A New Adventure

I apologize deeply today for being late in writing today’s blog and I am getting a little off-track in subject matter/

I just returned from a fifteen day (exhausting) trip to the Croatia Coast, and my mind apparently is still there, instead of here where it should be. It was full of wonders and I gained a new appreciation of European history.

I went on the trip because of a friend who had wanted to go for years. Croatia, she’s said, is beautiful. Croatia? Why, I replied, would I want to go there?  Weren’t they just involved in a war? Wasn’t their president wanted as a war criminal? Yes, she said while searching for a reason that would appeal to me,, but it’s a cruise in a small boat. She knows how much I love boats.

And Lynn is a very good friend and knew 2010 had been a very bad year for me: my mom’s long illness and death, some medical problems of my own, and several other personal losses. Any getaway sounded good. Even Croatia.

I discovered a coast of wonders. The Croatia coast is vast. It lies across the Adriatic Sea from Italy and up the coast from Greece. During the Middle Ages, its coastal cities were among the wealthiest and most democratic of any in Europe. Although some were bombed during the “Homeland” War during the 1990’s, the coastal walled cities stand as they have for many centuries, and residents live in homes dating back to the 13th Century. One, Split, is built on the remains of the retirement home of one of the last Roman emperors. Constructed in 300 AD, parts of the palace, including the walls, still exist.

The history of these cities is rife with violence. Always threatened by outsider, they were plundered by pirates, the Venetians, the Turkmen, then their neighbors. And yet many of their physical structures, particularly the city walls, remain much as they were in the Middle Ages. The houses and walls were built with limestone blocks with no sealing agent, just a workmanship that keeps them standing thousands of years later. The churches are exquisite. And government? One had a government that elected a new mayor every month so he wouldn’t become a dictator or by swayed by special interests. Hummmm? Maybe they had something there.

Although my college minor was history (my major was journalism), the emphasis was almost entirely on American History. I gained a new appreciation for world history on his trip, although my first love will remain American history, especially the west.

The Adriatic, or Dalmatian, Coast, has been ignored for years because of the violence, but now apparently is has been rediscovered. Hundreds of thousands now visit these gems during the summer, but few in the winter, and that was my good luck. Just as I loved wandering ghost towns here in the west, I wandered these old walled cities listening to the voices of the past.    

 The people were welcoming and ever so proud of their ancient cities and their history.   There were a joy and I had to share the discovery with you.

Patricia
Updated: May 26, 2011 — 12:21 pm

8 Comments

  1. Hi Pat! What an adventure! America is such a young country . . . Seeing walled cities, etc. had to be a blast from the distant past. Hugs and sympathy for the troubles of the past year. We love you!

  2. I have so much left to see in America I can’t imagine ever getting to Croatia, but it sounds wonderful. The main draw for me is ancient things. I’d love to see a pyramid and old moldering castles and the Collesium in Rome. I’d also like to see those pyramids in Mexico sometime.

    Mostly, now, I can barely get my groceries bought and my books written with just enough spare time to dote over my granddaughter. 🙂

  3. Hi Pat,
    This is truly a fascinating post. I have never been anywhere besides Mexico and Canada. LOL So reading about these wonderful places you’ve visited just piques my interest. Sorry I’m late in responding to this–Just got on the computer today and am trying to catch up.
    BTW, I wanted to tell you that I’m about halfway through The Kind of Diamonds, and I am loving it. I really just can’t wait to get back to the book every time I have to lay it down. Jeannette is one of my favorite heroines ever.
    Cheryl P.

  4. Avatar

    I will have to add this area to my wish list of places we want to visit. We tend to travel off season. We don’t go for the touristy things, so it works. Since we are interested in the history of an area, the art, the nature, the culture, we can go anytime. We still have a lot in the States and Canada we would like to see, but the medieval time period appeals to me. Hopefully we can manage to do as much traveling as we’d like.
    Glad you had such a good trip. Thanks for sharing.

  5. This sounds like such a great story.Sounds like a great adventure. We enjoy going to historical sites.There are so many just in our area to see.NC,VA,PA,TN,etc.I would love to go to Scotland,Ireland and England one day.Thank you for sharing your fabulous trip with ul.

  6. Thanks all for your replies. It so exceeded all my expectations I just had to share. For those who love ancient sites, the Adriatic Coast is perfect.

  7. Sorry — I MEANT to write THE KING OF DIAMONDS, not THE KIND… It’s a great book! My fingers just didn’t cooperate.
    Cheryl P.

  8. Good Lord, Pat, I must have had one too many margaritas— THE DIAMOND KING THE DIAMOND KING THE DIAMOND KING. I promise I really knew the name of the book–obviously my fingers and my BRAIN have gone on vacation! I apologize!
    NO MORE TEQUILA TONIGHT!
    Cheryl P.

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