Croatia: Anti-americano sentiments

Everyone I’ve encountered on this trip has been so kind in response to my communication via smiling, nodding, pointing and speaking hyper simplified English (which will probably insult the first person I find in Croatia who’s proficient in English). Still, the otherwise gracious bartender here at “Caffe Bar STARS 2002” looked at me like I was an imbecile when I explained how to make an americano. Maybe I’ll just stick to undiluted espressos from now on.

Riding through the night to arrive in Vukovar tomorrow morning…

Feeling welcome

Croatia: Checkpoint 3: Vukovar

I have little in the way to show of the Croatian countryside, as I crossed the majority of the country while cloaked in darkness last night, with nothing to illuminate a flat countryside highway besides my headlight and the stars above. Despite my efforts, I still couldn’t avoid riding through several hours of sweltering heat before pulling into Vukovar shortly after noon today to pass through checkpoint 3.

Sitting on the far eastern edge of the country, Vukovar was the site of a three month siege by Serbian forces in the War of Croatian Independence of ’91. While part of the town has been rebuilt into a riverside haven for tourists, remnants of the fighting still remain, including many a dilapidated brick building partially reclaimed by nature. The impact of mortar shells is especially apparent in a massive centrally located water tower that has been preserved as an icon of the era.

“The water tower will not be restored to its original state and will instead become a memorial area to the pain and suffering that Vukovar endured.”

Just crossed into Bosnia…