|Walls at Ston|
|Matusko Wines, Potomje|
A small hired launch took us across in double-quick time, during which time we admired the exploits of two racing windsurfers, who competed to exploit the warm sea breeze. Soon the town appeared in view and we were able to appreciate its beauty from the ideal vantage: from the sea. Perched on a gentle headland rise, the walled town's historic architecture and its nautical heritage are obvious. After docking at the marina and pausing to admire the town walls and the ornamental bridge to the main town gate, which is protected by a proud square tower with crenellated battlements and decorated with a roaring Venetian lion, we entered the town itself.
|Approaching Korčula from the sea|
|The gate of Korčula|
|St Mark's (detail)|
|The alley I was rooming in|
The next morning following breakfast from the busy local supermarket, some of us joined local boat captain Mario on his little motor-launch for a sunny expedition to nearby waters. It was a perfect plan on a day that would reach 33 degrees at its hottest. First stop was the ruins of Majsan on a nearby island, which began their life as a Roman fishing village and later in the 4th century became the site of a monastery that attracted pilgrims as late as the 16th century. Nowadays only the foundations remain to explore, with a cryptic diagram that illustrates a possible layout that's rather a challenge to visualise. Next stop was a stretch of open sea in the channel where Mario anchored the launch and donned scuba fins for a spot of foraging. Soon he emerged from the shallow waters with a selection of sea urchins to sample. I didn't take up the kind offer but most of the others gave the brown, gooey sea urchin paste a try. I did, however, sample Mario's family-made wine, which was rugged and invigorating. Our last stop on the afternoon at sea was the former monastery on the island of Badija, where we enjoyed feeding the tame deer and taking advantage of the cool, clear Adriatic waters. I also took the opportunity to collect some beach glass to add to my collection from Wellington harbour. (For Mario's contact details, see Fish & Fun Korčula).
|Ruins on Majsan|
|Mario on the lookout for sea urchins|
|Greedy deer at Badija|
|View from the belltower, St Mark's, Korčula|
|Sunrise over the walls at Korčula|