Monday, July 20, 2009
Cheryl Nye, geography major, traveled to the Balkan region of southeastern Europe, including Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro.
“The Balkans fascinate me because of the history and diversity of the region. We’ve even begun to use the word ‘balkanize’ as a verb, because of what has gone on there politically over the years,” she said.
Nye climbed steep, old fortress walls in many Croatian cities, viewing the sparkling Adriatic Sea below. She saw the Roman ruins in the cities of Dubrovnik and Split, and experienced the Mediterranean influence there.
In Bosnia-Herzegovina, she visited Mostar, a historic city divided by the Neretva River in which to the west, there are mostly Muslim residents and to the east, there are mostly Catholic Croats.
While the violence from the war, or aggression, as the residents call it, of the early 1990s has ended, the influence from that difficult period lingers.
“They’re still building trust,” Nye said.
She also spent a day in Montenegro, driving along the Bay of Kotor and visiting walls that snake along the dramatic Dinaric Mountains.
Nye enjoyed not only the breathtaking scenery and learning about the captivating history of the region, but also interacting with the people.
“Everyone is very gracious. It was very comfortable,” she said.
“Americans don’t go there very much, but if you go, you have to be open, open to a totally different experience.”