Leaving Croatia was hard. Emotionally, and then, actually. Customs and immigration was right across the harbor in Dubrovnik. We had stayed over fifteen days in Croatia so the kids would not be subjected to another Covid test prior to entry into Montenegro. Documentation in hand, kunas depleted, Justin arrived and the rest of us waited on Madame Geneva. And waited. And waited. The first call came asking me for the invoice from the marina in Trogir proving we were there. Email search unsuccessful. Another call: Any receipt we have, “the more the better”. I sent the car rental contract, the service bills, the wire receipts, images of my credit card transactions. And still no Justin. After two hours he returned, free to go. Apparently, the marina never informed the agents that our boat was on the hard with them over the winter and so we were a mystery.
The emotional element was an odd unnerving that we were leaving the home we found in Croatia. The hospitality received was free flowing. We encountered so many times of simple and unexpected accommodation. On our last anchor in the bay outside of Korcula, we dinghied ashore reluctant to go into the town proper as the marina was closed and LOTS of boats were finding their way into the anchorage. The skills varied greatly and I suspect this is foreshadowing of our upcoming trip to Greece. We watched as one charter dropped their anchor by hand, nearly severing the fingers of one unlucky crewmate, directly in front of the boat just to our port. This led to a dragging to dig anchor set across the lines of that yacht and ours. Another decided to just motor in at full speed, drop his anchor in about 12 feet of water just 50 feet off of the rocks. A choice, just not one we would make. Not surprisingly, he found the swing uncomfortable and pulled up anchor. So to shore for lunch, with eyes on Madame Geneva we went. Except, everything was opening tomorrow. We followed a few signs of promise and ended up at a gin and tonic lounge. Clearly a fit not for our three now “starving” kids. Justin inquired within, wondering if anyone knew of a place close by. The man proceeded to walk us to the hotel, set up a table overlooking Madame Geneva, and brought out pastas and goulash.
The beauty of Croatia is hard to capture with words or even images. The rugged terrain is met with stunning trees and flowers and seas with as many shades of blue as conditions. We saw more wind in Croatia than in any other part of the Mediterranean. We used ALL of our sails. Perhaps fitting that our final days, the wind laid down and we motored away.
Croatia has cultivated paths and those untread by most because of the mines. There are ruins from the antiquities and ruins from wars more personally felt and recently lived through. There are aqueducts half buried and wind farms just visible between the peaks of massive mountains. There are works of art, carved thousands of years ago, and a work of art modernly woven into an organ sounded by the sea. There are palaces of grandeur next to communist apartment complexes.
As Justin worked to document, there are many faces of Croatia and we will miss them all.
Much love and stay tuned.