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Kornati

Today we visited the islands of Kornati assembling first at the harbour in Murter. Waiting was beside a fleet of operational fishing boats, always a good sign if you have the chance ot eat fish later.

Today we visited the islands of Kornati assembling first at the harbour in Murter. Waiting was beside a fleet of operational fishing boats, always a good sign if you have the chance ot eat fish later. Kornati islands are a national park and well protected. (unlike Žirje) so there is no building, and the limestone hills are grazed by sheep, giving them more than a resemblance to the Yorkshire Dales. Gentle slope, some escarpments, beautifully folded rock formations, carpeted with tightly cropped grass, but there the similarities end, these dales are planted in a beautiful clear ocean. The junction of mountain and ocean is a crisp line of white where the rock is bleached and met by the waves. Finding these similarities is like seeing the face of a friend in a new place. The disconcerting jostling of the neurones that signal recognition to sort out same and different, recognising what you already know and adding that to all the new information.

We came to a bay at the mouth of a gorge which appeared to be occupied by a beach comber, but we didn’t even stop, a package was delivered and we were away in seconds. This island is an hour away from the shops and the guy had ordered some groceries. That’s how it seems to work here. We continued around the island, and eventually stopped at another completely beautiful bay, more open than the last where there was some level ground behind the beach before the hill rose steeply further back. This bay had a tiny blue shuttered house which had for its garden, stretching out behind and above, a strip of olives. Perhaps 100m wide and 400m up the hill.

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This is where we were introduced to another legend. It tells the story of one a young man with no assets asking to marry the girl who lives here. The girl’s father says that as the boy has no assets to support them, he will give the boy a strip of land and he has to plant some olive trees there, when this is done he can marry her.  The normal tariff is 50 trees but this father doesn’t think much of the suitor so he asks for 365 trees. This it a tough job since the ground is little more than rock and each tree will need a planting hole cut out from the bedrock. Anyway, he does it, and they marry.

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Its some kind of happy ending, but my feminist mind goes to work. Why was he paying to marry, why didn’t she help him plant the trees. For how long should a young woman do what her father tells her, and in this case is the father merely being sensible. bla bla…

But enough of the politics in this story they live happily ever after.

Joanna

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