HRVATSKA – CROATIA

Arhipelag Kornati-Kornati Archipelago

Arhipelag Kornati-Kornati Archipelago

Izmedju zidina Dioklecijanove palate u Splitu-Among the walls of the Diocletian's Palace in Split

Izmedju zidina Dioklecijanove palate u Splitu-Among the walls of the Diocletian’s Palace in Split

Komiza na ostrvu Vis-Komiza on the island of Vis

Komiza na ostrvu Vis-Komiza on the island of Vis

Nacionalni park Krka-Krka National Park

Nacionalni park Krka-Krka National Park

Ostrvski pejzaz na Kornatima-Island landscape of Kornati

Ostrvski pejzaz na Kornatima-Island landscape of Kornati

Palata Jadran u Rijeci-Adria Palace in Rijeka

Palata Jadran u Rijeci-Adria Palace in Rijeka

Setaliste Stradun u Dubrovniku-Stradun, the main street of Dubrovnik

Setaliste Stradun u Dubrovniku-Stradun, the main street of Dubrovnik

Stara mletacka palata Lantana-Old Venetian palace Lantana

Stara mletacka palata Lantana-Old Venetian palace Lantana

Veliko jezero na ostrvu Mljet-Great Lake on the island of Mljet

Veliko jezero na ostrvu Mljet-Great Lake on the island of Mljet

Zalazak sunca kraj Primostena-Sunset in Primosten

Zalazak sunca kraj Primostena-Sunset in Primosten

Hrvatsko narodno kazaliste-The Croatian Natonal Theatre

Hrvatsko narodno kazaliste-The Croatian Natonal Theatre

’’Sedam tisuća kilometara ima ova naša obala, kada se saberu obodi svih otoka, a to je jedna desetina Mediterana’’, objašnjava mi sa neskrivenim ponosom jedan od mojih najboljih prijatelja Miro Reljanović, dok jedrilicom lagano klizimo kroz mirne uvale Kornatskog arhipelaga. Tirkizna boja ovih voda postepeno prelazi u modru kako se pogled usmerava ka otvorenom moru, a preko puta, negde prema Italiji, zalazi sunce. Uživamo u nesvakidašnjoj lepoti Jadranskog mora i konstatujemo, posle dugogodišnjeg obilaska brojnih svetskih turističkih destinacija, ono što su mnogi ustanovili pre nas: Naše more je ipak najlepše. Lepo je što obojica kažemo “Naše more”, jer na to imamo skoro isto pravo kao blagi jugonostalgičari, koji se u smiraj dana podsećaju lepih vremena bivše zajedničke domovine Jugoslavije, od vojničkih dana koje smo delili u Beogradu, preko raspada zemlje, kao i uspeha i neuspeha na našim sličnim životnim putanjama. Zemlje se razilaze, ali pravi ljudi i prijatelji – nikada. Sa neke istorijske distance, to više neće biti važno, jer su granice oduvek bile promenljiva kategorija; mnogo je važnije da one približe ljude nego da ih razdvoje, posebno one koji govore skoro istim jezikom i veoma se dobro razumeju kada to žele.

Pričam sa svojim prijateljem o istorijskoj povezanosti hrvatske obale sa Mletačkom republikom preko starih primorskih gradova Rijeke, Splita, Zadra, Pule. Dioklecijanova palata u Splitu i velika arena u Puli najpoznatiji su ostaci Rimskog carstva na jadranskim prostorima. Miro je nedavno, na ostrvu preko puta Zadra, kupio staru mletačku palatu koja se naziva Lantana i koju želi da obnovi po planovima arhitekata iz Venecije.

Lepota hrvatske obale izgleda mi čudesno u ovom trenutku, kada posmatram Kornate u izmaglici, i kad se prisećam svih onih dalmatinskih gradova i luka koje sam u mladosti obilazio. Dubrovačke letnje igre posebno sam voleo i još patim duh Hamletovog oca koji šeta tvrđavom Lovrijenac. Dubrovnik je za moju generaciju bio kultno mesto, u koje se ponekad odlazilo i posle neke lude noćne zabave, ili pri smenjivanju dva putovanja. U Dubrovnik se u svakom slučaju moralo svratiti, makar da se popije kafa u Gradskoj kavani, prošeta Stradunom ili jednostavno, samo da se tamo bude viđen. On nas je uvek dočekivao na poseban način, čega danas nema. Retko sada tamo odlazimo i, nažalost, ne osećamo se kao nekada, samo se sa nostalgijom prisećamo “onih dana”. Moja prijateljica Zaga Bradić i njen suprug Nebojša, tada Ministar kulture Srbije, u dugoj šetnji kroz Dubrovnik i njegove galerije obnavljamo uspomene na te dane, koje sada prizivamo u mislima i sigurno ponovo priželjkujemo.

