18 November, 2018

Mljet part VI - Till we meet again

On our last Mljet day, it was time to pay a visit to the biggest and most secluded harbour of the National park - namely, to the village of Polače. As the island's main road now passes above the settlement, one might not experience driving through the narrow gates of what was once an impressive Roman palace located right next to the sea.
After a little stroll for individual discoveries...
... it was time to hit a rather abandoned path that leads uphill towards the remains of a 6th century Roman church. 
After a wonderful hike from Polače to Pomena, I thought I might as well start packing. And since I came across some strange dried fruits I didn't like, I thought I'd just throw them into the wild - only to find that someone actually did like them a lot. 
How else could you explain the lizard's big grin?
Right before it was time to finish the day, I wanted to check out another thing that has been bothering me overnight. Driving the electrical train from Soline the other day, I've spotted a sign saying "špilja" by the roadside near Veliki most, but since we passed by too quickly, I wasn't able to see how far away the cave would be. After studying adetailed map of the region, it looked like it's only a stone's throw from the roadside, which prompted me to come up with a plan.
If I'd take the train to Veliki most, run quickly and follow the sign, I could be back just in time when the vehicle would return from it's final stop outside of Soline. 
Said and done. A quick walk to Mali most, jumping on the train, getting off at Veliki most, and - off we go trying to find the cave!
After initially running down the road in the wrong direction, I quickly realized the sign must have been located not before, but after the stop at Veliki most (i.e., between Veliki most and Soline). Once I was on the right track, I could spot the markation in a matter of minutes, and since it said the cave would be only 200 m away, I hit the uphill path.
Stairs soon turned into rocks, and already, a hole became visible through the branches.
I can't quite say what I was expecting to find, but my first impression of the cave was that of a karst cave that can be found in vicinity of numerous settlements in Slovenia. Being in such caves before, and paying attention to the time, I decided not to go any further in order to not let the train driver wait, or - even worse - miss the train. 
As I turned out to be early, I had time for a sneak-peek of Veliki most, and for questions that were dealing with the cave itself. Is there something to see inside if one would climb all the way down, or is its bottom just a pile of huge rocks that have crashed down centuries ago?
With the day almost gone, it was time to catch one last sunset, and just as I thought I'd be too late...
... I realized the sun was just hiding behind the cloud, ready to come out again any monent.
Once it was time to leave the island next day in the morning, I couldn't help thinking I'd like to stay some more. The natural beauty of Mljet has absolutely overwhelmed me, and I could easily hike its lonely paths day after day without getting bored. However, after a short ferry ride back to the mainland...
... it was time to drive back home with a stopover at Makarska. Unlike in spring, the slopes above the city were visibly burned off after the huge summer fires and created an overly sad scenery. 
For the city itself, I decided to just stroll around a little bit as I've seen it before already. A little bit of the old town, a little bit of the seaside, and lots of just lying in the shadow waiting for the time to pass...

~ the end ~