All Topics, Backpacking, Island, Korcula, Story, Travel

Dubrovnik to Korcula: Chapter 2, Island Part I

So I went from Dubrovnik to Korcula. This part of my story, the part of Korcula, must be divided into a couple different parts as it was long, full of many beautiful people, and ultimately ended up changing my entire life.

 

Or wanna read the backstory? Check it out here!

 

Korcula (kor-choo-la)

An island off the coast of Croatia, located on the Adriatic Sea.

 

I will never, ever, be able to find the words to describe this incredible place to you exactly how I view it, but I will do my best.

 

Additionally, there’s a handful of people I met here who impacted me immensely and who might get seperate posts later on. Most of them I’m still in good contact with and hold close to my heart as they were a part of my journey to this Croatian life.

 

From the port of Dubrovnik to the island

Source: “Ferry” by Bartlomiej Mostek

I just want to share another small story that happened while I was on the way to the ferry (if you’re coming in late to this story, please, feel free to catch up to speed by reading about arriving in Croatia here) as it shows more of the magic I experienced in Croatia.

 

I got up early from Stanko’s place and took the bus to the port of Dubrovnik, where I would sip coffee, smoke a cigarette, and wait for my ferry. I popped into a bakery and while I was waiting for my croissant, a drunk young man came in and started ordering obnoxiously. I guessed he was speaking Croatian, a language with a lot of “sh” sounds, “ch” sounds, and something that resembles that of a machine gun: the rolled ‘r’.

 

He turned to me and said something, with a touch of drunk swaying I might add, and I told him that I’m not from here, I’m sorry. He immediately switched to English and started asking me all kinds of questions- where was I from, what was I doing, etc. Then he bought my food and offered a coffee. I went to buy cigarettes- he paid for those too. What was happening??

 

We sat and had coffee while I waited for my ferry. Next, he did something I thought was funny-  and what ended up being a trend later on during my trip- he asked me what my horoscope sign was! We got into a big conversation about that when it was time I went to board my ferry. We walked there and, much to my surprise, the boat was pulling away from the dock! I told him, “That’s my ferry!” He immediately started with the “sh”s and the “ch”s and some Croatian man on the boat, looking bored out of his mind, just stared at us. I was panicking that I was about to miss my ride- when the ferry started coming back. Whewwww!

 

My Croatian hero saved the day, all out of the goodness of his heart. I said thanks for everything to my new, short-lived, little friend, and hopped on. To this day, I’ll never know who he was, but he started the chain of magical events that would continue to happen to me on the Adriatic sea.

 

Arrival

Source: C. K. McClelland

After sitting on the boat, drinking coffee and staring out the window in amazement at the sea, we started approaching a city that was raised with beautiful old buildings. It was so beautiful and cool looking, I actually wasn’t sure if it was Korcula! As I stood in line waiting to get off, two adorable older ladies with accents stood next to me. “Is that Korcula?” I asked. I just had to get confirmation I was in the right place. “Yes!” replied one lady. Woooowww. I was so amazed, so excited. I just felt this warm feeling inside my heart and said a silent “thank you” to God that he brought me here.

 

Chatting with the two ladies, both traveling besties from Australia, we all walked off the boat. We told each other to enjoy their trips and waved goodbye. I headed off in search of my hostel.

 

Caenazzo

The hostel I was staying at was called Caenazzo (pronounced kay-nah-tso). I went up the famous steps to the old town and climbed the stairs to the square. I was amazed by everything. I stood in the square, looked around, but no signs for a hostel. I looked at my phone, looked up, but all I saw was a sign for a pizzeria. Well, lucky for me, a girl stood outside and asked, “Are you looking for hostel Caenazzo?” upon which I replied a sign of relief, and proceeded inside. I dropped my bag off, but the room was being cleaned so I had some time to kill before I went and settled in. I decided to go walk around and find Wifi again (I haven’t mentioned, this was the only way I was communicating with anyone. No thanks, international data plan, I’ll do this the old-fashioned way!)

 

The girl who changed it all for me

Nope! Not a guy. Well, he comes in later to the story. But, the real person to change it all for me was a girl, who became like an instant-sister/best friend, named Tina. Here’s how I met her.

 

I walked the notorious loop around the outside of the city looking for wifi. For those who have been, you probably know the place: restaurant next to a restaurant next to a cafe next to ice cream shop, all in a perfect curvature around the old city. For those of you who haven’t been(but plan to go I hope!), you definitely have to go here. Make sure to find and visit Prirodni Nakit, beautiful, handmade natural jewelry! And Konoba Komin, a traditional Dalmatian food restaurant with amazing food, wine, and ambiance!

 

Okay okay, sorry, back to how I met Tina. I finally found a cafe/ice cream place, walked up to a girl, and the conversation went like this:

Me:  “Do you have wifi?”

She: “Yes, I have the best. Sit.”

And that’s how I met Tina.

 

A new friend

Tina and I.

I sat down and Tina gave me the wifi code. She also brought me a coffee. I said thank you and looked up when I realized- she had the most crystal clear, light blue eyes. I couldn’t look away. And of course, me being me, I told her this. “Wow! Your eyes are insane!” I said. From there, Tina asked me what I was doing in Croatia, if I was alone or with friends, and while my aunt had sworn me to tell people I was with friends for my own safety, I just couldn’t lie to her. So I told her I was by myself.

 

“Where are you staying?” she asked. I told her Caenazzo, which she then laughed loudly and said “I work there! This cafe and that hotel/pizzeria have the same owner! Do you wanna have dinner tonight?” she asked. Tina was charming or, as they say in Croatia, simpaticna (meaning likeable). I agreed most happily then went back to the hostel to take a nap.

 

We were on for dinner at 7 and boy, I had no idea what Tina had in store for me in the coming days. I had no idea that she also had things in store for me in the next weeks, months, and now a year, either!

 

I did not know then that that moment would go down forever as one of the single, most pivotal moments of my life. I was forever changed after that day.

 

Wanna read what happens next? Click here!

 

Have any of you ever made strong lifetime friends while traveling?! What was the strange and funny way you met?

*Funny enough, this post was written hours before hopping a night train to– guess where– Korcula! I have a dear friend there and just need to breathe in the sea and drink Posip and Grk(exquisite white wine from Korcula)all day! I highly encourage you to try it 🙂

 

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