|Monday (20th) we went on a walking tour of the city of Vukovar which was totally destroyed only recently.
Back in 1991, there was a war between Serbia and Croatia, and Vukovar was the city that was worst hit. It was totally destroyed, and some of the damage is still evident today - 20 years on.
Our tour guide explained how the rebuilding program has been assisted by their government, and their were renovations and new buildings going up everywhere. They were/are trying to maintain the traditional architectural style of the era.
Our guide remembers the war with Serbia, as she was a only child but still remembers. She said that she and and her mother went into a camp for 2-3 months, whilst her father was imprisoned for a much longer time. They then ended up in a place called Zragreb for 10 years before being able to return home to start a life again. I had a hard time imagining what this would be like!
The city was under attack for 3 months and our guide said that there was something in the order of 10,000 bombs and grenades used in this time. We saw buildings with holes in them with the evidence of something like a bomb blast had gone on.
Whilst visiting the city, we went to the monastry where we were treated to the local primary school choir performance. They sang a few songs for us, which was very cute and entertaining.
The Priest spoke to us about the future of the city following the war and said that it is all about the children, and for the children. We then watched a film of how the city looked before the war, during the war, and then since the war. It stunned the audience, although most of us knew some of the history already from the guides. The rebuilding of the city and the positive hope in the people was very good, and it seems like they are getting on with their life and have put this war behind them. I hope so, anyway!
On our walk we saw another stork in its nest (I mistakingly called it a pelican before and have since corrected it). So we have now had twice the good luck!!