Blue Bathrooms and White CherriesWednesday, May 31, 2006
Years ago when Yugoslavia was Yugoslavia and Marshal Josip Broz Tito was in power I went on a tour with travel writer Garry Marchant. He had gone on enough travel junkets that It thought that nothing could really surprise him. But when we flew to Zagreb from Toronto, even Garry was surprised. I would define real "First Class" to be an airline that serves Champagne before you take off and is still serving it when you are landing. That was Yugoslavia Airlines. If I were to chose the four most beautiful cities of the world I would first start with Guanajuato, Mexico, Toledo in Spain, and Dubrovnik in Croatia. But I would eliminate the first two and settle for Dubrovnik (top, left). One reason is that in Dubrovnik you will find few Mexicans or Spaniards. In nearby island of Lokrum two things charmed me for loving the region. In 1859 Ferdinand Maximilian of Hapsburg was the owner of the island and he came for a visit. In his house they have kept an ash tray with ashes and the butt of one of his cigars. Maximilian became emperor of Mexico and was shot in 1867 by firing squad at the Cerro de Las Campanas in Querétaro, Mexico. It was in Lokrum where I had the sweetest cherries I have ever had. And they were a startingly white. While in Yugoslavia we also visited Split where I loved Diocletian's palace(right). We were taken to various houses owned by Tito but this one had the blue bathroom.