Odysseus on Mljet
If another wonder could be added to the Seven Wonders of the World then the magnificent island of Mljet would certainly be on the shortlist. Mljet is one of the most beautiful islands along the Croatian Adriatic coastline, and as there are over 1,200 islands to choose from this is high praise indeed. There are two different opinions, those who have been dream of returning and those who have heard about the island and make it a must to visit.
Mljet runs long and wide across the Adriatic Sea and dotted along its coastline are sandy bays, vertical cliff drops and wave battered inlets. There are also caves, and in particular one cave below the village of Babino Polje that has its own place in the history books. With the endless blue Adriatic on your horizon this part of the island has a magical feel, it is wild and yet strangely inviting. Make your way down through the olive groves from the village of Babino Polje towards the sea and you’ll come across a circle of bright turquoise water, this is the entrance to a cave with a story.
According to legend, just ask any of the locals of the island, this cave saved Odysseus after he was shipwrecked in turbulent seas returning home from the Trojan Wars. Yes, you have found Odysseus’s cave. The story states that his ship was destroyed in heavy seas and he swam for his life to the nearest land. Out of the rolling waves a hole opened up before him in the land, the sea entrance to the cave. He swam through the entrance and into a tunnel cave before remerging in the sunlight in the safety of the open cave and land.
The ancient Greek poet Homer wrote about Mljet in Odyssey, as his hero Odyssey sailed in this region. The legend then continues that the beautiful goddess Calypso kept Odysseus as her lover for seven years, her prisoner in his cave. Whether the legend of Odyssey, or Ulysses as he is known in Roman myths, is based on truth will never be known. What is known is that the Ancient Greeks knew about the island of Mljet, there is evidence dating back to the 4th century B.C in which the Greeks write about the island. Whether fate brought Odyssey to Mljet will never be known, however don’t wait for fate, visit the glory of Mljet and experience the majesty of this island paradise.