Countries, Culture, Europe

Srebrenica, lest we forget

It is just 25 years ago since Europe was plunged into a genocide we again ignored.

And just like the Holocaust of the Jews and Gypsies and homosexuals in the Forties the civilised West did not think the Balkans Muslims were worth protecting.

Camp of hell

Until too late.

I am indebted to my good friend Onur Gul, of Turkish Airlines www.turkishairlines.com who has family links to Bosnia-Herzegovina, for flagging up today.

Poignant: Onur and his daughter

As he visited the graveyards in Srebrenica https://www.srebrenica.org.uk/.

Where the massacre of an entire town took place while we turned a blind eye.

I will be back

I had hoped to visit Srebrenica this year after missing out in the Autumn when I went to the Balkans.

With Marian Pilgrimages www.marian.ie to Medjugorje.

Arnie’s story

And discovered that it was too far from Sarajevo and I didn’t have enough time.

But while they may have been out of sight they were not out of mind.

Bey Mosque, Sarajevo

Sarajevo which was itself under siege marks its own and the greater Balkans wars.

It’s there in black and white at the Museum of Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide http://visitsarajevo.ba/?lang=en.

And you will get a sense of how the horrors of the war were played out as you take in the audio, video and everyday artefacts and personal testaments.

History revisited

One of the most heartwarming of them all is Arnie’s story. Yes, that Arnie.

For more visit Bosnia-Herzegovina https://www.visit-bosnia.ba/.

And while you search for holiday providers, let me recommend Marian Pilgrimages’ sister company Croatia Tours www.croatia.ie who operate in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

And here are some recollections of my Balkans odyssey… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/10/24/sarajevo-revisited/ and What’s the story, Medjugorje? Wouldn’t you like to know

Adventure, Africa, Countries, Europe, Food, Food & Wine

Holiday Snaps – Gardaland, Marrakech, Dubrovnik

For those of us who have Irish blood running through our veins Lake Gardaland sounds like a police theme park (ask an Irish relative).

Pigtales: Peppa. www.peppapig.co.uk

For everyone who books one of their Lake Garda family properties for the summer season.

Souk it up

Souk it up

They say that if you fall off a horse (or camel) you should just hop back on.

Well, maybe after 17 years it’s time for me to climb aboard again in Morocco.

My trip to Marrakech and the Atlas Mountains brought a new meaning to ‘ill-fated’.

And I’ll need a stiff drink to relay it but it definitely does fall into the category of ‘accidental tourist’.

Better leave it to the professionals… www.inspiringtravelcompany.co.uk.

They are flagging up a week in the Royal Mansour Marrakech from £5995 two+two family (kids under 12).

There’s all kind of luxury: riads, hamams, fine dining.

As well as lots for the adventurous sort such as dune surfing, horse and carriage ride through the city, riding camels.

And a Bedouin tented dinner under the stars. Oh, yes, I know that one all right!!!

Dubrovnik – to do list

Balkan beauty

And I should have seen all this with my own eyes.

Only I had my old passport on me with my US visa in it rather than my new one sitting back in my Medjugorje hostel.

So I had to get off the bus before the border and head back to Medjugorje.

So I have to get back to do it, and when I do it will be with Croatia Tours https://croatia.ie/croatiaspecials.asp?emailID=5061F645-D5EC-4D7C-9F71-90EB3B944A4A through Mostar which will run in July and August on Wednesdays.

Seven nights to the lushly forested Mljet Island and Dubrovnik, staying at a 3* on June 18, with flights from Dublin from €887.

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Hungry and Thursday – the worst bar none

Chocolate is better than men because… we’ve all seen those posters and mugs.

But sometimes it goes wrong.

Such as with the branding you sometimes get with sweets and chocolate.

My trip to Bosnia & Herzegovina with Marian Pilgrimages http://www.marian.ie gave so much, an audience with Our Lady in Medjugorje, a history lesson in Sarajevo.

And an insight into the peoples of this region, the crossroads of East and West in the Balkans.

In Medge they are Croatians with the only thing vying for space with Our Lady in the shops Croatian flags and football tops. Medjugorje, what’s your story?

My old mucker from university, Davor, a Croatian-Scot was my first introduction to them.

But I have come to know them better through Croatia Tours http://www.croatia.ie on the River Liffey in Dublin…

And joining them before the World Cup final against France for wine and lunch (it was never a penalty!)

Thankfully there was none of the chocolate I found in a petrol station on the way to the airport in Split.

Name blame: Sweets in the Balkans

There’s just no amount of thumbs-up with Victorian dandy that makes this right.

I’m guessing they’re lozenges but I put them back on the shelf.

I can’t imagine for a minute that they meant any harm but…

Then there are those brand gaffes where there’s just been no quality control.

Not what you expect: ISIS chocolate

Such as this chocolate bar http://www.isischocolates.be in Brussels Airport on my way back from my tour of the World War I Battlefields… In Flanders fields.

With GTI The Group Travel Specialists www.gtitravel.ie.

Now the sentiment is right and before you think it’s cashing in on the War just remember that chocolate would have been a treat for the Tommies.

No, it’s just the acronym for the people who make it… ISIS!

It’s always an awkward one here, the quality control at TravelTravelTravel.

What to put in and what to leave out.

I think I’m on safe ground here though with this one which is a particular delicacy for Salzburgers.

And it was something that the indomitable Mrs M was particularly taken with…

Mozart’s Balls, or Mozartkugel http://www.mozartkugel.at on a Top Flight http://www.topflight.ie skiing trip to Austria… Soll Mates.

Send me the branding that goes wrong..

And in the Travel blog that brings you the best in toilet humour more to add to the annals of… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/10/01/austrian-toilet-humour/

And https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/10/03/__trashed/. Look out for the name of the Bavarian tunnel I never saw coming… coming soon along the tracks.

It would make Our Lady blush!

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Holiday Snaps – Croat of arms

I’m checking out Croatia for the first time next month, a land of natural beauty, a museum of Broken Relationships, and a funky flag.

I’ll get back to the Museum of Broken Relationships in a minute, but first the drapery.

Three horizontal bands of colour, red, white and royal blue looks like the Netherlands flag.

Keepsakes: Museum

Until…

You see that distinctive red and white checked coat of arms with a crown on top in the middle.

The checks have given life to one of the most distinctive international football tops out there.

But where did it come from?

Well legend has it that it derives from a chess game between King Drzislav and the Doge of Venice for the lands that are now Croatia.

Very Chris de Burgh and Spanish Train, and the Lord and the Devil!

Bright and beautiful: Zagreb

The good news is that Drzislav won best of three.

The good people of Croatia came to see us last year, including the Deputy Prime Minister.

And they told us about the Museum of Broken Relationships and the cannon which fires paper every day.

The MoBR was the brainchild of Olinka and Drazan who came up with an ingenious solution to how to divvy up their stuff after they broke up.

Fabulous forests: Zagreb

They formed a museum www.brokenships.com which has proved so successful that the Yanks got on board opening their own in Los Angeles.

Of course, LA is a Pandora’s box of delights as I discovered earlier this year…

So have I sold Croatia to you?

Flag happy: Croatia fans

Croatia Tours has a three-night Zagreb city break, departing November 28, €499. https://croatia.ie/croatiaspecials.asp?emailID=0AA258B7-E0F9-4674-9BF7-125799552D97.

And if you can’t wait until then it is also offering seven nights B&B in Sibenik and the Dalmatian Coast, staying in the 4* Bellevue Superior City Hotel with a View Room.

From October 10-17, €950pps.

And visit http://www.croatia.ie for all the best offers.

MEET YOU ON THE ROAD.