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Clare
Clare

Day 2: Split to Korčula

We had an early start this morning, albeit nowhere near as early as yesterday morning, with the alarm going off at 07.30. We had tickets booked on the 09.15 boat from Split to the island of Korčula and as this was the first time we had caught a passenger ferry in Croatia, I had no idea how far in advance of the boat departing we needed to be at the terminal.

Luckily our apartment in Split was very conveniently placed for the harbour and so once we had packed and had breakfast, we only had a 10 minute walk down to the seafront. The port in Split is fairly enormous though and houses everything from tiny fishing boats to expensive private yachts, from gigantic cruise ships cruising the Adriatic to car ferries crossing the sea to Italy. We were looking for a fairly modestly sized catamaran run by Croatia's state shipping company, Jadrolinija, and while you can easily buy boat tickets online via the Jadrolinija website, once you've bought them you don't get any kind of instructions about where you might find your boat.

As we dodged in and out of groups of cruise ship passengers being herded towards the sights of Split, I was glad that we had set out with plenty of time to spare! We eventually found the information board which announced that the boat to Korčula was due to depart from bay 11, and with the help of a map of the port on the wall we made our way to the end of a long quay where a small queue of people was forming.

The journey from Split to Korčula takes about 2 hours 45 minutes and cost 140 kuna (about £15) each. I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the catamaran as I knew you can't go outside on them and was worried that the inside might be a bit dark and cramped, having seen it described online as being like the inside of an aeroplane. Whoever came up with that description obviously wasn't accustomed to flying Ryanair, because when we got on board we were pleasantly surprised to find a bright spacious room set up with rows of very comfy seats which had a lot of legroom :) Turning up early had definitely been helpful as we even managed to get seats by a window, although unfortunately it wasn't possible to take any photos because the window itself was covered in a thin black mesh, through which it was possible to see out, but which would have been rather a barrier to a camera.

It was a really lovely journey though as we left Split behind us and travelled first to the island of Hvar, where more than half of the boat's passengers got off. It looked really beautiful there, with some sort of fortress set on a hill above the old town. About another hour and a very strong espresso from the boat's cafe later, we finally arrived in Korčula :)

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Our first task was to find our apartment. I knew the owner was expecting us because she had phoned me last night to check which boat we were coming on, but I was a bit worried we were going to struggle to find the right building, because the street which was given as the address didn't seem to feature on Google Map's view of Korčula. We knew it wasn't far from the harbour though and the apartment's page on booking.com showed a picture of the seafront with a big red circle around the correct building, so I was hoping we would be able to recognise it from that!

Luckily Tim spotted what seemed to be the right building almost straight away, though when we got to it I couldn't see any signs about apartments. I rang the lady I'd spoken to yesterday again, and she assured us me that we were in the right place and that she'd be with us in a few minutes. Sure enough she was, and she and her husband showed us through a side entrance, up some stairs and into an extremely nice apartment :) We've got a kitchen/dining/living room with strong air-con and a nice spacious bedroom.

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But the best thing is probably the view from the balcony :)

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Once we had settled in and enjoyed the balcony for a bit, we went out to explore the town. We were staying in Korčula town, which is the largest town on the island of the same name.

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We started with a stroll along the coast...

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...and soon had an amazing view back towards the fortified old town.

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Part of the reason I wanted to come to this island was that I had seen some beautiful shots of it on a Croatian soap opera that I'm watching, so I was pleased to see that it looked just as beautiful in real life :)

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We decided to stop and have some lunch before exploring the old town in more detail.

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We found a nice place where we had ćevapčići (grilled sausage-like things made of minced meat, which are popular all over the Balkans) and chips in the sun :) A little later we climbed up through the gate and into the centre of town.

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The old town is full of narrow little streets.

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The cathedral of St Mark dominates the main square...

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...though we did find some smaller churches as well :)

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Around the edges of the town were remnants of what must once have been very impressive town walls...

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...and you could imagine that any potential invaders approaching from the sea would have been put off by towers like this.

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In the evening we strolled along the coast once more...

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...to enjoy another view of the town from a distance.

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As we walked along the coastal road we passed a pretty monastery too.

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The hills in the background are actually on the Croatian mainland; although it took us about three hours to get here on a boat from Split, there is a long thin peninsula called Pelješac which is only a few kilometres across the sea from Korčula.

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The weather isn't forecast to be perfect for the next few days so we don't have any firm plans, but we have definitely had a wonderful time walking around Korčula today :)

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