Croatian Short Stories - Makarska Riviera and Andelko

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September 2nd 2020
Published: September 17th 2020
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Hallo AndelkoHallo AndelkoHallo Andelko

nice to see you again
The Makarska Riviera stretches for 60km between the towns of Brela and Gradac with the main town being, of course, Makarska, South of Split. The Riviera is one of the most famous tourist locations on the Croatian coast, and is popular with visitors for its numerous beautiful beautiful beaches, pine trees, sparkling water and peaceful bays. The area is known for the impressive Biokovo Mountain, which overlooks the coastal area. The Biokovo massive is the second-highest mountain range in Croatia, between the rivers of Cetina and the legendary Neretva, raw, naked and intimidating rock formations glaring at the visitors on the coast. River Neretva, who has not heard of the movie the "Battle of Neretva", a 1969 Yugoslavian partisan film. Based on the true events of World War II, the Battle of the Neretva featured a combined Axis powers attack in 1943 against the Yugoslav Partisans to once and for all crush the partisan freedom fighters. The battle took place more inland and upriver of the Neretva in mountains of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Axis almost succeeded, but Tito and his leaders managed to escape the trap. This "heroic" escape became material for many legends (also exaggerated by the Communist Yugoslav
Roof top veranda Roof top veranda Roof top veranda

from Andelko's eagles nest
propaganda). One of the original posters for the English version of the movie was made by Pablo Picasso, which, according to director Bulajić, the famous painter agreed to do without payment, only requesting a case of the best Yugoslav wines.

Makarska Riviera for Nenad means in first place the town of Tucepi. His good friend Andelko lives there with his wife Durdica, a man he by coincidence met in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2007, when they both were working there. Andelko has a hell of an interesting life and Nenad is very thankful to him, that he agreed to share it with you all. A former Director General of the Yugoslav State owned travel Agency Yugoturs, he became a refugee literally over night when the war broke out in 1991 and he had to flee Belgrade (capital of former Yugoslavia and capital of the Republic of Serbia), where he lived and worked for years, being a Croatian by ethnicity. After the war he was appointed Ambassador of Croatia in Japan and in Indonesia, which looked after the SEA region. He met in his capacity many political figures well known to most of us, like Dr. Mahatir of Malaysia or Taksin Shinawatra of Thailand. After his retirement as diplomat, he was recruited as Professor for Economics and Tourism by the HELP University in Kuala Lumpur. After having completed this mandate in KL, he decided to go back to his hometown Tucepi on the Makarska Riviera and help his wife renting apartments to tourists and develop his little piece of farming land into something useful.

It has been already four years since they last met, so Nenad was very excited to reunite and catch with all the news, and of course to present his new wife Nui. Andelko's hospitality has been always something special and so it was this time. Heartwarming, beautiful three days of eating, drinking, talking and smiling. Nice dinners at home and in restaurants were mixed with visits of family members, a visit to Andelko's little farm and of course dips in the Adriatic ocean.

September is still a busy month in the Makarska Riviera in terms of tourists, but like everywhere 2020 saw strongly reduced numbers, affecting the income of all locals, who live of tourism exclusively. Croatia cannot compare with major tourism powers such as France, Spain, Italy or Greece. With 17.4 million tourist
arrivals in 2017 and a trend of increasing numbers for many years, Croatia has certainly become one of the most popular countries on the Mediterranean. Since 2000, the number of tourist overnights has doubled. The share of tourism in the total GDP of Croatia exceeds 20%, making especially the coastal areas economically dependent on it. The summer tourist season is very short lasting from the beginning of June to the end of September, where over 90% of tourist overnights are recorded. Over 90% of overnights stays in this period are foreign guests, of which 25% are Germans.

We left the Makarska Riviera returning to Dalmatian base camp with so many wonderful memories that it will be good to stay in Vodice for a few days to digest all these impressions and wash our dirty laundry.

Additional photos below
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making travaricamaking travarica
making travarica

grappa with Dalmatian herbs

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