I hadn’t planned to run twice in Dubrovnik, but I felt with the first one being far shorter than intended I should try again. It’d be another chance for more photographs I didn’t get during the first run. This time my focus was on getting photographs of the Church of Saint Ignatius. This had been used in the ‘shaming of Cersei Lannister’ in Game of Thrones so I felt it deserved a better shot than I’d already taken.
I was back at the hotel and showered long before breakfast, so had a little time to review what photographs I’d taken. After breakfast we had plenty of time to pack for the next leg of our adventure.
We met up with the tour group in the reception at 10:00 and began the bus ride north. Our first stop of the day was in Ston. This village once had greater importance due to the salt flats, and this resulted in a great city wall around the mountain. This created a defensible high ground for the army - even though the town itself is not inside the wall.
After an hour in a slightly cooler bus, the heat around town felt oppressive. We started in the main square which has a church on one side, and alleyways amongst houses and shops on another. We started with the salt flats, and then explored some of the alleys until we felt we’d seen everything. Maybe it’s typical that as a runner I spotted a sign for the ‘Ston Wall Marathon’. I could imagine that would be difficult; but was I actually entertaining the idea of trying it sometime?
Lindsay sat and waited in a cafe whilst I wandered over to the Saint Jerome Fort. This place is included in the ticket price for walking the wall, but I felt that not only did we not have time to see much of the wall, it wouldn’t have felt good in this heat. Sometimes you have to see things from a distance instead of trying to do everything.
After forty-five minutes we’d had a cheesecake-flavoured ice cream and was once again on our way north. Another hour passed us by, and then we stopped at the Matusko Winery. I think it was here that a lot of the group got to know each other - most it seemed were heavy drinkers.
There were four of us who abstained, whilst the rest paid HRK50 each to go through the wine tasting experience. I wondered how ‘merry’ some of them would be after several glasses of wine at 12%, some brandy at 25%, and a grappa that was 42% alcohol. They commented it could be used to clean windows. Nice.
After they’d had their tasting, we were all shown around the place and told a little about how they work and their history. It’s quite impressive how much is underground. I don’t think this took quite as long as the tour leader expected though as we got into Orebić with twenty minutes to spare before the ferry.
We’d been told there isn’t anything to see in town, and we didn’t feel like spending any more time in the sun - so we waited under a tree by the water.
The ferry ride to Korčula lasted about fifteen minutes. From there we carried our luggage for a few minutes into the old town, and was each shown in turn to our accomodation for the next two nights. Everyone would be staying fairly close together in different apartments that have been leased out by locals. Ours was on the third floor below a terrace that gave a good view of the Marco Polo tower.
The tower has that name as it’s his alleged place of birth - it’s known he was born in Venice, and at the time of his birth this island was part of Venice. Modern day Venice also lay claim he was born in their city, but neither Venice or Korčula have solid evidence to prove the claims.
We had a brief amount of time to settle in before being led on a walking tour of the town. It’s amazing how quickly you can see it all. It was however quite busy so I decided I’d be better off getting up early the next morning to take some photographs, and then going for my run. I liked the idea of running in every place we stayed in along the way.
Another break later, we were on our way to the town of Pupnat for a group meal at a restaurant that has a five month waiting list. Apparently the company has been taking people there for fourteen years, so I guess they have a recurring reservation for these trips.
The food reminded me of Italy - it started with a salad course, a pasta course, a meat course, and then finally a dessert. The pasta course contained dishes such as goats cheese ravioli, and the meat course was lamb. I think the dessert course was the one that impressed the most, but somehow had the most left over in the end.
One of the group, I won’t name who, told us a story of how she’d walked into the wrong washroom earlier in the trip and thought the urinal was an unusual wash basin. As you can imagine, the whole group was in hysterics.
We got back to Korčula a little after 21:00 - I think most of the group planned to stay out drinking due to a rest day coming up; but I wanted to be up early to get pictures when nobody was about, and to run. Socialising could continue another day.