Cascades and Turquoise Lakes
Trip Start Jul 18, 2008
10Trip End Aug 02, 2008
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Where I stayed
Like a couple of the other hotels on the trip, our hotel here was obviously built in the communist era. It's a low profile non-descript concrete structure with an abundance of wood paneling inside, wide curved staircases, thin royal blue carpet over concrete floors,matching royal blue polyester curtains, sparse decor, and a vast dining / function room where the waiters push food and drinks around on institutional trolleys
We have seen and heard a few other reminders of the war: bullet holes scarring the cathedral doors in Sibenik and the contrast of old roofs vs bright new ones that were rebuilt on bombed buildings in Dubrovnik. What brought the war to life most was Igor's story of how he and his family once stayed in a room at our hotel in Split as refugees for 6 months. The fighting was essentially right outside their doorstep, so they fled with only what they could carry in suitcases. Igor was about 17 at the time, and his sister a couple of years older. They left his grandparents behind, since they refused to leave. Thankfully his grandmother and grandfather survived, but their house was destroyed. Although the Croatian government eventually provided funds to rebuild, Igor's family did not want to move back afterwards. I didn't pry into any further details, since it seemed painful for him to talk about.
Despite all that recent history, Igor is a warm, enthusiastic, empathetic man, and has been a fantastic guide. He clearly has pride in his country, even while acknowledging the less pleasant bits. Croatia appears to be stable and in fact prosperous now. In my view it has charm, beauty and tenacity enough to win over all who visit. I dare you to try and resist!