Photographer's Note

Sunflowers as they once were

The slogan of the Croatian National Tourist Board is "The Mediterranean as it once was". That seems especially true on the island of Lastovo, a 47-km2 island in the county of Dubrovnik-Neretva, perhaps due to the relatively long ferry journey and the lack of sumptuous beaches and mass tourism facilities. The main ferry leaves from Split despite Lastovo being closer to Dubrovnik than to Split. However, there’s also a maritime link to Dubrovnik (no car) during the summer months. As one could expect, Lastovo’s economy relies mainly on agriculture and tourism. The island was closed to foreigners until 1989 owing to its importance as a military outpost.

This photo was taken in Lastovo Town where nearly half of remaining eight hundred islanders live. This is a charming and authentic village built on a slope and facing inland (south), which is rather unusual for an insular village. But the sea is not far off, less than a 10-minute walk down a steep path, or via a narrow winding road. Several of the houses are however abandoned or in bad condition, but in a way that just adds to the charms of the place. If not living too far away, that might even be a wonderful place for a newly retired wishing to acquire an old house at a reasonable price and eventually slowly restore it. Photo taken around 17 h, which explains the yellowish tone. I like that time of the day in these Mediterranean places, often calm and full of nature sounds and smells, and sometimes bringing relief after the very hot hours.

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Additional Photos by Claude Belanger (cebe) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 155 W: 13 N: 294] (1491)
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