Thursday 21st August – The front balcony a stark contrast to the front.

Everything is so beautiful here it’s hard to imagine the damage Zadar and the other areas of Croatia has had with the many different times of war. Looks like Zadar has been one of those strategic places that made it a desirable conquest. At different times invaded by Venice, the Turks, Napoleon. Handed back to the French in 1805, Austrians in 1813. Italians around 1920 then occupied by the Germans till liberated by the Allies in 1944, to become part of Tito’s group of Slavs called then Yugoslavia when 65% of Zadar was obliterated in bombings. National unrest soon erupted into the war of 1991-95. Zadar was bombarded and like many other places and our family one of the many forced to live underground in amongst it in some appalling conditions. The scars of all these wars are still visible if you look.

This is a wall at the inside entry to this apartment block from the latest war our BnB host tells us when we enter.

A stark contrast to the front this is the view from the back balcony of our apartment.

This is the back balcony and repairs clearly visible from damage. Gilbert in he distance entering our apartment.

It was hard to understand all this when we were growing up. I thought we were Dallies and then we were known as Yugoslavs. Then there was Croatia. I really wasn’t sure how we fitted and what we were any more. Even explained to us it’s a bit vague in places. Now I say we are Croatian. It’s amazing if you ask someone a question how much history they know and understand. They quote dates and names at the drop of a hat. Most of NZ would have trouble remembering why we are called New Zealand or when Captain Cook arrived.

I’m so glad we have been able to slowly make our way up the coast, visit the museums, hear the different stories and really see the people. It’s not an easy life for them now either and they are really dependant on tourism. It will be interesting to be with Zarko and Mirjana in Zagreb and see that area now too.

Talk soon!

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