[RENAISSANCE GARDEN VOL 4]
Arion sang in a voice reminiscent of a spring breeze in the morning, at noon the song moaned down a steep slope like the summer sun, and in the evening a muffled tone of longing crept into the sound of mourning. He thought how good it would be for him and Arethusa to one day turn to earth, stone, water, or air. Then they would always be together, in the embrace of the nature they come from.
The landscape of the Dubrovnik River is special for its beauty and diversity. This magical natural environment, which in the past provided an image of open nature, gave the old people of Dubrovnik a dream place of freedom and pleasance.
Once upon a time, when the Illyrians sailed the nearby seas and the Romans crowned themselves with laurel and myrtle, it seemed true that Rijeka was one of those places that the gods gave birth to when they came down to earth; one foot of it bathes in the water among the river sedges, as if on a plank stretched out and facing the surrounding hills and cool boiling water beneath the Palata massif.
It is said that Odysseus, in his long wanderings towards Ithaca, sailed to the source of the Dubrovnik River below the cliff, where he turned with his fleet and continued his journey. This ingenious Greek hero who, after the Trojan War, in which he himself took part, left the coast and wandered with his company by the will of the gods- from temptation to temptation, and after two years experienced a great shipwreck. Left alone, without a ship and company, he was thrown on the waves to the shores of the mythical island of Ogygia, where he met the nymph Calypso in a cave. She saved Odysseus’ life, but she also fell in love with him. Wanting to make him her husband and immortal, she did not let him go home for a full seven years, until, through the intercession of the goddess Athena, Zeus, through the messenger of Hermes, ordered her to release him and return him to his native Ithaca. It is not known how and when the legend of Odysseus’ stay with the nymph Calypso was related to the island of Mljet, but according to that legend, the “Odysseus Cave” is located there. It is possible that, wandering the nearby sea routes, he may have sailed even to the River water, in order to find at least temporary shelter.
This water, today the Ombla River, settled its bed into a fjord and spilled between the two banks; in the middle of that stream the small island of Blato overgrown with reeds, cypresses and tamarisks sleeps in abundance at high tide.