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must-visit list for anyone who loves beautiful coastlines and travel by
promotes it with the line,
“the Mediterranean as it once was.” It is certainly
that. Decades under Tito's socialist rule — followed by years
of war with Serbia when Yugoslavia broke up — put Croatia
somewhat behind its
Western European neighbors in development.
perhaps more than to the resident, that
backwardness can be very charming. It’s not unlike traveling
Germany’s “former East,” where communism
held back progress and therefore preserved much of its quaintness by
default. In both places, that stunted growth is being replaced with the
the fact that
the former Yugoslavia’s
communist system held back its industrial and commercial development,
Croatia was always open to Western visitors. Tourism thrived under
Tito. It was the Balkan wars of the 1990s which crashed the tourism
that was then and
this is now. Croatia today is a safe place to travel (notwithstanding
the cavalier attitudes Croatian
drivers tend to show toward the rules of the road and the
occasional warnings to watch where you walk due to the possibility of
stumbling upon a
land mine). The welcome mat is certainly out for
tourists from around the world.