Europe 1987

Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan 2018

Europe 1987

We left Zelenik early, but had to turn around to retrieve my shirt, which I had left behind on a high shelf in our room.  The car had a quick wash this morning – its first since leaving Paris – using a small basin of water.

We followed the coastal road about 50 kilometres northwards to our first stop, the beautiful old town of Dubrovnik.  Dubrovnik was founded in the 7th century, and by the 10th century had become a mighty city republic and trading town with 300 ships.  The town later fell under the dominance of Venice for 160 years but did not completely lose its autonomy until 1808 when it was occupied by France.

The town wall that encircles the old town (Stari Grad) was built between the 9th and 17th centuries and is still intact.  More significantly for the children, it can be climbed and walked along.  Despite the 37˚C heat, we made it to the top and had a wonderful walk, enjoying the fabulous views across the red roofs and narrow laneways of the old town.  After a circuit of the walls, we explored the old town at ground level, all of which was restricted for pedestrian access only, cars being restricted to the area outside the city walls.

We had lunch at a café – salads, hot dogs and cold drinks – and then continued our drive northwards.  Our destination was the island of Korčula, and to reach the island we had to take the vehicular ferry from Orebić.  We arrived on Korčula island and after spending two hours trying to find accommodation, we eventually found a room in a family home near the fishing village of Lumbarda, about six kilometres south-east of the old town of Korčula (same name as the island).  A large family was living in the house, and it was obviously the grandfather of the household who was in charge of negotiating with foreign visitors.  It seemed necessary to convince him that our family was sufficiently trustworthy to be allowed to stay in his house, and this involved a fairly tiring 45-minute conversation with him – all in French because he spoke no English.  After hearing many details of his life (he used to be a sailor), and having established that if we stayed there, no meals or food of any kind would be provided, he agreed that we could stay (for a price that could neither be negotiated nor considered inexpensive).

Dinner tonight was a light meal, enjoying basic foods from a little store while sitting on a small concrete jetty with our feet in the water.  Even though we joined by lots of enthusiastic local mosquitoes, at least we were cool.

We have only intended to stay two nights here and hopefully we find that all-too-rare landform in this part of the world – a sandy beach for the children to have a swim to relieve the intensity of this continuing heat.

Day 27

Zelenik to Korčula

Saturday 8 August 1987