Croatia trip report
I recently spent a week in Croatia.
Croatia was part of former Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia was ruled by Joseph Tito, a communist dictator. I saw a huge bomb shelter in the city center in Zagreb.
When the Yugoslavia split up in the 1990s, Croatia became an independent country. The next door neighbor, the partly Muslim Bosnia bore the brunt of the war. The BBC documentary Death of Yugoslavia is explains the war in great depth.
We spent a lot of time in the island of Vis. It is a beautiful island with great beaches. Vis till 1989 was controlled by the Yugoslav army. This meant no tourists were allowed on the island. The military airstrip there now is a great winery. The town of Komiza is the local fisherman village. A lot of Komiza people escaped to the US during the World War. They settled in San Pedro in California, as fisherman.
We saw a church called “Our Lady of the Pirates”.
I am not sure if something was lost in translation. Surprisingly during WWII,a remarkable Canadian captain supplied the Yugoslav partisans by pirating German supply ships. The captain attributed a good part of his success to the blood-curdling threats uttered by the Yugoslav partisan who manned the loud speaker.
I highly recommend renting a scooter and driving to different beaches on Viz.
The movie Mama Mia was shot on the Island of Viz. In the movie it is shown to be an island in Greece, but Croatia apparently is cheaper.
The city of Split, was a Roman city and then a Venetian city. Unlike Zagreb it was never really a Austro-Hungarian city. The Roman emperor Diocletian from Split, was the last of the generation on non christian Roman emperors. People still live in the old city. It was hair tickling to walk on streets built in the 3rd century.
Krka waterfalls was overrated and perhaps could be skipped for any other beach town.
Croatia has a lot of sea food. I had great Calamari everywhere. They have amazing olive oil and sea salt. Peka is delicious slow cooked dish made with Octopus. They have tasty Anchovies and Sardines. Burek is a pastry filled with spinach or cheese. Ajvar is a pepper relish that provides some flavor relief. Cevapi is a sausage dish usually served with Ajvar. There a few different local wines available in Croatia, they are mostly dry. The whites are better than the reds. The cuisine is simple, but the high quality ingredients make up for it. Spit roasted lamb is a speciality of the districts further away from the sea.
Konobo Robinson in Viz was my favorite restaurant of the trip.