Tuesday, 15 July 2008

My Favourite Place in Croatia

During my time in Croatia (and there is more time still to come) I had to travel around a fair bit which I enjoyed. There are some great people to work with over there and it has been a privilege meeting so many people and the overwhelming majority have been incredibly kind.

I've travelled the length and breadth of Croatia in that time and seen some lovely places through both work and play (Šibenik, Zadar, Senj, Požega, Osijek, Omiš, Mali Lošinj, Trogir, Krk and Cavtat spring to mind as does the centre of Zagreb) but the loveliest place for me so far has got to be Dubrovnik. If you are ever lucky enough to go to Croatia then Dubrovnik for me is a must see.

Thankfully much (if not all) of the damage inflicted during the Homeland War on the Old Town has been repaired and once again it is a truly wonderful place.

I only wish that I could say the same for Vukovar. The state of the City really shook me as have several war affected places which still visibly show the scars.

I think that Folkestone could learn some more tricks from Zadar though in terms of regeneration. The City and County Government with help from the National Government (and possibly donors such as the EU) have created some interesting permanent features by the seaside including a Sea Organ and some spectacular astronomical sculpturing called the Monument of the Sun.

I hope that the Triennial sculptures will become a permanent feature of Folkestone but I also hope that some other new ideas will come in that could bring more tourists to the town (although, I am not suggesting, for one moment, that there should be a junket for Folkestone Town Councillors to go to Zadar on our Council Tax!!!).

Here's a picture of one of the main streets in the old town of Dubrovnik courtesy of my colleague from the SMEPED project, Klaus Richter (and yes, the weather really was that good!).

Here is another picture of the Old Town of Dubrovnik courtesy of the Croatian Tourist Board.

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