Back in History

Trip Start Sep 05, 2011
Trip End Sep 27, 2011

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What I did
Met Luka my guide and started tour of Zagreb
Watched dancing and music and went to Town of
Watched dancing and music and went to Town of Varazdin

Flag of Croatia  ,
Saturday, September 3, 2011


On Saturdays there are several places where Croatian dance and music is performed in the streets and parks.  We first went back to the main Square where we caught up with dancers and musicians, dressed in traditional costumes and  parading through the streets and up through the cafe area where they performed several dances.  I will put in photos and try to upload a video which is very good. 

Next we went to one of the parks where on a large beautiful band stand, there was a four piece band playing a wide variety of music.  People were sitting under Umbrellas and many were dancing.  There were young people dressed in clothes from the 1900's and a photographer who for a few Kuna took my picture after I had been suitably decked out in a vest, cloak and hat.  Not going to win any photo contests with the pictures but it was fun.  They also had a horse and carriage which gave people free rides around the park.  Of course, Luka insisted I try it and he managed to take  a self portrait by holding the camera out in front of us.  Quirky picture I must say.

Next we drove north to the Town of Varazdin which, over the last three or four years, has had the streets and building exteriors repaired and repainted.  It is a lovely old town that is full of character.  We had lunch at a local restaurant and I had my first taste of truely Croatian food.  Pork roast and a side dish which Luka said is a cross between a Pancake and potatoe, very dense pastry, dripping in a butter or oil based sauce, very good but very rich.  All the churches in both Zagreb and Varazdin were closed much to my dismay, but I managed to get into the Franciscan outer vestible and took pictures through the glass which has been installed to protect the beauty of the church.  We also met a couple of old gentlemen who were seated on the park bench outside the church playing harmonicas - they even knew some Slovenian tunes which pleased Luka to no end since he is from Slovenia.  We managed to take several pictures and a short video of them.  

By the time we returned to the hotel it was 6:30 p.m. and I was very tired and worked on this for a while and went to bed very early as tomorrow I plan to go to the Contemporary museum, try to find a different pair of sunglasses, similar to the ones I lost, as the ones I purchased at the drug store seem to reflect light and I cannot see in bright sunlight.    I think the cataract surgery has left my eyes more sensitive.  Sure wish I had not lost those Iris glasses as they were perfect and fit over my regular glasses. We are also going to drive to the town of Kumrovece 
where Tito was born and because I think it is important to try to understand more about what I am visiting, I thought I would read up on the history of Croatia and Yugoslavia.  When I asks a Guide why things happened the way they did and what the country is all about, I get a similar answer to the one I got when I asked someone in Israel to explain the conflicts there - "we live here and studied all about it and still don't quite understand the whole situation".  Nothing is black and white and it is good that these people think this way because it is when people think in black and white, right and wrong, that more trouble starts.   But still I want to try to understand and here is a summary of Yugoslavian history, a prelude to creating the separate countries that exist today.  My pictures are below and as usual hit Slideshow above the pictures and then click the arrow on the bottom right of the first picture and it will give you full screen pictures.  To play the videos, you need to return to this page and click on each one individually.  

