On Tidbits of a Conflict

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As part of the old Austria-Hungary (which lost WW1), Yugoslavia (“Land of the Southern Slavs”) formed in 1918 as a union of multiple republics. After WW2, Communism came to Yugoslavia. During his 30+ year resign, Josip Tito held the republics together. In the years following his death in 1980, the union began to crumble.

In 1984, the world learned about Sarajevo, the host of the 1984 Winter Olympics. From 1992 to 1996, a bombing siege destroyed many of the Olympic facilities. It was during this time, we watched the news to hear unfamiliar names and places.

Most of us probably knew little about names like Milan Martić and Slobodan Milošević and places as Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, and more. Besides, we probably didn’t know enough to understand what happening.

The conflict in the mid-1990s is known by a variety of names – most depending on one’s perspective – The Croatian War of Independence, the Homeland War, the Greater-Serbian Aggression, the Patriotic War, the War in Croatia, the Conflict in Yugoslavia, and I’m confidence there are more.

A conflict involving Communism and democracy – centralization and decentralization – nationalism and ethnicity – Christians and Muslims – the battle for power and control.

A five-year battle involving over 20,000 killed from battle and genocide, 500,000 refugees, 200,000 displacements, 180,000 housing units destroyed, severely damaged infrastructure, and a crippled economy.

The tour took a side-trip into a small town that where we could see some physical effects remaining today – bombed buildings (some being restored, others not). Houses with numerous bullet holes while their neighbors were bullet free. A small park with military equipment.

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From what we’ve seen and heard from others Croatia is a beautiful country and a wonderful place to visit. Yet, our relatively recent memory reminds us of a time that wasn’t that long ago.

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On Rovinj (Croatia)

Rovinj – (pronounced RO-veen) – or Rovigno in Italian – a Croatian city of about 14,000 located on the northern Adriatic coast.

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Off Rovinj’s coast is a 19-island archipelago. Actually, our hotel was on one the islands – well, the hotel is the only thing on the island – but we had access to a ferry trip to/from the mainland. Directly behind the hotel was a smaller island for sunning and walking. A walkway connected the two. Yes, a difficult place to stay.

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The Venetians settle Rovinj, which remained part of the Venetian Republic for 500 years. Although in Croatia, walking the town has a strong feel of being in Italy – that is given the narrow, winding pedestrian streets, hidden courtyards, and comfortable feel. Most of the streets lead to/from the church at the top. Some of the homes along the water define waterfront property.

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With a seaside setting and with culinary Italian roots, how is this setting for lunch? Yes, I had pasta.

 

Both evenings here, Rovinj treated us to super-outstanding sunsets.

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Our time in Rovinj was our vacation from vacation. Rovinj offers a beautiful setting and a chance to sit back and relax. To close this post about this seaside resort, here’s a 3-minute video from Rick Steves.

Next Stop: Ljubljana

Click here for past posts of this tour.

On Walktober 2018

2nd October 2018 was a cool, rainy day. A tram takes us to a high point where we begin following the boardwalk through the dense forest before descending.

 

Stillness greets us as we look over the aquatic grasses to the calm water.

 

Water flows across the rocky outcroppings as we begin moving down.

 

While descending, the sound of the moving water is always present.

 

Lake to lake, water prevails.

 

Sometimes close …

 

… sometimes far.

 

After 90 minutes of walking, an electric boat calmly moves us across the still water to a new location so we can continue our walk. The ride shows us signs that fall colors were on their way.

 

After the ride, our walk continues along the still water, but now through a canyon.

 

The water continues to display its turquoise brilliance that we’ve seen during this journey …

 

… and very clear, too.

 

Walking leads us to more falls.

 

The upward journey out of the canyon allow us to look back to what we’ve passed.

 

To marvel at the high falls across the way …

 

… and to love the panorama view as we say goodbye.

 

That was our two-and-a-half hour walk in Plitvice (PLEET veet seh) National Park in Croatia. It’s a natural wonderland resembling something one would see in the Avatar movie.

Plitvice is a series of 16 naturally dammed lakes terracing down the mountains, through a canyon, and eventually into a river. It’s spectacular!

Registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Plitvice is the oldest and largest national park in Croatia.

…. a magnificent sight in beautiful Croatia – a land with the strife of war not long ago (mid 1990s).

 

To see more of this natural wonderland, here are two well-done videos: drone view and personal view. (Plitvice is spectacular, so each provides a different viewpoint – so if you Plitvice impressed you, watching will be worth your time.

This is my contribution to Walktober 2018 hosted by Robin, a good lady in Maryland. I first contributed in 2013, but I missed last year. Here’s her Walktober post that will have links to others participating as pingbacks in the Comments. (I hope to visit all of them). I invite readers here to visit other participants – and hey – if you are interested in participating, Robin is a gracious and welcoming host.

To see my past walks, either click Walktober in the Categories sidebar or click here.

Happy Walktober!