Opatija is definitely a resort town, located on the ocean on the west side of Croatia.It has parks, waterfront cafes and lots of shopping.We’re staying at the Hotel Milenij, an ornate old hotel that has been recently renovated (in fact the front entrance was being redone the whole time we were there.You never knew which part of the entrance would be blocked each morning)
The weather was still windy enough in the morning to keep the mountain passes closed but at least we don’t have any mountain ranges to cross today.The clouds and sunlight on the ocean made for interesting photography on the waterfront before we boarded the bus again.
When we returned to Opatija in the evening Jadrin Croadvitch a resident of the town, spoke to the tour group about his view of life in Croatia.He pointed out the Croatia has known independence in only 27 of the last 2,000 years and in the recent war they lost many young men, most of the paved roads, hospitals and schools.The recent rebuilding has been expensive plus the country has now also incurred the cost of politics (parliament, a money system, an army, an airline, 100 embassies, customs etc.).There is a 17 to 20% unemployment rate (this varies widely in different regions of the country).Not surprisingly many young Croats leave the country and over 1,000,000 are in the US.
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