and ceramic pots with sprouted greens.
Instantly I was relaxed. While I enjoy the excitement of every city hub, I am an island girl and, as such, fair better with the tranquility of island life. I stopped for a bite at a cafe on the water. Plump, al dante grains bathing in a rich broth with tender shrimp and a brush of fresh pesto. Yup that will do.
It was an early night for me-I booked a boat ride to the island of Mljet leaving in the early AM. Off to explore the caves that, according to mythology, were home to the beautiful nymph Calipso, who seduced and captured the legendary Odysseus. Nothing like a little unrequited love story to start your day.
On the zodiac, I sat beside a woman from the UK who, not surprisingly (as it seems there is a purpose to every chance encounter) was also riding solo. The boat was anchored meters from the cave. We plunged into the intense blue waters that changed colour with every depth..hitting all the shades of blue in a box of crayons. We leapt off cliffs, encouraging one another and climbing higher with every jump-an unspoken metaphor of our individual journeys.
On route back to Korcula, we first stopped for wine and fresh grilled prawns; then to another unknown island with a monestary (my favourite line of the day: ”excuse me sir what island are we on?”).
The adventure carried on, all the while sharing stories that way strangers do when time is limited-authentically-no time for pretense. We hopped back in the zodiac taking front row seats on the nautical rollercoaster- the driver went full speed this time, sending us in an undulating ride across the sea, spearing into every wave. Kinda like life, I thought. We can choose to ride the waves of life passively or we can turn around and charge it head on until our faces morph into smiles like a disfigured plasticine doll; our asses sore from the rise and fall of every wave…at the end declaring: “wow that hurt a little but man was it ever worth it”.
I said farewell to my new friend and made my way back to my room. After a short siesta and shower, I was enroute to find a place for dinner
I settled on a cafe on the causeway of old town, Aurora. I ordered first a local oyster magically mounted on ice and ornamented with stone and flowers-with a glass of prosseco.
Then..hand rolled macaroni with beef and vegetables moistened in their natural flavours and accented with a medium bodied red wine, local to the island.
The waitress asks “are you still working on it? Are you struggling with the portion?” Me? no no my sweet, I’m not one to struggle with portions, I thought to myself. But she already knew from my dauntless expression denoting that I soooo had this. And I did. In fact, I finished it all off with a dish of semifreddo with almonds, local dried figs and lavender syrup. Heck ya I did.
I skipped back to my room full and delectably satisfied.
Until tomorrow my friends..