Nestled on the shores of the Adriatic Sea is the beautiful south-eastern European nation of Croatia, home of orange roofs, lavender fields and a proud but turbulent history dating back to the 7th century. In a nutshell, Croatia has formerly been part of the Byzantine, Austrian and Hungarian empires before uniting with neighbouring Serbia, Montenegro and Slovenia to form Yugoslavia following the First World War. This period in its history famously came to an end in the 1990s with the bloody civil war and establishment of independent sovereign nations. It’s probably fair to say that Croatia came off best in the years following the war, reinventing itself as a vibrant and appealing tourist hub. It’s certainly a destination that doesn’t disappoint, whether you’re wandering the ancient back streets of Dubrovnik or exploring the exhilarating waterfalls of the Krka National Park. It’s also fair to say that the local people don’t always come across as particularly warm or friendly, being possessed as they are of an eastern European stoicism and reserve…although if you make a friend of Croatia, you’ll find you have a friend for life.
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