Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Ston, Peljesac Peninsula, Dalmatian Coast: local ferry from Orebic; Ston; and Marco Polo

Mali Ston, Croatia. The wall. 

An update several years later:

Mali Ston is south of Split on the Dalmatian Coast.  For us, driving north from Dubrovnik at the time, it is on the way to the island of Korcula.

Mali Ston is featured in the New York Times in 2019 for its burgeoning oyster business, see https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/31/world/europe/croatia-oysters-balkans-bosnia.html

To get there, we chose a little local ferry from Orebic, at the end of the Peljesac Peninsula, instead of taking the big car ferry from Dubrovnik. Good choice because of traffic, delays at the main docks.

First town, Ston.

"Mali Ston" is the fortified point up there where the great wall ends.

The fortifications of Ston are among the longest in Croatia, providing increasing degrees of protection from invaders. As at Pag, there also are salt pans in the area.

Ston has been proposed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, see whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/160/.

Ston: Drive north from Dubrovnik. Watch for signs to Ston, Orebic, even Peljesac Peninsula. Get off, go across little bridge, and there is Ston - old town with double fortifications: one set of walls around the town, with a V shape at top.

Then, look closely and see another set of walls heading farther up - also a V. A place for falling back and regouping. These kinds of walls are called multiple fortified curtain walls, and they are often seen going up the mountainside, each with its own smaller fort at the apex. See www.adriatica.net/croatia/ogradu_en__.

Military matters. Remember that a retreat, even a total melting back into the hills, is not necessarily a defeat. The best strategy may be to save your lives at the time, and not stand and fight against overwhelming odds - but dissolve and regroup at some point, for a later return engagement.*

Have tea and orange soda, wander, back in car and through long open spaces, little towns, fishing villages, memorials to WWII, cliffs, many scenic-type places to stop and stretch and learn something. We focus so much on Normandy and where our armies were, that it even comes as a surprise to be reminded of the devastation, sacrifice and heroism elsewhere. Who is provincial?

Orebic - Last town out. A regular local ferry plies back and forth all day there - cheap. Fast on, fast off (except for packing in the cars, see picture - but that is its own entertainment. Everybody leans over the rail to watch and applaud.

Car ferry from Orebic to Korcula, Croatia

No advance ticketing needed here. Just get in line. The Orebic ferry leaves any time it is full. Even hourly, roughly. Plenty of rooms and hotels in the town. https://www.peljesac.info/orebic/.com

We got on line about 8AM and were on the first ferry from Orebic to Korcula.




Our car is this red one, bottom right.



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* More on military matters, after seeing the ingenious wall systems here. Read that biography, "The Life and Times of Genghis Khan," by Jim Whiting. I think that is the one I read, where the strategic retreat is described as historically used and highly effective - and expected. If our leaders read more history, perhaps they would expect that as a sensible tactic in some parts of the world and not jump to premature victory conclusions. Genghis Khan, with his military genius combined with follow-through in administration, brought his empire all the way to the Adriatic. See highly readable history lecture, a Dr. May at N.Ga.College and S.U. www.accd.edu/sac/history/keller/Mongols/empsub1.

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