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Sunday, 28 September 2008

Cycling the Dalmatian Islands with Ana - Page 4

Written by Dale Fehringer
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Ana just might be the hardest-working tour guide in Europe. During the week she led our cycling tour around Croatia’s Dalmatian Islands she rode with us, entertained us, educated us, and watched over us – from breakfast until we were safely tucked in bed at night. Because of her efforts, we were transformed from a group of strangers into a cohesive group of friends … and in some respects into her temporary family.

The morning ride was easy, but after lunch the weather turned misty and cloudy and the route was mostly uphill. I rode with Ana, straining to keep up while we talked about our lives and anticipated the “brow” of the hill and a downhill coast.

At Sucuraj we took a ferry to Dubrovnik and another to Korcula, our home for the next three nights. On the ferry we drank beer, told stories, and listened to Ana and Boris sing traditional Croatian songs. We didn’t understand the words, but the harmony was nice and the bittersweet meaning of the lyrics was clear.

As the ferry approached Korcula the views were amazing – a 600-year-old city surrounded by ancient stone walls that looked as durable as they had been for hundreds of years.

Fresh Mussels on Mljet

Our tour schedule indicated a day off from cycling in Korcula, but Ana offered us a side trip to Mljet as an alternative. We took her up on the offer and she arranged for a local boat to take us (and our bicycles) to the island.

Cycling the Dalmatian Islands with Ana, Split, cycling croatia, cycling tour europe, Dalmatian islands, Hvar,  Dubrovnik, Korcula, Ston, Sucuraj, Jelsa, Hvar Town, Stari Grad, Vela Luka, Mljet, Prizba, Brna,  Smokvica, Pupnat, Dale Fehringer

In ancient times, the small island of Mljet (pronounced Mee-yet) was the holiday resort of wealthy Romans. They built villas amongst its beautiful tree-covered hills and calming salt water lakes. Today, it is accessible by charter boat from Korcula, Split, and Dubrovnik.

After breakfast we put our bicycles on top of the boat and headed across the bay for the 2½ hour ride to Mljet. We docked near the small fishing village of Pomena, and then cycled around two salt water lakes. The waters are incredibly clear with pools of azure and swirls of teal.

Lunch at a small seaside café in Pomena consisted of mussels pulled directly out of the bay then cooked for us. They were amazingly fresh and delicious! After lunch, we reloaded our bikes on the boat and sailed back to Korcula.

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Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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