Driving me Krazy in Korcula…..

Driving a car in a foreign country can make you feel totally liberated and less like a tourist.  It can also make you feel like a complete jackass as it did when we were trying make our way out of Dubrovnik proper and onto what passes here as a major thoroughfare.  We were laughing hysterically at our Garmin GPS car navigation system as it tried gamely to speak Croatian.  We even switched the voice to Serena, the British one, for extra laughs (no offense to our British friends….its just….well…funnier for some reason).

Serena (with posh English accent): “In point two kilometers please turn left on Andrije Hebranga.”

Us: <giggling hysterically>

Then it stopped being funny when Serena kept telling us to turn right into walls or houses.  She (or the GPS) was a little off so we kept getting the turn notifications late and ended up the wrong way down one way streets or at the top of a narrow road looking down at a long flight of steps from which we had to deftly reverse between a gauntlet of parked cars.

Our little Punto rental car

Our little Punto rental car

Finally we righted ourselves and found our way to the main road and ultimately to our destinations Ston, an old fortified town with the longest stone wall next to China’s Great one, and Korcula (pronounced Korchula, not Korkewla as we’d been saying) the island birthplace of the great explorer Marco Polo (well, the Korculans claim as much although it’s generally accepted that he was born in or around Venice).  Some photos and comments follow…..

The Village of Ston, Croatia

The Village of Ston, Croatia

Our first stop in our rental car was Ston, a village known for its seafood, mussels in particular.

Francesca flexing her mussels

Francesca flexing her mussels

Oh and that wall I was talking about above.

Ston Wall

Ston Wall

Serena the GPS goddess trying to help us out in pedestrian mode.

Walking in Ston

Walking in Ston

We passed many vineyards like the one below on the road to Korcula.

Vineyard on way to Korcula

Apparently Croatia and particularly this region is famous for its wine.  However, as you can see, their grape vines all look like anemic, gnarled pricker bushes……which may explain why the wine tastes like crap. 🙂  Well, to be fair we only tasted the cheap table wines, but I think if Croatia was well known for having delicious wines I would have heard about it or seen them in our local wine store.  If any of you oenophiles know to the contrary please chime in.

View from road to Korcula

The road to Korcula was a lot of fun for me to drive and a white knuckler for Francesca.  It was serpentine with a sharp drop off on one side.   There was a guard rail which was a good thing because the beautiful views like the one above were enough to distract me from the road ahead.  🙂   A note on Croatian drivers.  They all drive like madmen!  And I thought I was a fast driver.  These guys are zipping around like this was the autobahn!

Lining up for the car ferry to Korula

Lining up for the car ferry to Korula

Our first time on a car ferry.

Ferry to Korcula

Ferry to Korcula

Amazing view of Korcula.

Town of Korcula

Town of Korcula

Bar on turret at Korcula

This is a really bad self timed photo of a really cool bar on the roof of a turret of the old city wall.  You had to climb up a few steep ladders to get up there. After taking our drink order the waiter was hanging around and hadn’t gone down to get our drinks.  We thought that because it was such a hassle to get up and down that he would wait for other patrons to order more drinks and bring them all up at once.  Turns out he was waiting for the drinks to come up on a pulley system.  Genius!

Franny on ladder at Korcula bar

Sunset on the ferry back to the mainland.

Sunset at Korcula

Okay, that’s it for now.  Our next posting from Kotor, Montenegro!

Tiny bubbles!

Tiny bubbles!

P.S. Oh, I also had my first sink laundry experience in Dubrovnik when we got back from Korcula.  Very exciting indeed!

Country Stats

Official Name: Croatia

Native Language:  Croatian

Country Name in Native Language: Hrvatska

Population: 4,489,000

Capital City: Zagreb

Government: Parliamentary Republic.

Current Leader: President Stipe Mesic, Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor

For more information on Croatia click here.

In retrospect (August 15, 2010)

I definitely remember all the driving and the fun with GPS although the Amalfi Coast would latter top our Korula driving experience with its even narrower, winding roads and crazy drivers.

For some reason Francesca and I took to shouting “Count Korcula!” in a Transylvanian accent (a la Count Chocula of General Mills monster-themed children’s breakfast cereal fame) and still do today when the occasion arises.  Go ahead, try it yourselves!……See, wasn’t that fun?!

Looking back I was pretty harsh on Croatian wine, but no one has come to its defense yet.  If there is anyone out there who knows otherwise please tell us and recommend your favorite and we’ll try it.

This is the first time I had ever done sink laundry and so it was fun in a Neanderthal sort of way, but it lost its allure fairly quickly and so subsequent efforts were not entered into with much enthusiasm.

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2 Responses to “Driving me Krazy in Korcula…..”

  1. Okay, an extremely late defense of Croatian wine, from a complete stranger: it’s *very* good. In fact, the grape that we call “zinfandel” is supposedly from one of the Croatian regions. However, they don’t make much for export (as I understand it) and the good stuff we had there wasn’t necessarily cheap.

    I’m planning a trip back (we were there in May 09) primarily for wine tasting!

    • Hi Alyssa, thank you for visiting our site…..and it’s never too late to defend Croatian wine. Obviously our judgements were snap and based on only a few bad bottles which we the cheapest we could get based on our budget. So your in a much better position to comment intelligently on the subject. Hvae fun on your wine tasting trip and let us know a couple of Croatian wines that you particularly like. Best, Dan

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