A Fulbright Experience in Croatia…

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A little bit like Kornati

Last weekend, Sasha, Austin, and I booked an excursion to the Kornati Islands—part of the outermost archipelago off the coast of Zadar—that didn’t quite turn out as advertised. We have no real complaints, but rather wish to share a few humorous observations. Indeed, we had a wonderful time, enjoyed the crew of the boat very much, and were able to visit some very beautiful island landscapes while also gazing upon the open waters of the Adriatic Sea for the first time.

The Vila Dalmatina

The Vila Dalmatina

Views of the Adriatic

Views of the Adriatic

We shopped around a bit and learned that many (most?) companies that advertise day excursions to Kornati seem to offer the same basic package: depart Zadar around 9am with breakfast on the 3 hour boat ride out to the islands, spend two and a half hours at Telašćica Nature Park that includes lunch along with opportunities to visit an inland salt lake and the seaward facing vertical cliffs of the island, and the return trip to Zadar for an early evening arrival. We were quite excited for this excursion, since Kornati—with its 140 or so islands—is described as the densest archipelago in the Mediterranean region.

An inland salt lake on Dugi Otok

An inland salt lake on Dugi Otok

Cliffs facing the open sea

Cliffs facing the open sea

Islands of northern Dalmatia

Islands of northern Dalmatia

We were alerted early in our journey that something was amiss when “breakfast” was served: a two-course meal consisting of a shot of schnapps (and not one of those good, flavored kinds!), followed by our choice of water or wine. In fact, wine was available throughout the journey, and though we didn’t partake, we suspect it was complimentary given the number of repeated visits a particular tourist couple had made. We also noted that, although the tour group normally books around 100 people, the boat only seats about 40 for a 6 hour trip. The most interesting observation we made, however, would have to be that our excursion to Kornati wasn’t actually to Kornati. We simply passed by the northern most island of Kornati National Park before docking at the southern portion of Dugi Otok (Long Island) for our two and a half hour island stay. Ironically, these are the types of things that made our visit to “Kornati” more memorable!

Dugi Otok

Dugi Otok

Islands of northern Dalmatia

Islands of northern Dalmatia

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