U Zagreb, glavni grad Hrvatske, počeo sam redovno da odlazim još u toku srednjoškolskih razmena đaka, a kasnije i studenata medicine. Bio je to za mene grad zabave i bezbrižnosti, prijateljstava koja traju, noćnih provoda koji se pamte. Naša mladalačka euforija za ovim gradom dostigla je vrhunac sa novim talasom jugo pop-muzike, koji je upravo ovde nastao sa grupama Film, Prljavo kazalište, Azra. Svojim ritmom povezao je i objedinio sve prostore naše bivše domovine.

I danas nas ti ritmovi nostalgično povezuju u traganju za novim sponama koje će zamenti one stare, ratom pokidane, ali nadom opet objedinjene i starim prijateljstvima učvršćene.

Avgust 2009.
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‘Our coast is 7000 kilometres long when you add up all the perimeters of all our islands and that is one tenth of the Mediterranean!’ one of my best friends, Miro Reljanović, proudly explains to me while we sail smoothly, gliding across the tranquil bays of the Kornati archipelago. The turquoise colour of the water  gradually turns into navy as my gaze moves towards the open sea and the sun is setting just over the horizon, near Italy. While enjoying this unique beauty of the Adriatic Sea, we both come to the conclusion as so many before us, that after many years of visiting countless tourist destinations, our sea is still the most beautiful. It is nice that we both say ‘our sea’ and we are entitled to it, just like those cultivating a mild Yugo-nostalgia, who at sunset reminisce together about the happy times in our ex-homeland, from the army service we did together in Belgrade, through the collapse of Yugoslavia and finally to the successes and failures that we each experienced in the course of our similar lives. Countries break up, but real friends never do. From a historical vantage point this is not going to matter because country borders have always been subject to change; it is more important that they bring people together rather than apart, especially those who speak almost the same language and can understand each other really well when they want to.

I chat with my friend about the historical link between the Croatian coast and the Venetian Republic, especially in the old coastal cities of Rijeka, Split, Zadar and Pula. Diocletian’s Palace in Split and the Arena in Pula are the most famous remainders of the Roman Empire on the Adriatic coast. Recently Miro bought an old Venetian palace called Lantana, situated on an island opposite Zadar and is planning to restore it according to the plans of a Venetian architect. The beauty of the Croatian coast is simply mesmerising now when I gaze at the Kornati through a mist, reminiscing about all the Dalmatian cities and ports I visited in my youth. I especially remember vividly the Dubrovnik Summer Theatre Festival and the ghost of Hamlet’s father roaming the Lovrijenac fortress. For my generation Dubrovnik was a cult place, where sometimes we would go after a crazy all night party or in between two trips. In any case, dropping by Dubrovnik was a must, if only to have a coffee in Gradska Kavana, stroll down the Stradun, or simply to be seen. This city always greeted us in a special way – which does not exist anymore. These days we rarely go there anymore and unfortunately when we do, we do not feel the same. We only remember, with longing, ‘those days’. I am with my friend Zaga Bradić and her husband Nebojša, at the time the Minister of Culture of Serbia, and during a long walk through this city and its galleries we refresh our memories of those days, days long gone that in our thoughts and hearts we want back.

I started visiting Zagreb, the capital, on a regular basis first through secondary school exchanges and later as a student of medicine. For me, this was the city of fun and light-heartedness, enduring friendships and memorable nights out. The Zagreb euphoria reached its climax with the new wave of Yugo-pop music, which originated precisely here with the emergence of bands such as Film, Prljavo kazalište, Azra. Its rhythm connected and brought together all parts of our ex-homeland. And today these rhythms bring us together to nostalgically search for new links to replace the old, war torn, broken ones.

However, they are repaired by having new hope and cherishing old friendships.

August 2009

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