Brijuni islands – Croatia

President Tito was the leader of Yugoslavia from 1943 till his death in 1980. The main island in the Brijuni group of islands was where his summer residence used to be. It was here the founders of the non- aligned movement, Tito, Naser and Nehru signed the Brioni declaration in 1956.

This was our destination for today. We had another late start and so I managed to squeeze in another five mile walk before breakfast. After a 45 minutes ride we reach the town of Fazana. A pretty seaside town with a church and bell tower just next to the seafront. We walk through a small market place to get to the pier from where we catch our boat. The crossing takes about 15-20 minutes.

The island tour guide then takes over and takes us around Tito’s exhibition hall and a natural history museum where a number of the animals which were given to him as presents have undergone taxidermy following their death and are displayed. The top floor houses photos of Tito with all the world leaders who have visited the island.

We then take a sightseeing train ride around the island. Our guide points out the landmarks, a 13th century church, a 1600 year old olive tree, Roman ruins, the gateway leading to Tito’s White Villa etc etc. We then pass through a safari park. The descendants of the animals given to Tito reside here. Indira Gandhi gave him two elephants Sonny and Lanka. Sonny died a while ago and now Lanka is on her own. There are zebras, Shetland ponies, donkeys, peacocks and Oxen etc. The ride lasts about an hour. After a short lunch break we join the guide again for a tour around the gardens. At four we catch the boat back and return to the hotel by five.

Tomorrow we leave at eight to make our way home. It’s been a lovely holiday. The weather was perfect. Not too hot or cold. This is not a busy time in Croatia. The next two months are the peak ones when the temperature hits the 30 and 40 mark. That will be way too hot for us.

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