‘On the last day of the Creation god desired to crown his work and thus created Kornati Islands out of tears, stars and breath’. So said George Bernard Shaw of this string of, largely uninhabited Islands off the coast of Croatia.
Unfortunately the Islands are now almost barren and lifeless due to the ineptitude of various generations. Once forested, few trees now remain. Following the plundering for wood, sheep were rampantly grazed until almost all remaining vegetation was decimated.
So if you take a boat trip out to them, as I did, do not expect to be entertained by seabirds or the abundant flowers of Paklenika. From the small town of Murter it took about an hour to reach the island area and we sailed the seaward side of the Islands with rock features which I am sure are of great interest to geologists.
There was the odd plant suitable for the rockery and a bit of greenery here and there, but few seabirds. I spotted a lone cormorant and some gulls accompanied us for a short while on the return trip.
A few renegade sheep remain on the islands and these were pointed out to us with great excitement, by the crew, but coming from the Lake District.
Lunch was provided on the boat, and was delicious. Not sure which fish it was but firm and oily, rather like mackerel, grilled on board and served with local cabbage salad.
After lunch a two and a half hour stop on one of the islands for swimming and a short hike up a hill. From the top the elevated view of islands was more prosaic than from sea level.
The water was warm and clear with sea life far more abundant than that on shore. Vastly disappointing and disturbing was the abundance of plastic. Not only plastic bags and bottles floating in the sea but tiny granules gathered on the shore line. I have read about these appear inside fish but it was horrifying to see so much of it.
So, a lazy day spent on a boat. Apart from the swim, I preferred Shetland, sorry George, They must have been tears of frustration!