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Tour du monde en autostop - Jeremy Marie


 Travel Diary : Ex-Yugoslavia Part 2: Croatia

After having left Slovenia by South-east, I entered to Croatia by North and I reached the capital Zagreb. I left the country by the North-East and I came back there few weeks later by South-east because Croatia is composed of several interesting and completely differents places.

With Slovenia, it appears that Croatia is a little bit more developed than its neighbors of ex-Yugoslavia. We can say that Croatia has really a splendid littoral, for this reason I decided to go back there after my passage in Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina (more details about those countries in next news). Too bad however that I was reaching the Croatian Adriatic coast in winter. Even if the temperature were correct (approximately 15°C in November), the landscape should be more amazing in summer.

Here is one of the more than 1400 islands of the croatian littoral



While my way down along the Adriatic, I could see many touristics resorts which prove that on this point of view, Croatia is in rise. And I get confirmation of that in Dubrovnik, a very popular medieval city , when I realized that the touristic mass was still strongly present in this period of the year. We can say that all we say about Dubrovnik is true. The city is quite simply splendid. 

From the panorama, we can see a strong predominance of red. Indeed, after the battle which Dubrovnik was in between October 1991 and May 1992 at the time of the last war in Ex-Yugoslavia, 2/3 of the roofs were replaced. And these famous tiles are coming from Toulouse, the pink city.



When you arrive near the old city, you cannot miss the 2 kilometers of rampart surrounding the city. On the other hand, you can miss the 7 euros (or 50 kurnas) necessary to climb above!


The city on the other hand is perfectly maintained and protected (you will say to me that the first goal of a city with rampart is to protect!). Here the kind of place which we can find in Dubrovnik.


We can also admire there the wild coast which makes the charm of the dalmatian coast of Croatia. Perhaps difficult besides to build this fortress in top of this enormous rock. However awaking in the morning in such a place must undoubtedly let us getting a very nice view.


As i said I entered few weeks before to Croatia and I have been able to visit the capital Zagreb. The arrival in the city is impressive. You have an immense plain on 3 sides of the city and on the fourth, you got mountains (an immense plain which you can find besides in all North-East of the country, an area called Slavonia). Arrived in the center of Zagreb, we can feel an austria-Hungarian influence in the architecture of the buildings. Undoubtedly at the time of the differents powership which Zagreb was belonging to in the past.

Taking two examples with two of the most beautiful monuments of the city:

-National theater of Croatia



-Mimara museum



The point of meeting in Zagreb is like in all the big cities, I think it, the main square. And the main square of Zagreb is called the Ban Josic Jelacic Square.



To visit Croatia can be summarized to watch beautiful landscapes, beautiful buildings. But in my way of travelling, I had the luck to be able to know a little bit more of the current situation of the Croatian people. As you know it, the country is just getting off a war which was particularly fatal on the Croatian grounds. Thus Croatia didn't have the chance that Slovenia could have while being exposed only during ten days because Croatia was in this same war for 4 years between 1991 and 1995.

One of the most obvious example is maybe the almost-total destruction of the town of Vukovar by the Serb forces in 1991. Vukovar is a small Croatian city close to the Serb border and was exposed for 3 months to the bombardments between August and November 1991.

I could frequently talk about what happens during this war with local people and it appears that the changing between a communist way of life and a capitalist one is difficult to be done because the average salary in Croatia is relatively low compared with the life costs. However, some facts can let us believe that Croatia is able to get successfully through this changing like this opening to tourism which I described above. In the same way, the young people speak increasingly English at the school, a difference compared to their parents who could have only Russian teached in the school.

The Free Hugs experiment

In Bjelovar, a little city at one hour from Zagreb , I could test t Free Hugs he experiment with local members of couchsurfing website. The concept indeed is to walk in the street with an indication that we are available to making free hugs with every one.

Here are the couchsurfers with who i was doing free hugs in the street 


During this experiment, I felt much good mood and the message of friendship and tolerance which Free Hugs is I try to give makes me likes the movement. I think that in our individialism society , it is always good to remember that we still live together. This kind of friendly contact is for me a good way to sharing a nice moment with unknown but similar people. 

Here i am doing my first Free Hug 



See you soon



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