In May of this year I quit my job and moved back to Kauai for an exciting opportunity. Naturally, in between jobs I took some time off to travel. More specifically, I took 5 weeks off and booked a one way ticket to Malta, a small island country situated in between Sicily and the North African coast. I didn’t have any solid plans, other than having to be back in New York for the Governor’s Ball music festival in early June. I’ll save the specifics for a later post, but to make a long story short, I spent about 10 days traveling solo through Croatia.
I did a VERY whirlwind trip through Croatia, traveling by plane, bus, car, and ferry to get from the southernmost point in Dubrovnik up to the capital of Zagreb. I booked a solo room at a hostel in advance of my first night in Dubrovnik and then never knew where I was going to rest my head the next day. I ended up staying at 6 different places over the course of a week, moving from town to town almost on a daily basis. It was exhausting, but adventurous, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Prior to my arrival in Croatia, I had never heard of Korcula, one of thousands of islands that dot the Croatian coastline. I had my heart set on visiting the more popular spots in Hvar, Brac, or Vis. But on the advice of a fellow solo traveler, I decided to do a quick stop in Korcula on my way from Dubrovnik to Split. And by “quick,” I mean I arrived at about 8pm and had to leave the next day around 5pm.
Well enough about that. This is Korcula.
I apologize, but I’m just easing myself back into blogging, so I’m going to be lazy and not order the pictures. Forgive the randomness in advance.
As I only had less than 24 hours in the town, I didn’t get to explore much. Plus, it was raining on and off the entire day. I slept in, watched the latest episode of Game of Thrones, then spent the day walking around Korcula’s Old Town. It was really one of the most quaint and charming places I’d ever seen.
The Old Town juts out and is surrounded by water on three sides. You can walk the entire town in about 20 minutes.
This is a pretty typical Italian / Dalmatian menu. I have to say, the food in Croatia was hit or miss, but when it hit, it HIT. I’m telling you, Croats know how to do seafood proper. Then again, you really have no excuse not to do it right if you’re home to thousands of islands.
Korcula wasn’t quite as bad as Dubrovnik with regard to stairs, but it had its fair share. My single biggest piece of advice for travelers in Croatia is not to mess with rollie luggage. I am always on the fence about this and I actually alternate between backpacks and rollies depending on where I’m headed (backpacks always win out for stairs and cobblestone, but rollies are just so much easier in airports and on long flat surfaces). I went rollie this time and regretted it hard.
I wanted to pick up one of these natural sea sponges, but this was about week 4 of my trip and my bag was already turning from a carry-on into a check-in, so opted out.
So for this trip, I left my bulky SLR at home and brought my new Fuji XT1. I’ve only got two lenses, an 18mm 2.0 and a 18-135mm, so I was a little worried I might be under-gunned. But I was determined to try and make this my new primary kit and I have to say, the camera travels well. I was missing the quickness in the focus, but since I was primarily shooting landscapes, it didn’t bother me too much. The images are sharp and the color quality is unparalleled.
Korcula is supposedly the birthplace of Marco Polo (although I believe this claim is disputed). There are a lot of Marco Polo tributes around town. I think he was even linked to this Cathedral that I climbed up in the center of town.
The skyline view from the bell tower was really nice because of all the red rooftops.
When you’re traveling solo, you strike up a lot of convos with strangers. I was the first one to the bell tower on this day (even though I slept in and watched GoT, which tells ya something about their hours), so I talked story with the “guard” for a while until it opened. Croatians are VERY nice people. I recommend chatting up as many of the locals as you can.
Not as many statutes as Italy, but they’re still around.
The water was just as crystal clear as in Malta, but unfortunately it was just too. damn. cold. I really, reallllly wanted to jump in, but I was in a jacket on this day.
I sat down for coffee and this caramel apple dessert that was to die for!!!
Back in Dubrovnik, I had dinner with a fellow solo traveler and he told me that if I found myself in Korcula, I had to had to had to eat at this restaurant Capers. Now I am normally not a foodie and I won’t regularly seek out a place to eat when I travel, but since the town was so small, I had no problem finding it. I ordered chicken piccata and fried zucchini (with a side of wine) and although the piccata wasn’t quite what I was expecting, the food was DELICIOUS.
This is actually one of the few moments during solo travels when I wished I had someone with me … so we could have ordered more food!! I wanted to try everything on the menu, but as it was I couldn’t even finish this plate. Highly recommend Capers if your’e in town.
I love checking out graffiti in other countries.
This is another view from atop the bell tower, but shot with my GoPro. I’m convinced that I have a bunk GoPro because unless I do some post-processing on the pics, the colors are always very flat and underwhelming.
This is the great one bedroom apartment that I booked on Air BnB. The hosts were AWESOME and it was a really central location.
Oh, one thing I will say about Croatia that was pretty consistent across the board is the lack of water pressure in the shower. With the exception of one of the places I stayed, all of my accommodations had trickling showers, which isn’t very satisfying after long days of traveling and adventuring. That being said, this was a really great central place to stay in Old Town and the owners were awesome. One of their friends met me at the ferry station when I arrived at night to walk me to the unit. Again, can’t say enough about how nice Croatians are.
I traveled from Dubrovnik to Korcula on a bus. They load the bus on an inter island ferry to get you to the island. I chose the coastal view on the bus and got rewarded with some really nice sightseeing.
By the way, there are no trains in Croatia. Or if there are, people don’t use them. The buses operate in lieu of a train and they’re great. The buses don’t have bathrooms, but they are clean and spacious. Everyone pretty much either rents cars, rides the bus, or takes a ferry or boat tour to get up the coast. I did all of the above (except for the boat tour). This is a sample of the ferry sailing schedule. You can get all the way from Split down to Dubrovnik (or vice versa) and the ferries are awesome.
Caught a nice little sunset on the way out.
And then just as soon as I got there, the ferry arrived to pick us up and take us to Split! These ferries, btw, are very comfy. We got lucky with really smooth seas, but I heard they can get a little rough when the water’s choppy.
And that was was my one night in Korcula! I will definitely be posting more from my Malta / Croatia trip soon!