Saturday, May 28, 2011

Mljet National Park, Croatia May 25, 2011

Having had our fill of sightseeing at major cities, we left Dubrovnik and sailed to Mljet Island for some back-to-nature relaxation. Mljet is well known for its lush forests and beautiful lakes, and it has been established as a national park in Croatia since the 1960’s. We were not disappointed. The waterway leading to the anchorage at Polace goes through a meandering stretch of turquoise blue water, surrounded by lush green pine forests on both sides. The anchorage at Polace is a well-sheltered, beautiful bay. Even though this is not yet peak season, the bay was quickly filled up, and by late-afternoon there were close to 20 yachts at anchor. We stayed here for several days, using our dinghy to get to shore for long hikes.

View of west part of Mljet, after a long hike....

Monstery at St. Mary's Island

Beautiful color, clear water.

Anchorage at Polace

Enjoying a beer and a great view

There are walking paths throughout the park, connecting several small villages that are all within easy walking distances. Some trees are carefully labeled, in Croat and English: Prickley Juniper; Strawberry Tree (no fruits yet, but are budding); Mastich Tree (fine leaves); Rock Rose (defiantly growing from cracks in rocks); Aleppo Pine (spreads tall and wide); Holm Oak (undernourished version of those at home)…

The park entrance fee includes a bus ride and a boat ride to the lakes nearby. The lakes are actually a salt water extension of the sea, fed through a narrow channel from the Adriatic. The color of the water of the lake is astounding. The small ferry brought us to the tiny St. Mary’s island, where there’s a medieval chapel. A pretty walking path circles the island. There’s a nice restaurant by the water, and we sat there and enjoyed the warmth of the late afternoon, watching this lake which has the color of the sea and the temperament of a small mountain lake. There was no boat traffic on the lake, just the lone ferry puttering away. A light breeze crosses the lake; ripples of catspaw; the pine trees murmur in unison.

1 comment:

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