One week on a boat in Croatia
A week of sun, swimming and sunsets drifting down the Dalmatian Coast on the Adriatic Sea. Quite possibly the best medicine at the time.
Never relishing the idea of boarding a cruise liner and sailing the high seas, I had some tiny reservations about spending a week on a boat. Even if that was to sail Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast.
They all disappeared pretty quickly. The three of us spent our days lazing on the top deck in the sun, eating four course lunches, swimming and exploring islands on foot and bike and switching off to the world.
As a journalist constantly plugged into the news, switching off isn’t easy. The constant desire to know the latest about some distant conflict can be strong. But as Michelle pointed out to me, what am I going to do with that information?
Living in the moment might sound like a cliché, but sitting looking out over the clearest water I have ever seen, drink in my hand and two friends by my side, I realised “this is my world right now and it is good.”
We learnt bits and pieces about the history of Croatia along the way, it’s been held by the Romans, the Venetians and the Ottomans and the memories of the war in the early nineties is still very fresh, particularly in Dubrovnik.
The war hit Dubrovnik hard, hundreds of people died in the Old City in a very short space of time. Buildings are still covered in bullet holes and it doesn’t take long for tour guides to get to the war. They say relations between the Serbs and Croats are reasonable now, which isn’t always the case in Australia.
Crossing the border into Bosnia to visit Mostar, the remnants of the war are even clearer, as is the legacy the Ottomans left – I felt like I was back in Turkey, even the souvenirs are the same.
Croatia has mostly been rebuilt: it’s clean; the food is fair; wine is hit and miss; the economy survives on seasonal tourism (hard work for the middle six months of the year); and the water is the clearest I have ever seen.