Considering that this was Nikki's first visit to Croatia, I definitely wanted to show her some of the more cultural/historical aspects of the country, which in the case of the Dalmatian coast can only mean old, stone-build cities. Unfortunately, my wallet was a bit too light to take her to Dubrovnik (maybe next time Niks), so I picked the second best thing - a place that I know only too well, the island of Korcula.
Me and my best friend spent a lot of summers there - our parents would take us to the island for camping trips, and although it is a great place for families (or couples), it is not nessecerily the best place for two boys in their mid teens. Honestly, we just wanted a decent party and that is not something you could get in Korcula back then (you probably still can't). All the picturesque fishing boats, stone houses and city walls were none of our concern and were just there to remind us of how dull the night life was. We actually even used to call it "the island of the damned". Anyway, our years of captivity ended some 15 years ago and we haven't been to the island ever since. All of this seemed like the perfect opportunity to go back down memory lane - a romantic getaway on a Croatian island, just the three of us - Amir, Nikki and me...
We decided to do just a day trip from Makarska, which is a bit of a mission but absolutely doable. We were looking at a half hour drive to Drvenik, where we would cath a 2 and a half hour ferry to Korcula. From there it would be another 15 minutes with a water taxi to the actual city. No big deal, except that we were late and almost missed the ferry of course (both ways!). Things like that are a great way to keep yourself entertained on a holiday where you'e supposed to relax. Also, the 2 hour ferry ride is a great opportunity to get that side-tan going, for some reason the ferry from Drvneik to Korcula has no shelter or seats. But seriously, if you don't have sunscreen (and use it!) you're gonna burn to a crisp. You've been warned.
The old town of Korcula is a medieval city that has been build on an oval-shaped swelling of land. It is surrounded by thick stone walls and towers, dating back to the 14th century. The layout of the streets is quite interesting - Korcula's typical narrow streets all branch off from the main street, which is the only wide street in the old town. If you look at a map it almost looks like a fish skeleton, the narrow streets branching of the main one like fish bones from the spine. This arrangement allows the free circulation of air, protecting the city from strong winds, as where the narrow layout is designed to protect it's citizens from the sun. But what really gives Korcula it's charm is the centuries old tradition of stone masonry, which can be adimred in every street and nook of the city.
We ended up only having a short afternoon in the city, but we had a great time nevertheless. Amir and me were like kids again, running down the well known streets and shortcuts, dragging Nikki along and showing her all the cool places we could still remember. But Niks had a good time too, even if it ended up not being quite the romantic getaway she might have hoped for.