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September 28, 2017 - Korčula Island

We started the morning with a long climb to the town of Pupnat, then a steep descent

to the coast with spectacular views toward the Pelješac Peninsula. After a coffee stop

in the small village of Račišće, we headed back to Korčula Old Town for lunch

and spent the rest of afternoon exploring the Old Town. Lots of vineyards on Korčula,

 Arguably the best of all Croatian whites is produced from pošip grapes, which are

only grown here and to a lesser extent on the Pelješac Peninsula. The grk grape,

cultivated around Lumbarda, also produces quality dry white wine.

                   

ABOVE LEFT - Ally, Bob and Fred checking out the cycling map of Korcula

ABOVE MIDDLE - Ready to head into Pupnat (and yes, it is

pronounced "Poop Not") and begin the fast steep descent.

ABOVE RIGHT - View of the tip of the Pelješac Peninsula across the Adriatic

Rich in vineyards, olive groves and small villages, and harboring a glorious

old town, the island of Korčula is the sixth-largest Adriatic island, stretching

nearly 47km in length. Dense woods led the original Greek settlers to call the

island Korkyra Melaina (Black Korčula). Quiet coves and small sandy beaches

dot the steep southern coast while the northern shore is flatter and more pebbly.

                   

ABOVE LEFT - I took at least 50 photos of the view as we descended the mountain to the coast. When I got home and looked at them, I realized they were essentially the same scene getting closer and closer!

ABOVE MIDDLE - Spectacular views on our steep descent (at least 15%)

ABOVE RIGHT - Pelješac Peninsula in the background

                   

ABOVE LEFT - Around each switchback was an even better view!

ABOVE MIDDLE - Finally made it down to the coast.

ABOVE RIGHT - A village across the bay

                   

ABOVE LEFT - The "lavender twins". Kristina and Judith

both bought new Croatian lavender jerseys.

ABOVE MIDDLE - Ally, Tim, Marcy and Fred are enjoying the coffee stop in the

tiny village of Račišće. Love the color from the yellow umbrellas on everyone.

ABOVE RIGHT - Almost back to Korčula's Old Town.

                   

ABOVE LEFT - Couldn't resist another photo of this great view

ABOVE MIDDLE - Close-up of church bell tower in a small village

ABOVE RIGHT - Sue enjoying the ride along the coast

                   

ABOVE LEFT - Bob lookin' good

ABOVE MIDDLE - Judith is sampling the wine at lunch

ABOVE RIGHT - Another great lunch with homemade pasta and roasted vegetable sauce - yum!

                   

ABOVE - Lunch in the Old Town of Korcula

ABOVE MIDDLE - View of the walled Old Town and the harbor

ABOVE RIGHT - Bell tower of St. Mark's Cathedral (Sv. Marka Katedrala) in Korčula

                   

ABOVE LEFT - - At the top of the St. Mark's Cathedral bell tower. There were lots of steep,

narrow twisting stairs to get to the top - somewhat hairy descending.

ABOVE MIDDLE - Rooftop view from the bell tower

ABOVE RIGHT - Another great view from the top of the bell tower -

looking toward the Pelješac Peninsula on the mainland.

                   

ABOVE LEFT - The ornate gabled cornice on the cathedral

ABOVE MIDDLE - Another magnificent view of the cathedral

Dominating the little square at Korčula's heart is this magnificent 15th-century cathedral,

built from Korčula limestone in a Gothic-Renaissance style by Italian and local artisans.

The sculptural detail of the facade is intriguing, particularly the naked squatting figures

of Adam and Eve on the door pillars, and the two-tailed mermaid and elephant on the

triangular gable cornice at the very top. The bell tower is topped by a balustrade

and ornate cupola, beautifully carved by Korčulan Marko Andrijić.

                   

ABOVE LEFT - Zoom shot of the bell tower

ABOVE MIDDLE - A small chapel and part of the Old Town wall

ABOVE RIGHT - One of many steps up to the Old Town.

                   

ABOVE LEFT - We ate dinner at another Croatian family's home in the hills above Korcula.

ABOVE MIDDLE - Peka is an ancient cooking technique for preparing meat and

vegetables, by roasting them under an iron bell over an open fire or cinders.

ABOVE RIGHT - Roasted potatoes and vegetables