Boat Trip, Day Eight

Croatia

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[The Croatians are coming, the Croatians are coming!!  On board to check everybody’s passport – apparently my passport photo still looked enough like the current me to pass muster.  Fortunately, their records did not show my past history of addiction to Tootsie Roll Pops.]

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[We’re moving into serious recent history here.  This is driving through our port city of Vukovar, the largest Croatia river port at 28,000.  The city was 90 percent destroyed in the war with Serbia that ended in 1992, only a generation ago.]

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[An ancient archaeological find, the peace dove has been adopted as a Croatian symbol.]

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[Our bus guide passed around the dove and the map.  It’s always nice to know where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re going.]

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[More Great Hungarian Plain.]

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[Meet Adela Sabo. Just your typical Croatian single mom, with a 16-year old son and a dog who has a doll, who works 186 hours a month as a nurse and runs a bed and breakfast. She lives in a small village just outside Osijek. The Serbs did not capture Osijek during the war (whereas the previously mentioned Vukovar was 90% destroyed), but it was under fire for a long time. She lived in the basement during that time and is still frightened of fireworks. As part of the Viking cruise package now, small groups go to spend an hour or so with a local. This was a typical residential neighborhood.  It’s been very popular – fun and interesting.]

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[So, Osijek, population 108,000 (4th largest in Croatia) and about 25 miles NW of Vukovar, was next on the visit list.  These walls are from a 17th century fortress built by the Hapsburg Empire.]

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[The main city square, Ante Starcevica, featuring St. Michael’s church (immediately above).]

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[Leaving the main square area, I guess it’s OK to store your heating fuel on the sidewalk?]

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[This is a TOP SECRET church . . . because I don’t recall its name and can’t find it anywhere in Osijek searches?]

4-28-15-25 - Copy[Maybe because nobody could ever report on it?]

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[But it’s apparently a regular tour group stop where students from a local area music school come and perform for tourists.  Sometimes its classical, may be groups, but on this day it was a young lady name Mija (I’m told the Croatian spelling for MY-ah).  She sang several familiar rock and folks songs in English, such as Hallelujah, and reminded a bit of our own Josie Nelson.  I tried to track a Croatian Mija on YouTube lest she had posted anything – unfortunately, not.   ]

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[And one would think this would be useful in tracking the church.  Statuary made from the spoils of war?  But, no?]

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[The bus tour over, we lunched back on the Jarl then ventured out into the environs of war torn Vukovar.  The big building (top) in Franjo Tudman Square (our mooring area) may be left as a reminder as it’s still riddled with the marks warfare.]

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[We walked along the river to a restored museum, a/k/a, Castle Eltz.  We entered to find a large contingent of school children overseen by a young man who on that day apparently was in charge of the place.  If it had been the 50’s, he would have been considered a beatnik, and he was full of exuberance and in broken English was delighted to have we Americans tour ‘his’ museum.  He didn’t even want us to pay an admission fee, but of course we left a donation upon departure.  🙂   ]

4-28-15-40 - Copy4-28-15-41 - Copy4-28-15-42 - Copy[The Castle after the war and now during restoration.  It’s not done yet.  The war torn tree on the river side remains . . . probably for as long as it remains.]

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[The peace dove]

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[There’s never enough mustard . . . ]

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[‘Unknown” painters are finding a place here.  🙂   ]

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[We happened to meet Dale from Chicago along the way, so he joined us . . . ]

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[The peasants are revolting . . . ]

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[Gotta love it . . . a museum with a “selfie” mirror!]

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[Homage to at long last, a free press?]

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[A cursory phrenological examination of the subjects determined the bust on the left to likely not be of Hungarian or Magyar lineage.  More likely to be from an evolutionary branch that dead-ended millenia ago.]

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[I’m surprised the Super didn’t make an offer to buy some clothing?]

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[Again, the aftermath of war.]

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[I believe this was shot through a window on an upper floor toward “town.”]

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[We walked back on a main commercial street.  Building on the right has been restored; the building on the left remains battled scarred.]

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[Pock mocked by war.]

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[A commercial square and . . . a shoe.  Was waiting for a photo op for The Biddies but we recognized the current user group from the boat so just used her.  😉  ]

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[Heading back to the boat through Franjo Tudman Square.     ]

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[It must have been happy hour on the Jarl, with The Biddies enjoying an aquavit shooter?]

vukovar watertower

[The Vukovar water tower (upper right) after the war; and as we boated away (below) . . .]

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[Come out with your camera! There’s a lightning storm in the distance!  And so out I rushed, shooting all of the above hoping to catch a bolt.  They’re worth it just for the lighting though.]

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[And whom amongst doesn’t like champagne hand delivered?  Kathy and Bert in the background are looking very formal (was there another opera on tap)?]

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[The Super really took a shine to these guys.  My guess would be a coif admiration.  They were from Philadelphia and were experienced world travelers.  Still the question remains, where was Jay Sieling?]

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[Bon apetit!]

Women dress alike all over the world:  they dress to be annoying to other women.  ~  Elsa Schiaparelli

Contrary to popular belief, English women do not wear tweed nightgowns.  ~  Hermione Gingold

Up next:  Depends what happens over the holiday weekend.

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2 Responses to Boat Trip, Day Eight

  1. shuti85 says:

    spending my vacation here in Vukovar, just stumbled upon your vlog. glad you are sharing your experience.

    cheers, Bojan (born in Vukovar, fled war in 1991, living and probably dying in Vienna)

  2. tomobert63 says:

    Thank you. 🙂 It was a very interesting and educational trip.

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