Southern Dalmatia Cruise
Sun.3rd. June, Dubrovnik
I flew with Croatia Airlines from Zürich at 15.30 to Dubrovnik a 2 hour flight direct. The bus to the harbor at 18.30 arriving 19.10 was just in time for dinner on the ship, Kruna Mora, where I met the other 20 participants The Kruna Mora with a length of 44m is the largest of the RIVA ships but some of the more modern ships can accommodate more passengers. I had booked very early and was given the largest cabin despite being alone. The cabins above deck are smaller although probably more popular. I visited the old town of Dubrovnik in the evening from 20.30 to 22.30.
The Kruna Mora departed at 8.00 for the Island of Korcula. After a stop for lunch at an island on the route we arrived in a bay near Lumbarda where some people went for a swim. Leaving at 15.00 further 40 min. cruise brought us to the historic city of Korcula, giving us plenty of time for a city sightseeing tour. I had visited Korcula before but it was still interesting to wander through the narrow streets and along the walls surrounding the small peninsula on which it is situated. Korcula was like most of the region controlled by the Venetians for centuries and claims to be the birthplace of Marco Polo although the house which can be visited is of a much more recent date.
Departing again at 8.00 travelling back towards Dubrovnik we arrived at the picturesque harbor of Pomena on the island of Mljet at 10.15, leaving the rest of the day to explore the national park of on the island. The main attraction are two inland lakes, the larger of which contains a monastery on a small island. I first walked to Zakmenica, a viewpoint over the sea, returning for lunch at the Babine Kuce restaurant, still about 30min. from the ship. Here I was practically the only guest but another person from the ship did join me and we set out together to climb the Montokuc (250m) at 14.30 on a circular route arriving back at the restaurant at 17.00 for a well earned beer.
Wed.6th.June, Sipan, Elaphite Islands
Continuing our journey South (again at 8.00) we first reached the bay of Domovici on the Island of Jakljan for swimming and sunbathing for 3 hours. A short cruise of 30 min. to Sipanska Luka on the neighbouring Elaphite island of Sipan brought us there at 15.00. I wanted to walk the 7 km to Sudurad on the other end of the island but the time before dinner was only really sufficient for one direction and I was not sure about a return bus. Nevertheless I set off at 15.15 and following signs to Sutulija a small hill of 224m was able to find an almost overgrown narrow track between low stone walls parallel to but well above the road. Here I surprised a large striped snake over one meter in length lying on the track and could photograph it as it disappeared over the wall into the trees. Later I was told it was actually a legless lizard and not poisonous. On emerging from the forest I was myself surprised to see a group of English girl guides setting up camp next to a farm, where I was offered a welcome drink (16.30). Following directions to Sudurad harbor I reached it in 35min. and fortunately a ferry was due because these are met by a bus back to Sipanska Luka. It arrived at 18.15 at the ship and there was still time for a swim before dinner.