Korčula, Croatia

They have lots of rocks in Dalmatia. The whole landscape is made up of this gray sedimentary rock that at the surface breaks up into millions of little loose stones. So everything is made of stone. The houses, streets, everything. In the countryside there are miles and miles of these bizarre stone walls everywhere. Its difficult to describe, but they’re arranged in seemingly random grids, the squares of which are really small, like even 5×5 ft sometimes, seemingly too small to demarcate distinct fields. And the vast majority of the walls seem to have been abandoned centuries ago. Sometimes there will be a little broken-down house without a roof along with the walls, but usually its just old ruined walls as far as you can see. I assume they must be the remains of old abandoned orchards and terraced fields, and the squares are so small because there are just so many rocks that its easier to move them aside a little way to make lots of little fields, than move them a long way to make one big field. It’s interesting that most of the old agricultural space here seems to have fallen into disuse. These are the kinds of things I’ve thinking about. Are you bored yet?

Now I’m in Korčula, on the island of the same name. It’s a really small town, and I wouldnt spend more than a day here, except the ferries to Dubrovnik only run twice a week this time of year, so I’m stuck until tomorrow. Not to say that it’s not a cool town. It’s really picturesque. The old town is on this little circular hill of a peninsula surrounded by old defensive walls, with a cathedral a the top. The cathedral is from the 1500s, and has a couple Tintoretto paintings in it, in their original intended setting, which is cool. It’s really a nice place, and well worth seeing, just you can see the whole thing in a few hours. People say it’s like a miniature Dubrovnik. I guess I’ll find out tomorrow.

Korčula was supposedly the birthplace of Marco Polo sometime in the 13th century. You can see the house they think he was born in, and everything here seems to be Marco Polo-themed. I’m staying in a house in the old town owned by a nice family (next door to the Marco Polo restaurant), with a really old exterior but a remodeled, very modern interior. There’s satellite TV in my room, and a fridge, and private bath, which is cool. And again only $17 a night.

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