Blogs from Slavonia, Croatia, Europe

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Europe » Croatia » Slavonia » Vukovar May 3rd 2013

Vukovar, Croatia This little city of about 40,000 is right on the Danube. On the other side is Serbia. This location has not always proved to be advantageous to the citizens of Vukovar. During the most recent Balkan war the Serbian army and Slobadon Milosovic, the Serbian leader, took a dim view of Croatia’s move toward independence. The Serbs tried to capture Vukovar but managed only to almost completely destroy it by lobbing artillery across the river until 90% of the city was leveled. We saw the first evidence of the war as we were pulling into the port facilities. There is a tall brick and concrete water tower on the edge of the port which is riddled with holes. I am told that the present government wants to leave it as it stands ... read more
Vukovar
Vukovar
Vukovar

Europe » Croatia » Slavonia » Vukovar June 22nd 2012

Just a quick entry about our visit to Vukovar, Croatia. We crossed into Serbia not long after and it felt strange putting Vukovar and Serbia together in one entry. After a fantastic dinner at our guide (Sonja)'s parents house, with homemade wild boar sausage and homemade rakija (the local brandy/schnapps), we temporarily left Croatia to head to Serbia. We nominated to do this via Vukovar, a town on the way to Serbia, without really knowing the significance of the town. However it all soon became apparent. Right on the border with Serbia, Vukovar suffered a 90 day seige by the Serbs where most of the town was completely destroyed. We visited the hospital which continued to function during this time, although it too was being bombed. They relocated all patients to the basement of the hospital, ... read more
Memorial hospital
Memorial hospital
Memorial hospital

Europe » Croatia » Slavonia » Osijek June 19th 2012

After spending a fair chunk of time wishing the weather would be more summery, my wishes have finally come true! It has been nearly 35 every day for the last four or so days, which although makes sightseeing a little more challenging and the local food a little heavy, does make it feel like a summer holiday. After rendezvous-ing with my new group (who have a much different demographic, I am the second youngest!), there was one more day in Budapest. Given the weather, I carefully considered my options and decided on a trip to the edge of the city to some Roman ruins. This involved a simple change to a suburban train from a metro station. Well not so simple after all, as they were doing track work. So it was on to a packed ... read more
Sun finally sort of sets
Getting my Croatian support on
Eco farm

Europe » Croatia » Slavonia » Osijek May 7th 2012

So we leave the hot and deserted beaches of the Venetian coast behind, having not actually seen the City! It was several hours of bus and ferry travel into the city (no cars allowed) so we pass over the city tour and vow to take a break here in the future sans Horace to see it. We head for the Slovenian border looking for a place to buy the famous vignette. A word about tolls, they can be expensive but that’s because we don’t have them much in UK. The alternative is usually a lot worse so we normally pay. It’s like using the A4 and having all the hassle of negotiating towns like Marlborough and Hungerford or paying to use the M4 and moving quickly on your way. The tolls are either paid at a ... read more
Croatia at night.
Horace hanging out in the harbour
Happy Dees

Europe » Croatia » Slavonia » Osijek May 5th 2012

Since the last ramblings of our travels we have had mixed fortunes with weather but have finally landed on our feet at a site just outside Venice on the Adriatic. The weather is perfect and we have achieved one ambition of the trip – to swim together in the sea with Horace. It is a perfect coast for swimming, shallow beaches that get deeper very gradually, as it is shallow it warms quickly in the sun and so clear that you can see your feet until you’re out of your depth (don’t want to tread on any nasties!) We travelled from our last stop in the Riviera dei Fiori just north of San Remo to a small town called Iseo on a lake of the same name. Placed between it’s more famous neighbours of lake Garda ... read more
The beach, nr Chioggio
coffee morning
go get that ball!

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Europe » Croatia » Slavonia » Vukovar June 10th 2011

We spent one whole day cruising down the Danube so I thought I would tell you a little about the river. It is the 2nd longest river in Europe and the 25th longest in the world. It srarts in the Black Forest region of Germany and ends about 1,766 miles later on the Romanian coast and then empties into the Black Sea flowing from west to east. The Danube river basin is more than 300,000 square miles and includes parts of Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldavia, and Ukraine. While I mostly knew the 'Danube' as a pretty Strauss waltz, in reality it has shaped the destinies of many countries. The river was used to transport cargo such as salt, wood, and ores. The Roman emperors recognized its strategic location centuries ... read more

Europe » Croatia » Slavonia » Vukovar August 26th 2010

Day 10-Vukovar, Croatia 8/26/10 We woke this morning docked in the city of Vukovar. Like most Americans, I don’t think I have ever heard of this town. But it was significant in the early days of the split up of Yugoslavia. As I mentioned in the previous blog, the communist leader Tito died in 1980. Over the next ten years Yugoslavia continued to exist but the old divisions grew each year. By 1989 some of the parts, like Slovenia, started to declare their independence. By now, Serbia was controlling the military and made it a mostly Serb army. Many Serbs were living in Croatia and when they started a move towards independence the military was ordered into the country to “protect” them. Only, it seems that it was only about power and control. Anyway, this little ... read more
Water Tower
Jackie
Tank Road

Europe » Croatia » Slavonia August 19th 2010

This week, we sluggishly made our way from Slovenia to Eastern Croatia which is confusingly called Slavokia - not to be mixed-up with Slovakia. a few hundred km to the north. (To make things more confusing all 3 have similar flags!) There are no “big” tourist spots in this area or “must see” locations that we had on our aim. So we just wandered around slowly in charming rural areas averaging no more than 100km of driving a day. One day Yaron said “I need a big city” and we drove 1hr to Zagreb. A few hours later we had enough of the city and ran back to the cozy feeling of countryside travel. This is the first time for both of us that we essentially travel through the variety of nations, cultures and ethnicities of ... read more
Zagreb
Trakoscan Castle, Croatia
Kopacki  Rit

Europe » Croatia » Slavonia » Osijek October 13th 2007

I got a ride back to Slavonski Brod this morning with Vesna. It was a bright day with a crisp breeze, perfect for strolling through the vineyards. I wished I had another day to spend there but I was keen to move on. Vesnja arrived in a dark suit. She on her way to a funeral in Slavonski Brod and I felt a little guilty for bumming a ride. We listened to a radio program about an international cooking competition that a Croatian chef had just won which, frankly, shocked the hell out of me. I felt a little uncomfortable alone in the car with her. She had a way, like so many other Croatian women, of looking at me like she didn’t trust me. Like she could see right through any smiling bullshit I gave ... read more
Osijek Cathedral
Osijek Cathedral
Osijek

Europe » Croatia » Slavonia October 12th 2007

Read this article on EuropeUpClose at http://www.europeupclose.com/in-search-of-croatia%e2%80%99s-first-wine-hotel/ The bus driver pulled over on the side of a long road. We hadn’t passed anything that looked alive in the past fifteen minutes. I could see nothing but empty vineyards and empty houses ahead. He looked at me through the rear view mirror to tell me it was my stop. I bumped several unsuspecting Croatian ladies with my backpack as I exited the bus, and it pulled away. Outside, a cold drizzle was just starting to make the situation even less pleasant. I was on my way to Croatia’s first wine hotel. It was located in Brodski Stupnik, a small town in the middle of Slavonia. In many books about the Balkans, authors have described their fabulous train journeys across this region in eastern Croatia, so I was ... read more
Brodski Stupnik- Wine Hotel
Brodski Stupnik- Wine Hotel




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