Monday, August 11, 2008


We left Korcula at 1:00 in the afternoon on the ferry "Marko Polo". This was our "ride" and "home" until 7:00 AM the following morning. The first thing we noticed was that the backpackers seemed to know what they were doing. They set up their "spaces" -- on floors -- EVERYPLACE. I thought they would just find a place on deck. No way. Every place was taken...aisles, bar seats, lounge benches, inside and out, every nook and cranny. We even noticed that in the landing between floors, a group of young guys had set up blankets, a stereo system and a bar with plenty of booze. I think they were already semi-blasted by the time we got on board.

We dropped our bags off in our cabin which consisted of four bunks, a toilet, sink and racks for two suitcases (not large enough for four). Quaint post Marshall Tito decorating. By the time we arrived back on deck, all the chairs and tables were taken. Problem: I need (or wanted) to get out of the sun and lisa needed to stay outside to avoid getting seasick. We scoured the ship and finally found a booth in the lounge. Sorry's inside. As an aside, lisa is still feeling the movement of the ship a couple of days later. It was there we met Helen and Joanna, a mother-daughter pair from Melbourne, Australia. Helen was very nice, bohemian (in a good way) and was shod in a lovely pair of old yellow Chucks. She is also an amateur photographer having taken over 2000 pics in five weeks. Joanne had met her daughter in Budapest and was spending several weeks with her. She is a doctor in Melbourne managing a seven year old holistic medical practice she started. We spoke with them off and on until they disembarked in Split. Very nice people. In the midst of our conversations a young female duo took out their cello and violin and started playing classical pieces. They played Humoresque, by Dvorcak, which the girls played in Suzuki violin this past year. Another fellow came up and started singing "Ave Maria" in falsetto. The hat was passed...maybe their ferry crossing was paid for!!!

Upon arriving in Split, the largest Croatian coastal city, we headed to deck to view the city with palm trees and mountains in the background. Some people earlier said Split was a better place to visit than Dubrovnik. We'll probably never know. On to dinner at a formal (again with a 1980s communist decor) dining room with waiters in black vests. The food was lousy but not too expensive. Afterwards, we went on deck to watch the sunset and play cards.

I noticed a man who looked Italian, good looking in a "manly man" sort of way. He and his family had been on deck earlier and I had been watching them. At this moment he was holding his young daughter. She started to cry. He glanced left for Mom and not seeing her, reached for another sip of his Karlovacko (beer). As you ladies, would say, "Men are all the same".

We close the night by heading back to our room, trying not to step on anyone. Our sleep was surprisingly okay, sleepful in spurts, broken up by Siena awakening at three o'clock and wanting to read and the creaks and groans of the old ship. Up and at 'em at 6:05 AM for breakfast, and eventually finding our way to the bus headed for Ljubljana. Oh, by the way, that good looking Italian man. I overheard him at breakfast speaking perfect English. Probably American. Go figure.

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