We eventually got over heated moving through the winding streets of Zadar. There is a boardwalk right on the Adriatic Sea in the center of town. The local people were swimming and sunbathing. We thought it was a good opportunity to cool off. The water was really clear and salty. Pipes are set up under the boardwalk so that water pushes air through the pipes, making a sound like an organ.
After we climbed out of the pool we drove to the island of Pag near Zadar. We finally found a quiet town to sleep and eat. The hotel had no internet and we all were tired, hot, and irritable, so we could not manage to post this blog last night.
The car ride to Zadar:
|church in Zadar|
|Old Roman Pillar|
I have been learning about the Croatian War of Independence through my travels. Twenty years ago, the country of Yugoslavia was breaking up with the end of the Cold War. Many of the states in Yugoslavia wanted to be independent and democratic. Croatia, one of these states, wanted to break away from Yugoslavia. The Yugoslavian government (at this time mostly Serbian) did not want Croatia to become independent, because they did not want to loose power and land. In April of 1991, the Yugoslavian army, called the Y.P.A. (Yugoslavian People Army), invaded Croatia and destroyed many towns and killed thousands of people. The Y.P.A. was a very disorganized group made up of mostly Serbian Terrorists. Many of the people we have met in Croatia went through this experience. We talked to three people with entirely different points of view of this horrible war.
The first person we talked to was in Slunj (the old mill town). She was the sister of the manger of our guest house. When we asked her about the war she said, "We had barely any notice of the attack. Our family had to flee to Zagreb. Tanks, airplanes, and big men with guns rushed into our city. It was very dangerous to be a women in those times." In the middle of talking to us, she became tearful and would not talk about the war any more. The second women was a tour guide we met in the Plitvice Lakes. She did not seem very affected by the war and did not seem sad when we talked to her. She told us that the Y.P.A. came into the city where she lived. The army spared the Serbians living in Croatia at that time, but the Croatians had to leave or be killed. She also said that the Serbians living in Croatia acted as spies for the Y.P.A. She said about the Serbians living in Croatia today, “I do not hate them, but I cannot love them.” The third women we talked to was in Zadar during the war. Zadar was shelled during the war, but nobody evacuated. She said that during the war, her friends were happy to be alive. They lived their lives to fullest, because any day could be their last day. She and her girlfriends would run from house to house secretly to meet for coffee our a party. Wow, we are really lucky in the U.S. to not have experienced war recently.
Right now we have found a comfortable hotel in Biograd, along the Croatian coast. It has access to two pools and the beach. In a few days, our family is going sailing for a week through the thousands of Croatian Islands. We heard that there is beautiful water and coves to dive into. My dad used to go sailing a lot with his first wife, but this is a new experience for mom and me. We are taking off on Saturday!
Thank you for reading Rohan geographic!