Our Journey of Thirty-two sleeps: Sleep # 24; The Seabourn Spirit and Marshal Tito’s Atomic Bunkers

Sleep # 24

We are floating around on the Seabourn Spirit which is a nice small ship that is perfect for docking right at the city’s edges in Croatia, Montenegro and Slovenia,  allowing a convenient walking entrance to most cities.  Not only is this particular ship and this particular journey elegant in every way, best most friendly and attentive staff, best food in the universe, but it is a cultural exchange that none of us have ever experienced heretofore. Let me give you the nationality breakdown of the guests as presented to us by Seabourn and you can see right off the bat what an interesting and thought provoking cultural interchange we have been having onboard. I have to say I love, love, love it.  Australia 2, Austria 4, Belgium 2, Brazil 5, Canada1, Germany 8, United Kingdom 81, Croatia 1, Ireland 3, Italy 1, Norway 10, Sweden 2, United States 82!  We beat the Brits by 1.  Just envision our table conversations. Just visualize what we are learning about each other. Just conjure up in your mind’s eye what we must be saying to each other and you are right. This ship full of various societies have meshed and gathered a strong appreciation of each other.  It has been most enlightening.

Last night’s sailing away from Sibenik gave me pause to think and to photograph something unknowingly interesting. I really did not know what I was photographing, just that it looked interesting and quite unusual. Now I know what we have here. Look first.

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It is time to tell you that you have been looking at some entrances to Marshal Tito’s Atomic Bunker.  It was built to withstand nuclear war and was a secret shelter for many years. This underground complex was/is armed and stocked to house Tito and his communist Yugoslavia’s strongmen and his closest confidents for at least two years. Only after I photographed the secret entrances did I find out that they were in fact the entrances to this Atomic bunker but also, I found that it will soon to be open to public as an art gallery, albeit a quirky one. Someday I would like to return and be part of this underground experience. We did experience the underground bunker built by the German Army on Guernsey. It was something we will never forget.

This whole trip has been a giant HISTORY lesson. I am weak in historical knowledge and I know it. It is not possible to catch up. I have been reading, but there are so many centuries of time, events, philosophies and characters in this play that it is difficult to keep up.  Going way, way back, Neanderthals lived in Northern Croatia, and from then it goes on until we have a present day Croatia which we are able to visit. Still there is some recent history that is very important to know.

To simplify things and to bring it to present times, Croatia, once Yugoslavia claimed independence in 1991 and the Serbian rebellion supported by the Yugoslavian People’s Army, which started the war for independence. Oh, I hope that is right. In 1992 The Republic of Croatia becomes a member on the UN. There was a separatist rebellion in Croatia in 1995 and by 2001 Croatia signed something called The Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union and things have progressed to today when Our Journey of Thirty-two sleeps brings us here to see how the country has progressed. The towns and cities in this Adriatic area have grown and become jewels in the Crown of Croatia.  This is a beautiful area, which has kept its medieval beginnings protected, but they have added, super Markets, Malls, and all of the trappings they have seen and want.

There are 1,200 Adriatic Islands along the Croatian coast and 69 of them are inhabited. They have frequent ferries running all day long and into the evenings connecting islands.

Today we are in the City of Opatija. As you can see from some of the photographs, it is a change of scenery. It is a tourist destination and you know that it has been and is being restored as a tourist attraction. You have to admit is a beautiful façade, has nice beaches, great surrounding villages for day trips and lovely weather surrounds this area year round. I am happy we enjoyed this lovely spot before the fog rolled in.

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My favorite sign and why:

The money in Croatia is the Kuna, which are 5 to $1.00.

This sign really tickled me because yesterday we had to pay 5 Kuna to pee using of course only one sliver of paper per customer. This sign is offering all my favorite coffees.  So it really became a bit of a dilemma for the moment, but soon solved.

You can have a private pee behind this rounded and most private kiosk and then have your coffee for the same price. Who is to know? Now you do.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Dina
    Nov 03, 2011 @ 15:20:52

    So interesting! Thank you for sharing. I am also weak in historic knowledge, but feel more educated every time I read your blog. Love you!!!!!!

    Reply

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