Historical Background

Yugoslavia (MacedonianCroatianSerbianSloveneJugoslavijaCyrillic: Југославија) is a term that describes three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans, during most of the 20th century.The first country to be known by this name was the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, which before 3 October 1929 was known as the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. It was established on 1 December 1918 by the union of the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs and theKingdom of Serbia (to which the Kingdom of Montenegro was annexed on 13 November 1918, and the Conference of Ambassadors in Paris gave international recognition to the union on 13 July 1922).[1] The Kingdom of Yugoslavia was invaded by the Axis powers in 1941, and because of the events that followed, was officially abolished in 1943 and 1945.The second country with this name was the Democratic Federal Yugoslavia, proclaimed in 1943 by the Yugoslav Partisans resistance movement during World War II. It was renamed to the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia in 1946, when a communist government was established. In 1963, it was renamed again to the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia(SFRY). This was the largest Yugoslav state, as IstriaRijeka and Zadar were added to the new Yugoslavia after the end of World War II.The constituent six Socialist Republics and two Socialist Autonomous Provinces that made up the country were: SR Bosnia and Herzegovina,SR CroatiaSR MacedoniaSR MontenegroSR Slovenia and SR Serbia (including the autonomous provinces of Vojvodina and Kosovo which after 1974 were largely equal to the other members of the federation[2][3]).Starting in 1991, the SFRY disintegrated in the Yugoslav Wars which followed the secession of most of the country's constituent entities
Croatian War of Independence
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The war in Croatia resulted from the rise of nationalism in the 1980s which slowly led to the dissolution of Yugoslavia. A crisis emerged in Yugoslavia with the weakening of the Communist states in Eastern Europe towards the end of the Cold War, as symbolized by the fall of theBerlin Wall in 1989. In Yugoslavia, the national communist party, officially called the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, had lost its ideological potency.[58]

Initially, the war was waged between Croatian police forces and Serbs living in the Republic of Croatia. As the JNA came under increasing Serbian influence in Belgrade, many of its units began assisting the Serbs fighting in Croatia.[36] The Croatian side aimed to establish a sovereign country independent of Yugoslavia, and the Serbs, supported by Serbia,[37][38] opposed the secession and wanted Croatia to remain a part of Yugoslavia. The Serbs effectively sought new boundaries in areas of Croatia with a Serb majority or significant minority,[39][40] and attempted to conquer as much of Croatia as possible.[41][42] The goal was primarily to remain in the same state with the rest of the Serbian nation, which was interpreted as an attempt to form a "Greater Serbia" by Croats (and Bosniaks).[43] In 2007, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) returned a guilty verdict against Milan Martić, one of Serb leaders in Croatia, stating that he colluded with Slobodan Milošević and others to create a "unified Serbian state".[44]In 2011 the ICTY ruled that Croatian generals Gotovina and Markač were a part of a joint criminal enterprise of the military and political leadership of Croatia whose goal was to drive Krajina Serbs out of Croatia in August 1995 and repopulate the area with Croatian refugees.[45]At the beginning of the war, the JNA tried to forcefully keep Croatia in Yugoslavia by occupying the whole of Croatia.[46][47] After they failed to do this, Serbian forces established the self-proclaimed Republic of Serbian Krajina (RSK) within Croatia. By the end of 1991, most of Croatia was gravely affected by war, with numerous cities and villages heavily damaged in combat operations,[48] and the rest supporting hundreds of thousands of refugees.[49] After the ceasefire of January 1992 and international recognition of the Republic of Croatia as a sovereign state,[50][51] the front lines were entrenched, United Nations Protection Force(UNPROFOR) was deployed,[52] and combat became largely intermittent in the following three years. During that time, the RSK encompassed 13,913 square kilometers (5,372 sq mi), more than a quarter of Croatia.[53] In 1995, Croatia launched two major offensives known as Operation Flash and Operation Storm,[3][54] which would effectively end the war in its favor. The remaining United Nations Transitional Authority for Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium(UNTAES) zone was peacefully reintegrated into Croatia by 1998.[4][8]The war ended with a total Croatian victory, as Croatia achieved the goals it had declared at the beginning of the war: independence and preservation of its borders.[3][4] However, much of Croatia was devastated, with estimates ranging from 21–25% of its economy destroyed and an estimated USD $37 billion in damaged infrastructure, lost output, and refugee-related costs.[55] The total number of deaths on both sides was around 20,000,[29] and there were refugees displaced on both sides at some point: Croats mostly at the beginning of the war, and Serbs mostly at the end. While many people returned, and Croatia and Serbia progressively cooperated more with each other on all levels, some ill will remains because of verdicts by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and lawsuits filed against each other.[56][57]

If you want to know more about the history of Croatia click here. 

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Flo S on

Wish I was there.

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