Sand, Sun, and a Smorgasboard

(Note: The following post describes details from a previous trip, NOT a current trip.)


Tuesday, September 4th.

Sleeping on Monday night/Tuesday morning is a challenge.

Not only because of the heat and humidity. But because of those nearby church bells at St. Mark’s.

They ring. EVERY. FIFTEEN. MINUTES.

UGH.

Europe, Croatia 085Later in the morning, a bunch of us (Rob, Richard, Livia, Sanj and myself) decide to rent some bicycles and hit a beach – Vela Przina beach in the village of Lumbarda, to be precise.

I literally haven’t been on a bike in years. Even at the bike rental shop, when I initially attempt to sit on a bike, I nearly lose my balance and narrowly miss taking out a postcard carousel.

Slightly embarrassed, I work on getting my “bike legs” back, as quickly as I can.

It’s a slightly hilly seven-kilometre bike ride to Lumbarda, so I find some of the inclines challenging. The gears are also a bit wonky. But the views are nice, as is having the freedom to ride without a helmet – much like I did when I was a kid.

And then finally – the beach!

Rob and Richard take off for the water. Sanj, Livia and I spend the first part of our beach day taking some welcome shade at the nearby bar/restaurant, drinking and chatting.

Europe, Croatia 084Livia and I finally get the courage to wade into the water, while Sanj keeps out of the sun. It’s cool at first, but warms up after a few moments, and I take a moment to fully submerge my head.

While in the water, we run into four of the Aussies – Natalie and Paul (the siblings), Marian and Josie. They opted to rent a car and drove the seven kilometres.

I actually haven’t had the chance to really speak to them up until this point, so it’s good to finally see them for more than about 10 minutes and chat about how they’re finding the trip so far.

I opt to leave a bit earlier than expected, with Sanj, as we want to stop a few times on the way back to snap some pictures.

I haven’t yet been to Italy. But what we see before us is what I would imagine part of the Tuscan countryside to look like – rows of grapevines, red clay roofs and hilly backdrops.

There is much more traffic to navigate on our way back. Between the blazing sun and exerting more energy to make room for cars, scooters and trucks, my body has become quite the sweat factory.

I’m finally glad when – t-shirts clinging to our backs – we return to Korčula town in one piece!

Europe, Croatia 100After we drop off our bikes, Sanj and I continue poking around town, checking out side streets here and there, then head up to St. Mark’s Cathedral to check out the bell tower. Looks like Richard and Rob have the same idea, as that’s where we run into them.

The views of Korčula town – and the nearby water – from here are absolutely lovely. A couple of the bells ring while we’re up there.

With the evening comes another change of scenery: the group hops onto a bus headed to the village of Pupnat, for dinner at a local restaurant (called Konoba Mate) – where the ingredients for all the dishes served are locally grown or sourced.

As the air thickens with humidity and the skies grow dark with a possible threat of rain, we’re seated in the corner of the outdoor dining room, underneath a romantic overhang of vines.

Europe, Croatia 116We’re served an array of items – meats, fish, cheeses, strong, sharp-tasting liquor that tastes like walnuts and berries, pasta, and so on. The meal itself has around 4 or 5 courses, but luckily all the portions are meant for sharing. Each course is even more delicious than the last and doesn’t leave me stuffed.

Even more than the savoury meal, it’s nice to finally have the group together – laughing, trading stories and finding out more about each other.

Upon our return to Korčula, a bunch of us take a short stroll about, but then return to our quarters for the evening.

Tomorrow, we head for the island of Hvar.

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