Winter Is Empty

There is nobody here in March. The streets of Korcula are empty to the point of concern. As if maybe there was an evacuation notice that slipped by us due to our novice command of the Croatian language. Why are the hotels and restaurants shuttered on this beautiful, clear, warm afternoon? Plague? Hurricane? Giant Kraken?

The truth is that March in Croatia is simply not tourist season. Come July this place will have more tourists than it can handle: Russians coming down the coast on chartered yachts, Poles searching for Slavic paradise, Brits frantically snatching up holiday homes like an episode of House Hunters International.

But March is a lovely time here in Korcula or Dubrovnik. The weather is pleasant, if a bit nippy. What few guesthouses are open, lure the off-season traveler with low rates.

Radek was so resistant to the idea of loving Croatia. What a cliche! It’s where every Polish family heads for a slice of beach within the language family. But its charms are many- grilled squid, Venetian architecture, fried sardines, clear water, barely strenuous hiking- and they proved irresistible. And right now during the last moments of winter, it’s all ours.

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