From Korcula we took a ferry called the Nona Ana to Polace on the island of Mljet (Mill-yet). The water was just as choppy as the trip from Hvar to Korcula but I took an anti-sickness pill which knocked me out. I was still groggy as we disembarked in Polace and headed to the Hotel Odisej in Pomena. If you look at their website you see a picture of a building in the middle of the lake. I fell victim to the romance of this photo and thought, “Wow! Is that the hotel?” It wasn’t expensive so I booked it. Once we got to the hotel I realized my error. Yes there is a building in the middle of a lake in Mljet but that’s a former monastery and it has nothing to do with the Hotel Odisej. The remnants of Communism were evident as the hotel was adequate yet cold and stark. My next mistake came in choosing a double room. Thinking I had secured a room to accommodate 2 people we got one for four! We had 4 twin size beds. 2 were to one side of the room about 2 feet apart and the other 2 were right next to each other on the other side of the room. Perfect for Mom, Dad and the kids I thought. The best feature of the room was our balcony that overlooked the harbor of Pomena (see photo above.)
Our walk around the harbor was quick and pleasant. It’s not very large although it’s filled with restaurants that will happily supply you power for your boat if you dine with them. We ate at one of the restaurants that night and it was fine. Clearly it didn’t leave an impression on me as I neglected to write about it in my journal.
Mljet is a beautiful island. The western half of the island is a National Park. Mljet is approximately 50 miles long with a population of 1,200. The park makes the island a great destination if you’re into hiking, scuba diving or just enjoying nature without the hullabaloo of a place like Hvar. The untouched beauty was also an attraction for Odysseus as he fell under Calypso’s spell, fathered a few kids and hung out with her for 7 years. Odysseus called the island Miletus since then as now it’s known for its honey. We took the more laid back tour of the island renting a car instead of a bike or scooter. The island is hilly and if you’re not in the best shape or not prepared to sweat a lot it may not be the smartest way to get around.
As we drove around the island I fell under its spell too. In the Big Lake (Veliko Jezero) is a small island which is home to the Church and Monastery of St. Mary. The Benedictine church was consecrated in 1198 by Pope Innocent III. We took a boat to the island and explored. There’s a restaurant which interrupts the idyllic setting but not for long as you can walk around the whole island as the monks may have done. We saw a few free-standing small chapels behind the church in addition to trees and nature.
After visiting the monastery we drove to Polace to get gas. The island’s only gas station is there so we had no choice. We stopped at a few scenic viewing points along the road to photograph the fantastic blue of the sea and just the sight in general. I wanted to continue to the other end of the island but our rental time for the car was running out so we headed back to Pomena. We had lunch and hopped on the ferry to Dubrovnik.