Rainy Days on Korcula, Croatia
One of the advantages of long-term travel is that less than perfect weather doesn’t throw you into a frenzy of frustration – you have several days to hang around (6 in my case on the island of Korcula) so good weather is likely to find you at some point. You can relax and enjoy the moment, raindrops and all, and the bottle-green sea-glass color of the ocean makes a lovely contrast with the gray of the sky. If all of your photos were sunny it would get boring!
So what’s there to do on Korcula in the rain? (Pronounced “Korchula,” the letter “c” in Croatian is usually pronounced ch). Lots of things, it turns out. For one, just go out walking. You won’t melt, especially in cool May temps, and it gives you a chance to wear those bulky jeans, fleece, and rain jacket you’ve been lugging around in your backpack. You can walk up and down steps, through narrow alleyways, and open doors into secret gardens. Or go climb a tower for a glass of wine while watching the clouds roll in.
There are scenic streets, old churches, and bits of history everywhere. It is said that Marco Polo was born here, and there’s a museum to visit in which to dodge the raindrops.
You can also seek shelter in some of the many shops and galleries. Jewelry made from red coral is a specialty here, and although I didn’t buy any, window shopping is still fun. And you can hang out with new people you meet who are also hiding from the rain.
There are plenty of overhangs to duck under, or if you’re ambitious, you can climb the bell tower for panoramic views of sea and red tiled rooftops.
If climbing all of those steps piques your appetite, there are plenty of places to eat with a view, and umbrellas, trees, and awnings to keep you dry. You might want to try something hot and hearty, like an eggplant dish with tomato sauce and goat cheese, baked in the oven and sprinkled with parmesan and basil. Yum! Things are very affordable, and this seems to be one of those countries where the wine is cheaper than water.
Don’t forget to check out the little details – even wet pavement can bring you a bit of sun and a smile, not to mention raindrops on petals, and a window can double as a still-life.
Or hang out with the local critters who are also dodging the rain.
And then, suddenly, the real sun makes an appearance, and you are dazzled! It’s hard to keep your camera (or phone) from your face…
And you just know that tomorrow will bring a blue sky…
In fact, everyone seems to have laundry hanging out to dry…
Wander around the old town, and enjoy the change of scene. The island looks completely different under clear skies.
You might even consider a swim…
Or take a day trip out to the village of Lumbarda to go wine tasting some Grk (yes, it’s spelled correctly – they seem to be missing a vowel or two). This is the only place in the world that produces this lovely, dry, aromatic white wine, with grapes grown in sandy soil, and Bire is known to be the best.
While in Lumbarda, take time to visit the lovely beaches. You can get there via car, scooter, bicycle, or in my case, public bus.
Public transport, you may ask? Yes, it’s cheap, easy, and you may even make some new friends!
On Korcula, you’ll find art, and artists at work, architecture and all kinds of sea-faring vessels…
…and plenty of places to call your office, some that come with coffee and cherry pastries!
Come evening, you might hear the ethereal strains of an impromptu choir singing a cappella in the old town square, and the sunsets won’t let you down – they’re spectacular rainbows of color that make Korcula a fairytale island you won’t want to leave, rain or shine.
Note – Korcula is one of the sleepier islands due in part to the fact that the big cruise ships don’t dock here. I visited in May, which means the weather is a little iffy, but it’s before the main tourist season, which means less crowds and lower prices.