Thu 8 Jul 2010
We spent a full day in Zagreb today. We went for a morning city walk. Zagreb is a city of 800,000 people. It is not a mega city but it is not small either. We walked through the market square. People still shop for their produce at individual stalls. It was a hot day. We passed through many smaller churches and squares. The city hall building has a plaque of Nikola Tesla. I forgot that he was a Croatian. He was the one who invented the three phase electric generation.
By the time we came back to the hotel, the bus was not allowed to drop us off at the front door. There were a few police cars parked at the front entrance of the hotel. When we finally walked into the hotel lobby, there were many dressed like Men in Black standing around. I thought there must be something going on here. The tour bus driver told me that the Prime Minister was at the hotel somewhere. We had to leave before I had a chance to take a picture of her.
We traveled to Kumrovec, the village where Tito was born. The local guide was an older man who described the life and accomplishments of Tito. Kumrovec is a village of only 200 people. We visited the house where Tito lived. The village is still active in farming. We saw a number of chickens running around. Some buildings are preserved as in the condition of the early 1900’s when Tito was born. I can see that the people still respect him for fighting against the German occupation and stood up against Stalin. Even Churchill did not dare to do that. It was really interesting to see the way they dry corn. There were many drying racks large and small. Once dry, they grind it into corn flour for making bread. We had some of this bread later and it was really good – not yellow like our corn bread though, almost white.
The local guide did not talk too much about the conflict in the 1990’s. I can see that that city is still recovering from the war. Some buildings are crumbling. They are still expecting Croatia to join the EU in 2012 so foreign investment will flow into the country. War is never good for any country. It is a waste on human lives and the country takes a long time to recover if ever.