In the Croatian Riviera
Croatia is a beautiful nation of contradictions. It boasts over a thousand islands. To be exact there are 1244 of them. We are in what is known as the Croatian Riviera. And we are located only 40 km away from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Like every other country, Croatia has its imperfections. The tourist economy makes up around 20% of Croatia’s GDP. Whilst Croatian’s are very friendly, they also buck against any change that comes with attracting tourists and their purses that might actually disturb their tranquility. It’s been said that many would prefer tourists to simply send their money in an envelope and stay home.
The Fight for Independence
Slano has been populated since prehistoric times. For thirteen centuries the local people battled for independence and one of the most fought over Croatian towns was here, in the sleepy village of Slano. There are many Greek and Roman ruins in the hills behind the town. But ruination and devastation came about much more recently, due to the hands of our fellow man and their fight for independence.
During the 1990 War of Independence Slano was brutally attacked by crowds of Serbian and Montenegrin terrorists. The waterfront holds several memorials to losses of life and honours for their hero’s.
Dotted with fruiting olives and slender cypresses, it is a pretty place. The local people have worked proudly and hard to rebuild their homes, civic and commercial buildings. Today they present a delightful village with a couple of well patronized hotels and many pleasure ocean craft that anchor up and delight in the village bay all viewable from Waiata’s anchorage. Visually, it is a busy time with the constant coming and going of different boats, sizes and nationalities.
One of the most delightful original buildings that survived the war is that of the Franciscan church. It was built in the 16th century and has early sarcophagi exhibited in front, and an impressive art collection featuring augmented reality on your phone app that’s brings a modern dimension. It’s bells ring hourly and toll at 8.00 pm nightly. And it was here where I chose to light a candle for my dear mum and sit in solitude and peace for a while, having grateful thoughts amongst the art.
From Tesla to Tennis
Croatia has given the world some stars – great scientists, investors and world class athletes ranging from genius inventor Nikola Tesla to tennis ace Goran Ivanišević.
For the inventor and eccentric electrical engineer, Nikola Tesla, this was his homeland.
Thanks to his mind from the future thinking, we have alternating current and many other scientific inventions and contributions. It’s rather well known that he had a fear of pearls and the number 3, and rumored to have arrived into New York with just four cents in his pocket. But here’s a lesser known fun fact: He wrote in his own diary that his surname ‘Tesla’ was actually his grandfathers nickname. A ‘tesla’ is a wide axe-like carpenters carving tool and his grandfather was nicknamed that due to his distinctive protruding ‘axe like’ teeth.
And in line with the stars of times gone by, a large ship called “New Star” is just arriving into the town quay. It will be here for the day, spilling out passengers who will visit the restaurants, cafes and church, whilst walking past old farms and grounds where in history many have fallen. We await with interest to see the new stars that will come from this generation, proud to be independent, Croatian, and free.
Somewhat biographical, Freedom ’90 was the third song from George Michael’s “Listen Without Prejudice” album. The back beat samples ‘Funky Drummer’ by James Brown and George did not feature in the video, using five supermodels of the time, Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford and Tatjana Patitz, lip-synching instead.
Well, it looks like the road to heaven
But it feels like the road to hell
When I knew which side my bread was buttered
I took the knife as well
Posing for another picture
Everybody’s got to sell
But when you shake your ass
They notice fast
And some mistakes were build to last