Croatia Day 12: Komiža (Vis)

Our second day in Komiža was very different from the first. The day was essentially a series of successive failures and thwarting of plans!

We had made plans to take a two-hour trip to see the Blue Cave and were supposed to leave at 9:00. At first we were told that we were just being delayed an hour by the wind, but when we checked back at 10 we learned that it was so windy that the cave was actually closed for the day.

We decided to just head to a beach, so we walked along the same part of the coast along which we’d paddled the day before. It turns out there is a very unassuming gravel road winding behind some abandoned buildings that eventually takes you to some of the coves. We ended up on Kamenica beach, home to the town’s only night club (again: accessible only by long, out of the way gravel road) which serves as a bar during the day. We settled onto the smooth pebbles and stayed there for several hours, until it was time to come back for what would become our other failed plan of the day.

We’d heard that the owner of a winery on the island would give tastings if you called in advance, so we’d called in the morning and arranged to come at 4:00. The next question was how we would get there. We didn’t know where it was, really, and our options were renting a car or a scooter or taking a taxi. Now, scooters are a very European thing, and eventually I’d love to know how to drive one, so we thought about this as an option although the idea of driving a scooter on the high and winding roads of the island made me more than a little nervous. It turned out that I needn’t have worried because the agencies won’t rent a scooter to someone without experience – fair enough! Next option was a car. Almost all cars in Europe are manual transmission. I am capable of driving one but decided that it would be legitimately dangerous to try to do so on the aforementioned roads. We tracked down the one agency that supposedly had an automatic, but it was being repaired, so option two was out. This left us with a taxi. We thought this would be pretty simple, and after our experience with Emil in Bol, I was excited for another potentially fun taxi experience. As it turns out, there are maybe four taxis total in the town, and they are neither easy to find nor easy to take; they book fast. The best we could do was to get one at 4:30, which meant we’d be very late. We tried calling the winery but never got through, so after an hour of trying to sort this out, we ended up just saying “screw it!!!” and hitting the cafe from which I wrote the previous post.

The one thing that went according to plan yesterday was our dinner. We arrived promptly at 7 and were soon enjoying a free glass of sherry and an excellent bottle of wine recommended by our very nice waiter. We also tried something called Komiža Pogača. I recognized “Pogača” as a type of bread (I’ve even baked a loaf!), and we learned that this local version has tomatoes and anchovies or sardines in it. It was a very tasty appetizer and made us even more excited for the main course.

Our octopus peka arrived on a huge platter and included four octopuses, a lot of potatoes, and a handful of zucchini, tomatoes, and carrots. It had all been stewing in red wine for two hours and smelled incredible. The taste was the same: so hearty and a great blend of the different flavors. We couldn’t eat all the potatoes, but we ate every piece of the octopus! Those of you thinking this sounds gross might be comforted to hear that the octopus had lost any sliminess and instead was more like chicken in texture. We were 100% stuffed afterwards, but it was so worth it!

After four enjoyable hours at the restaurant, we went back home and fell asleep almost immediately despite the heavy noise coming through our open windows. Nothing like an octopus feast to knock you out!

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