May 24: Marco Polo and the little lakes

Korcula

Arriving on the shores of Korcula, I felt slightly like Odysseus, who had spent seven years on the island, according to myth. All our guides and even my guidebook said this like it was a fact, which it so clearly is not.

Just like other Croatian towns, the town was situated on winding streets with stone homes all around. It, too, had been in the hands of the Ottomans, Italians, Austro-Hungarians, French, and Croatians. It had the same story of siege and battle like every island.

One clear difference s Marco Polo, who was born on the island, and started his travels from Korcula to Venice. His father was actually the man to sail to China first, but Marco wrote about it, so we know his name. Before his first voyage to China, Marco had a relationship with a noblewoman in Venice and was set to be hung, but his father helped him escape and took him to China. We now know all about Marco’s adventures by his writings. In fact, his last words were about how he only told half of what he saw because everyone wouldn’t believe the full story.

Mljet

Next, we traveled to the small island of Mljet, where the Mljet National Park is. Again, the island is famed for its connection to Odysseus and is said to have been another island where he spent a lot of time.

The same story of being conquered by tons of rulers and countries applies to Mljet. Today, the National Park seems to sustain the island. Here are some photos from the beautiful lakes:

 

Tomorrow, we go to Dubrovnik for the end of this adventure.

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