Thursday, 17 September 2015

holiday - mljet 27/8/15

soline – a very odd place indeed. 

we got up early yesterday and caught the ferry from split to mljet. mljet is an island on the dalmation coast - it is special because over half of it is a designated national park, and there are two large inland salt-water lakes in the park. the ferry was a hydrofoil- you couldn’t go outside which was disapointing. the trip took about 3 ½ hours – a few stops, as more and more people got on.  we got off at pomena, mljet. it was much smaller than i anticipated. we bought our tickets for the national park, and asked how to get to soline. bikes or walk - "no cars on the park paths". how far? bike man said 10k, park lady said 3. turned out to be 6. 6 hot sweaty kms. but a beautiful path – turquoise lakes, pines, and the ever-present background (foreground?) buzz of the cicadas or pine beetles or whatever they are. Neal says they sound like they are shaking miniature maracas, I think they sound like a sprinkler rotating.

path in mljet national park
soline is a road with a row of restaurants on one side (using the term loosely!) and a row of buildings on the other. we found our rooms with a little difficulty, and went exploring.

everything here happens very slowly, if it happens at all. i get the feeling they wish we would all just go away, although they are friendly enough when you talk to them. maybe it’s been a long summer. i would be cross too if all i looked at where grumpy entitled skinny tan italian women! (there are A LOT of those). we swam in the sea, and the big lake. neal has now snorkelled! There’s not so much to see but it’s still fun.

there are three sets of rooms and each “house” or set of rooms seems to have its own “restaurant” so we have stuck to ours. each restaurant has a huge outdoor cooking oven/grill. Last night we ordered grilled fish and got a huge platter with 6 of the yummiest fish I’ve had in a long time.
soline restaurant
the kitchen
the problem to solve today was how to get out – another 6 km roasting hike with bags not enticing. we rented bikes (eventually!) and found a route where an island taxi goes. we continued on to polace- beautiful. bigger, and much posher. some serious yachtage.

polace restaurant
it seems like everyone in polace is there in the evening and goes out during the day. we had a restaurant more or less to ourselves for the afternoon. went for a swim, and came back, via the lakes. the park paths were really fun to bike. it is opposite in soline, where everyone comes for lunch and by evening it is only us here – and a few more families all staying. we watch the setting sun glinting off of the pines and listen to the cicadas.

view from soline