I have mixed feelings, in anticipation of my return trip to Croatia, via an Insight Vacations FAM on a small luxury cruise of the Dalmatian Coast.
I feel lucky to have visited Croatia twice, in the mid 1980s prior to the war. It was still part of Yugoslavia & tourism was at a pleasant pace. It felt undiscovered.
As a college student, on spring break from my studies in Rome, we stumbled upon it. The beauty of the region mesmerized me. 3 years later, I returned with my mother Jermayn & sister Shannon. It was a fabulous trip. We traveled down the coast via Split & Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik truly was “the Pearl of the Adriatic” to quote poet George Bernard Shaw. The city of Mostar where the East meets West felt like a step back in time.
Croatia’s brutal war of independence 1991 – 1995 played out on TV as 33,000 people fled their homes. Dubrovnik itself was under siege for 9 months, causing death, destruction & hardship for fighters & civilians. It was a horrific war with documented war crime atrocities throughout the region.
25 years later Dubrovnik is under siege again; this time by over tourism; too many cruise ships, the Game of Thrones phenomenon, Air b&b types & our planets population explosion are causes.
I am cruising into this historic Croatian fray this week as an older, wiser observer. Yes, I am excited to return. I will try to stay neutral & disregard my youthful memories of glory.
|Andre & Connie Split Croatia – Diocletian’s Palace||Andre, Connie & Betsy on the ferry from Venice to Dubrovnik
(Loyola University Rome students)