Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Takin' the ferry and visiting Hvar, plus Dubrovnik!
ANASTASIA: We have connected with my family and I am still jotting down notes of stories Branko has told us, as well as Brankica. Brankica also told us of older women that are healers in Croatia. I have emailed her to ask what the name is, as I have forgotten it. The way things sound in Croatia is hard for me to remember how it would be spelled! When Brankica is sick, she eats ½ kilo of honey each day. I am going to try this. She says you have to buy the good honey, directly from the beekeepers. A lot of the healing traditions and herbs that are used are exactly what we use in the Northwest. St. John’s Wort is put in oil (and it turns red when it is in the sun), and is used for the skin. Lavender, sage and rosemary are also used. The healer also helps produce ritual to help with ridding one of spells. I will write in more detail about this after I get the words spelled right from Brankica!
We have begun our travel to the islands, spending a day on Hvar. We then took an all day ferry to get to Dubrovnik and here we are! These pictures were taken on Hvar, the island of lavender, which, by the way, the lavender fields were burned in a fire about ten years ago and not many have been tended to come back. The weather is overcast so we are taking in some museums here in Dubrovnik. We are staying in the old town, which is the part that is within the old walls and it is so beautiful. The woman we are staying with (we have been staying in sobes, which are private homes of a local person), used to be an economist and is now in school in restoration. I asked her what she thought about the change in politics and if she agreed with the new Croatia. She said things are much better now. In northern Croatia, people could go to Italy and buy things but in Dubrovnik, they didn’t have many choices. Now they do and it is so much better. There are many choices of shoes, and beer from all over the world. She said she came from a rich family before communism and her family were intellectuals. The communist party wanted to jail her father, a professor of music, because he didn’t want to join the communist party. Now things are much better. I enjoyed hearing her perspective.