I was asked that by several people, and I figured I owe it to the beautiful country of Croatia to say why we’ve decided to holiday there (oooh, I said HOLIDAY!).
A million years ago I made a friend, Maja, through work and she’s Croat. She told me stories about the beauty of her country, and how her family fled during the civil wars following the breakup of Tito’s communist Yugoslavia, and re-located to bordering Italy. She ended up in LA, but I never forgot what she told me about Croatia, or a book she told me to read about the systematic rape of Bosnian women by Serbian soldiers, as a tactic of genocide- “S.” by the very-accomplished writer, Slavenka Drakulic. Not that mass rape is why we decided to vacation in the Balkans. It was the idea of a beautiful coastal country that was less discovered, less traveled, less trampled.
Fast-forward to 2008 when we finally decided to do it. Croatia is definitely “in the know”- we’ve already had family and friends travel there. It is now on the Euro, so no more fantasies of taking advantage of post war-torn economies ripe for the picking by tourists. But it is still breathtakingly beautiful, so we’ve heard. Its idyllic coastline is just across the Adriatic from Italy, and much of the terrain, vistas and food may be reminiscent of Italy, but Croatia is Slavic, with beautiful medieval cities and a cafe culture rivaling anywhere in Europe.
That’s why Croatia.