25 August 2008

South Heading @ Sea

One form of public transport I had sorely neglected this trip--Boats! Only on Lake Baikal for a very short ferry ride out to Olkhon Island. It was time to correct that situation.

The seed for the idea to take the boat on the Adriatic got planted on the train coming from Munich to Slovenia when I shared my map with two Croatian boys traveling to Zagreb. The boat routes are marked clearly on the map and most intriguing. When the subject came up again with my friends in Ljubljana, I was ready to jump on the idea.

Once the decision was made to travel by sea, I booked "deck passage" on the Marco Polo out of Rijeka. My friend drove me over from Isola, Slovenia and we had a lovely trip, stopping for a mixed grill which introduced me to the tasty Balken condiment treat made with roasted red peppers. Yum! I was instantly addicted.

Aljonka and I had one last espresso at a cafe facing the port with the Marco Polo waiting in all it's glory. I waved to her goodbye as I walked up the ramp. Scouting around, I had my choice of comfy spots either inside or out, and I staked a claim in the inside lounge area. The key to the best spots obviously is boarding early, but there's plenty of room for all.

By departure time, there are only about two hours of daylight left, but the sunset at sea was magnificent. Various passengers bring out their provisions with some sharing around and soon we are all being lulled off by the hum of the engines.

My only complaint is that the lights are left on full throughout the night. Some light is necessary, but the center bulbs could be dimmed. Otherwise, the fend-for-youself accommodations are quite comfortable.

Being an Italian ship, there is great espresso available from early morning on. The restaurant is not terribly expensive for those who didn't bring a stash of goodies, but there are also nearby markets at the ports of call with enough time to hop off and buy things like bread, meats, cheese, fruit, drinks, etc.

Winding down the coast, in and out of the islands makes for a pleasant journey and stellar arrival at Dubrovnik.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Cat, finnaly I caught a moment to check on your blog and thank you for your endevour and comments and wonderfull photos.