First installment of an essay about my backpacking trip in ex-Yugoslavia, the memory of ethnic cleansing and genocide, the nostalgia for socialism, and the ignorance of tourism.
In the Lonely Planet guide to Croatia, the Sibinek-Knin county of Dalmatia is called “underrated.” Hundreds of thousands of tourists flock to the coastal cities of Split, Dubrovnik, and the dozens of nearby islands each summer. Only a fraction make it anywhere inland, where only Krka park’s waterfalls and the nearby Serbian Orthodox Monastery are recommended.Nowhere mentioned in the guide are the ancient Roman Nymphium of Bribir, the towering anti-fascist monument of Kistanje, or Mostine’s “Apache Village.” Even the titular city of Knin has no mention—it hasn’t even earned a page on the exhaustive backpacker site Wikitravel. This is likely because it was the capital of the breakaway Serbian Republic of Krajina, and to this day, the region retains the deep scars of the war and its aftermath.
Read the rest of Part I on Souciant