Book: Black Island – Memories From The Adriatic by Frank Arneil Walker
Travel books abound, no corner of the globe more written about than the shores of the Mediterranean. Spain, France, Italy, Greece, and Turkey; from the Costa del Sol all the way to Crete and Cyprus it sometimes seems that every secret strand, every vineyard, every olive grove, every tumbledown stone cottage has its émigré Brit with a tale to tell. But not quite every location.
For there is one stretch of coastline – the islanded littoral of Dalmatia, until now largely bypassed in the search for a place in the sun – that lacks its due, and long overdue, quota of literary partisans. While conflict in the Balkans kept the tourists and second-home buyers away in the 1990s, now that the dust of the war has settled and the physical and psychological scars are healed or healing, one of the most spectacularly beautiful parts of the Mediterranean is being rediscovered – indeed for many, discovered for the first time. And this Croatian coast too has its stories that need telling.
This book takes the reader to one of the loveliest of the many Adriatic islands, Korcula – Korkyra Melaina, Black Korkyra, the Greeks called it, to distinguish its pine- and maquis-clad slopes from the barer hills of White Korkyra, Corfu, to the south. In a delightful anthology of personal reminiscences, the author draws on the experiences of more than a quarter of a century visiting and living on the island from the time of Tito’s Yugoslavia, through the painful years of the homeland war to today’s independent republic of Croatia. He engages with the place and the people, describing landscapes natural and architectural, recalling joys and remembering sadnesses. Above all he speaks of those magic moments of shared hospitality and friendship which live in the memory of all those made welcome on Korcula.
Not without good reason the Korculani claim their island as the birth-place of the world’s most famous traveller and travel writer, Marco Polo. Whoever reads this book may be forgiven for wondering why Marco ever left home.
(publisher: www.pegasuspublishers.com )