Day 86, Tuesday, November 19, 2019
The abandoned building across the street seems to be a favourite spot for the neighbourhood pigeons. We drive and park near the centre of town. Bob shows me the places he explored yesterday. This is the Verazdin Fortress which is now a museum, and the drained moats are now covered with grass. There are workmen constructing a skating rink which uses refrigerated lines to make artificial ice because it doesn’t get cold enough for natural ice. We saw a rink like this in Rome a couple years ago. Here is a view of the grass covered moat which has a path all along the top. They are also building a toboggan slide using the same refrigerated plastic tubing.We walk back towards the centre of the town, looking for a place to have tea. It is a bit chilly outside so we find this cafe.This was our table, in the sunshine by the window. Bob had a yummy hot chocolate with Baileys and some dessert and I had my usual mint tea.
In the square outside the cafe workmen are busy getting ready for the Christmas Market and erecting a stage. Festivities here don’t start until Advent on November 29, so unfortunately we miss the festivities. Verazdin is called the Vienna of Croatia but we think that is a bit of a stretch. There are many buildings in disrepair and lots of closed shops. There are a few people on the streets but it is pretty quiet. Notice the bag of oranges Bob is carrying. It was about $4 for a big bag of really yummy Mandarin oranges. Almost everyone we saw on the street was carrying a bag of these oranges so we thought they must be good and we should buy a bag too. Take look at the abandoned falling down building right next door to a neat and well cared for shop. This is a main square and the big building on the left of the photo is empty and boarded up. Well, almost boarded up, there is an open door and we peek inside the main floor which is empty except for some piles of junk and garbage.
We saw these red candles in a couple of places. Near the cafe where we had our tea there were lots of them, spelling out the word Vukovar. I looked it up and found out that there was a siege at the town of Vukovar during the 1990 War. Over 3,000 soldiers and civilians, including 86 children, died during the siege and the aftermath. There are still over 300 residents missing from that time. Last Sunday evening, memorial ceremonies took place across Croatia and candles were lit for the victims of Vukovar across the country.